By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, August 17, 1987:
Support for Tunku Abdul Rahman’s proposal for a Constitutional amendment to provide that any Ruler who had committed an offence by tried by a tribunal of his brother-Rulers
Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, must be commended for his wise and perceptive proposal that the Constitution be amended to provide that any Ruler who had committed an offence be tried by a tribunal of his brother-Rulers, and its findings should be binding.
Tunku Abdul Rahman’s proposal, made when opening the Aliran’s two-day conference, Reflections on the Malaysian Constitution: 30 Years after Merdeka, would not only deepen the people’s respect and love for the Rulers, but would strengthen the very system of constitutional monarchy in the country.
Tun Suffian Haji Hashim, Lord President, in his paper, The Role of Monarchy, at the Aliran conference, had in fact given a very good reason to support Tunku’s proposal for a constitutional amendment when he stressed that the Rulers, though enjoying legal immunity, should each “scrupulously honour the spirit as well as the letter of the Constitution and the Law which they themselves have assented into law.”
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, to give serious consideration to Tunku’s proposal, and to present formulate and table the amendment in Parliament after presenting it to the Conference of Rulers for its concurrence.
Prolonged round problem cannot be solved by ‘privatisation’ of a separate prison for remand prisoners.
I am very concerned by the statement by the statement by the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Ayub, that his Ministry will consider ‘privatisation’ of a separate prison for remand prisoners if it receive such a proposal.
Recently, the fashion among Nasional Ministers and leaders was to ‘Look Fast’ whenever there is a problem, but this is giving way to the fashion among Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders that ‘privatisation’ is the answer to all government problems.
The problem of prolonged remand of prisoners awaiting trial, to the extent that they are remanded longer than the maximum jail sentence for the offences they are charged, is a gross injustice.
How can the problem of injustice be resolved by ‘privatisation’? Recently, there was an assembly argument between the Chief Minister, Tan Sri Hamid, and the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, each putting the blame on the other, the Judiciary and the prosecution, for the prolonged remand scandal.
The Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of Prisons should get together in a round-table conference to find an immediate solution to the prolonged remand problem, which is a travesty of justice. The prolonged remand problem should not continue, while the top officers in each department argue out who is ‘responsible’.