Author: Tin-Kay Goh
Date: 04-18-12 21:59
To SL Lee, Yoon-Ngan and the Forumites
I have been very busy lately and could not join in such in-depth discussions with you folks till now. The issues discussed at Asiawind are very relevant, well researched and of high quality, and even of academic standing. Reading through the various posts has been very educational about developments in China and in matters affecting the Chinese Diaspora. I am amazed at the technological advancement in the fighter planes, aircraft carrier, rocketry and computer hardware. Thanks to our scientific experts on this board. There is no stopping China in her ascendancy as one among equals in excellence in economics, science and the humanities. More and more countries in Africa, Asia and South America consider China as a true friend who wants genuine trading partners without any hegemonic intent.
We may agree and disagree in fun and banter. I still believe in the rule of law and not political expediency, and hence I had disagreed with the very eloquent Cheok in that the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court stays above the Parliament or Congress, whichever system one lives with. Political monouvering to deny the ruling by the Supreme Court by politicians can all but bastardise the Constitution. Of course, the people can elect enough sizeable majority representatives to change the Constitution, but until then, the Court must stay supreme over the Parliament or Congress.
Time and again, political parties try to remove judges who speak out against their exesses. This is very evident in Malaysia under Dr Mohamed Mahathir. It is also the game played recently by Peter O'Neil in Papua New Guinea. In countries with large Muslim populations, the Consutution itself often does not stipulate the punishment for crimes, but refer to the Shariah laws as interpreted by religious leaders. Such Shariah laws can be in conflict with the Constitution. In the Malaysian state of Kelantan, an under-aged Non-Muslim girl was kidnapped by her lover who claimed that under Muslim law she had agreed to be a Muslim and hence able to marry him. The parents of the girl had to engaged Mr. Karpal Singh to free her under a Court ruling against the Islamic interpretation. Amputation for theft and stoning for adultery are cases when most people will feel that life and limb need to be protected by the Constitution. Pakistan is a country in such a dilemma.