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10 theSun | THURSDAY JUNE 4 2009

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‘The first thing we do,


everyday so why was it such a (4) Where the person arrested
big deal when the Brickfields Five has requested for a legal practi-
got arrested. Lawyers have been tioner to be consulted, the police
arrested before. They have been officer shall allow a reasonable
thrown in jail, they have been de- time:
tained under the Internal Security (a) for the legal practitioner
Act and so on. All true but this to be present to meet the person

let’s kill all the lawyers’


time the lawyers were arrested arrested at his place of detention;
not for purportedly committing and
an offence. The Brickfields Five (b) for the consultation to
were arrested for doing their duty take place.
by giving effect to Article 5 of the Denial of the right of an ar-
Federal Constitution and section rested person to consult a legal
28A of the Criminal Procedure practitioner of his or her choice
by Sunil Lopez out. It wasn’t that hard to figure only moments before, allegedly Code which are as follows. is a clear breach of the consti-
out who was the leader of the for illegal assembly. The Brick- Human Rights » Article 5 (3) of the constitu- tutional and statutory right of
“THE first thing we do, let’s kill gang. He had an inhumanly loud fields Five were there as faithful and the Law tion states: an arrested person. Arresting a
all the lawyers.” This phrase from voice and was clothed in a shirt servants of the law, to give effect “Where a person is arrested he legal practitioner who is seek-
Shakespeare’s Henry VI is often which had the words “Head Hunt- to the constitutional rights of those shall be informed as soon as may ing to provide legal consultation
used pejoratively when people ers” emblazoned on it. In another arrested but they were in turn ar- be of the grounds of his arrest and to an arrested client is nothing
feel the need to vent their feelings twist of irony, his shirt was black rested and thrown into jail. shall be allowed to consult and be less than a despicable act that
of frustration or disgust in respect in colour. The night did not end there, defended by a legal practitioner of reeks of arrogance, ignorance
of the legal profession. Ironically, The “Headhunter” was at however. The news of the ar- his choice.” and utter contempt for the rule
this now infamous phrase was the top of his game. He seemed rest of the Brickfields Five had » The relevant provisions of of law and the rights guaranteed
originally intended to pay hom- unstoppable and invincible. He reached the ears of their brothers section 28A of the code states: in the constitution. The arrest of
age to lawyers. In Shakespeare’s possessed formidable powers, the and sisters at law and about 80 (1) A person arrested without a the Brickfields Five is a grave
play, the phrase was spoken by a inhumanly loud voice, being just of them, much like the A-Team, warrant shall be informed as soon portent of things to come and
villain and to better understand one. He also seemed to have the swooped in on the Brickfields as may be of the grounds of his we may soon find ourselves on
the context in which the phrase power of a short fuse, the power to police station. The president of the arrest by the police officer making a slippery slope towards a state
was used, we need to paraphrase arrest anyone without reasonable Malaysian Bar was there as well the arrest. where the constant abuse of
it as follows, the first thing any po- cause and the power to deny an and in his capacity as the leader (2) A police officer shall, before power inescapably becomes the
tential tyrant must do to eliminate arrested person the right to legal of the Malaysian Bar, walked into commencing any form of question- norm and the rights that we hold
freedom and the rule of law is to counsel. He seemed to be more the police station with a few other ing or recording of any statement dear, a thing of the past.
kill all the lawyers. powerful than the Federal Consti- lawyers to defuse the situation from the person arrested, inform
Enough about Shakespeare tution and the Criminal Procedure and secure the immediate release the person that he may:
and merry old England for now. Code combined. The Brickfields of the Brickfields Five. The rest (a) Communicate or attempt Sunil Lopez is a member of the
Let’s return to Malaysia and the Five stood defiantly against the stood around outside the station to communicate, with a relative Human Rights Committee, Bar
drama that unfolded in Brickfields, Headhunter and his gang. Unbe- eagerly waiting for good news. or friend to inform of his wherea- Council Malaysia. For more infor-
where on May 7, five lawyers knownst to the Brickfields Five, Unfortunately, they were all to be bouts; and mation, see www.malaysianbar.
were arrested. The “Brickfields the Headhunter was in no mood disappointed. Even the president (b) Communicate or attempt to org.my/hrc. The views expressed
Five” (as I shall refer to them) to act in accordance with the was unceremoniously forced to communicate and consult with a in this article are personal to the
had each received a call that their law. When the Brickfields Five exit the police station. legal practitioner of his choice. writer and may not necessarily
legal services were needed. Much attempted to use their powers of The Bar, since the incident, is (3) Where the person ar- represent the position of the Bar.
like Batman and Robin, they advocacy and reasonableness with up in arms about the actions of the rested wishes to communicate Complaints of rights violations
rushed to the Brickfields police the backing of the rule of law, they police force. Among other things, or attempt to communicate with may be forwarded to oysim@
station. When they got there, they were thwarted. The Brickfields it has called for the resignation of the persons referred to in para- malaysianbar.org.my for the
may have initially been a little Five tried in vain to convince the the home minister, the inspector- graphs (2)(a) and (b), the police consideration of the committee.
confused as to who the actual Headhunter that they were there general of police and the Head- officer shall, as soon as may be, However, we make no assurance
perpetrators were but it did not to provide legal assistance to the hunter. Some may ask what all the allow the arrested person to do that all cases will adopted for
take them long to figure things people who had been arrested fuss is about. People get arrested so. action.

