DAP opposed to the abolition of jury trials and preliminary enquiries without the fullest consult action with the Bar Council and organisations concerned with the administration of justice


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Slang, in Petaling Java on Friday, December 23, 1994:

DAP opposed to the abolition of jury trials and preliminary enquiries without the fullest consult action with the Bar Council and organisations concerned with the administration of justice

DAP regrets that the Barisan Nasional government has rejected proposals by DAP MPs in Parliament. that it should defer Parliamentary discussion and decision on three Bills to abolish jury trials and preliminary enquiries – including the DAP proposal that the three Bills he referred to a Select Committee until there is the fullest consultation and discussion with the Bar Council and organisations concerned with the administration of justice.

The Barisan Nasional Government has again used its brute and blind majority in Parliament to rain through three amendment bills to the Criminal Procedure Code the Kidnapping Act and the Courts of Judicature Act without allowing for the fullest consultation and input from the Ear Council, law practitioners and organisations directly involved in the administration of justice.

The Barisan Nasional Government either does not understand its own Vision 2020 or is its greatest opponent for one of the nine strategic objectives of Vision 2020 is the promotion of a more consensual consultative and participatory form of democracy -as for instance, it, seeking fullest consultation and participation of the Bar Council law practitioners and those concerned with the administration of justice so that they could participate in the legislative process on whether to abolish jury trials and preliminary enquiries.

Although the Bills amending the Criminal Procedure Code, the Kidnapping Act and the Courts of Judicature Act to abolish jury trials and preliminary enquiries have been passed by the Dewan Rakyat they do riot become law until they receive the Royal Assent, by the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

A consensual, consultative and participatory process can still be introduced at this late stage by withholding the Bills from being sent to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for his Royal Assent until there is the fullest public discussion and debate on the proposal to abolish jury trials and preliminary enquiries, involving the liar Council, law practitioners and all organisations and persons concerned about the administration of justice in Malaysia.

If the public consultation process shows that there is strong and valid national reservations about the abolition of jury trials and preliminary enquiries, or that there should he safeguards to accompany any abolition of jury trials and preliminary enquiries, then new Bills should be introduced in the Dewan Rakyat incorporating these new proposals.

The DAP is opposed to the abolition of jury trials and preliminary enquiries without the fullest participation and consultation of the Bar Councils law practitioners and all organisations and persons concerned about the administration of justice.

If the Barisan Nasional Government rejects such a consensual, consultative and participatory democratic process, then it is in fact rejecting the consensual, consultative and participatory approach to democracy as envisaged by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed in his speech on February 1991 when announcing Vision 2020.

This will also throw into question whether the Barisan Nasional Government leaders really understand the nine strategic objectives of Vision 2020 and whether they full-heartedly support them.