Holding those in power to account Old examinations formula


by Yap Mun Ching beautified with is right. This demonstrates how powerful a might save the day
500 trees. Each scandal exposes Freedom of Information Act can
THE recent scandal in British MP is allowed a a fundamental be in holding those in power to I HAVE been following the
multiple changes that our local
politics involving its members
of Parliament sees no sign of
total of £24,000
(RM138,320) in
failure of the account. This scandal should
parliamentary de- also prompt countries with the examinations systems have letter
letters@thesundaily.com
going away as revelations last annual allowances. mocracy system same political system to carry gone through since 1975. Today
week claimed their 12th victim. With 646 MPs in the and it matters to out a review of privileges and to the Examination Syndicate,
The issue first came to light House of Commons, us because the close loopholes before it is too Education Ministry and the universities are facing a new scope of
last month when a newspaper the public outrage Malaysian parlia- late. Because by the time the examination results. This is most unwarranted for. The question in
published leaked information is clearly over more mentary system public finds out, it will be time the first place why did the Examination Syndicate allow the students
suggesting widespread abuse of than mere “jeal- is based on the to pack up. to sit for more than the nine subjects. The limit was in force since the
Senior Cambridge School Certificate was introduced to our country
claims privileges under the MPs’ ousy”. To add salt Freespace British model. A
by the British Colonial Administration.
second home programme. Since to the wound, it is multi-party de- Comment: letters@thesundaily.
then, the issue has grown to im- also revealed that Where young views rule mocracy system com Though the present system is exam oriented, there are gaps in
mense proportions prompting each shamed MP which usually what is taught to students. If you were to ask the students when the
calls for deep reforms. who is able to drag out his or functions to check on abuses Federation of Malaya was formed ... the answer comes as Aug
For an idea of how em- her tenure till the next general of power and privileges simply 31, 1955. Do you know what the
barrassing the scandal has election stands to “retire” with does not work in this situation. communists did to our country.
been for the British political a golden package totalling up All MPs have a stake in the al- They would stare into space.
establishment – the first revela- to £150,000 (RM865,410). No lowances scheme so there is Which British High Commissioner
tion involved Home Secretary wonder Britain has no problems no incentive for either side to was killed ... blank. Please do not
Jacqui Smith who had claimed filling the 646 seats. spill the beans. The house, in blame the children, the teachers
expenses for two pornographic These details aside, some short, acts in cahoots. do not read much either. They
movies bought by her husband pertinent questions have sur- The British case was merely interpret the school text
(Smith and two other minis- faced. Embattled MPs claim the result of persistence books.
ters are expected to quit the that the revelations are an by one journalist assisted I sat for my Senior Cambridge
cabinet). Other claims exposed intrusion of privacy as they have by powers provided by the School Certificate in 1963 taking
ranged from ludicrously ex- violated no written rules. Yet the Freedom of Information Act. the maximum of nine subjects. The
1381: In afterm crucial part of sitting for examina-
travagant ones such as for the guidelines are vague because it Even then, Brooke’s job was ath of
Black Death, 1843: Prime Mi
Britain nis tions in those years was in writing
clearing of a moat to petty ones relies on “honourable” members not straightforward. Her at- faces corrupt Robert Peel inh ter 2009: Prime Mi
ruling elite, erits nister
for bath plugs. Other more seri- behaving honourably. Even the tempts to gain information who govern in
name of
corrupt Hous
e of
Gordon Brow
n tries to
the answers. The term “multiple
ous manipulations were also dimmest MP cannot miscon- on MPs’ allowances were
14-year-old Kin
g
Commons, slu
mp in
rescue his lea
dership choice” was unheard of. The papers
Richard II, su world trade, fou amid public fur
afoot. Some were claiming for strue that this permits purchase fought by the full force of merchant tra
per-rich
harvests in a
r bad
MPs’ expens
y over were marked in England. And again
ders in City, row, and es scandal, no foul play. Many students sailed
mortgages that have already of pornography and payment of the establishment. House an d unpopular wa un popular wars su rging unemplo
r with in Ch ina ym ent,
been paid off, some pay “rent” phantom mortgages. of Commons Speaker France and Afghanist
an
global econom
ic crisis,
through with flying colours and went
and unpopular on to sit for the Cambridge High
to family members while oth- Another more serious ac- Michael Martin brought Peasant’s Re wars in
volt: Corn Laws: Im Iraq and Afgh
ers play around with home cusation is that the press has the matter all the way up He av y-h port anistan School Certificate. This WAS the only
anded attem tariffs support
to enforce po pts ing inflated Casualty of sc passport if one wanted to enter any
classifications to evade capital sold out the integrity of the Brit- to the High Court rather introduced to
ll tax – British wheat
pri ce s–
andal:
gains taxes. ish democracy for the sake of than institute reforms. pay for and profits of
farmers –
Brown could
face university. It was a quality certificate
war – trigger leadership ch
As the details surfaced, selling a few more copies. Does In the end, the law Rioters storm
revolt. lead to high bre
ad prices fol
allenge recognised internationally.
Tower of and fears of fam low ing expected
some MPs scrambled to repay this argument hold any water? prevailed, information is London, where ine Labour blood Hundreds of our senior civil service
bath in
their allowances while others Journalist Heather Brooke who forced into the open and government
is hiding, Un rest: Mass po
Jun e’s Euro election officers come from the old examina-
execute Arch ve rty Polls suggest s.
were clearly not contrite. Jus- started the ball rolling three Martin was forced to bishop of and reintroduc
tion of at least tions system and they have done well
Canterbury as half of 646 MP
tice Minister Shahid Malik was years ago by doggedly pursu- step down after his role Lord Chancello ll as
we income tax sp
ark riots, Ho us
s in and are doing an excellent job today.
r. two attempts e of Commons
forced to step down despite ing the matter, wrote a strong became clear. London’s stree Queen Victor
on life of be replaced at will Please limit the number of SPM
ts run ia and general
insisting that he did no wrong rebuttal. “If public servants The episode is
with blood as
rioters as sassination of
election – du
e by June subjects to nine and keep all the papers
behead City me Peel’s 2010 – as voter
in buying a £2,000 (RM11,522) can’t spend their expenses revealing in that even rchants private secre
tary, s take “subjective”. And entry to universities
Edward Drum revenge over
plasma television while Tory with prudence, how can we the most mature Poll tax aboli mond Westminster should be based on STPM results only.
shed corruption
Pictures: Richar Corn Laws rep
MP Anthony Steen was issued have faith that they will spend democracy is vulner- d
Gordon Brown II, Westminster Abbey; Ro
ea led
Calls for hone
a sack warning after accusing billions of our taxes wisely on able to failures when , Associated
Press
bert Peel by Sir
Thomas Lawren
st MPs K. Ramamurthy Achari
ce;
critics of being “jealous” of his large projects?” she asked. insufficient checks and Penang
© GRAPHIC NE
WS
“Balmoral-like” home that he The public can’t and she balances are instituted. It also