I dedicate the following as a Valentines gift to all my readers and fans, especially for Edmund Bond. Hatreds do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth.
I was in the backseat, smiling to myself listening to the chatters of two amazing lawyers that i look up to very much. It felt like I was there with my grandfather and dad, just that dad in this case would be bald, and listens to Tracy Chapman and I swear Haji looks just like Dada*, he even has the turban. They were talking about something rotten in the state of Denmark.
I was thinking why Denmark our Judiciary … My heart skipped a beat, “hey I care about the judiciary too… How is anything going to change if we lawyers don’t do something about it!”, ” Come on Lings, to hell with self censorship! They are so rotten they stink, you have to say something!”, ” No man, you wanna crash your career before it takes off?”, “Like dude, even the senior lawyers are just talking about something rotten in Denmark not Putrajaya!”, “But you must! No? Otherwise education wasted! No?”, “You got no balls!” …
I was just about to reach my migraine point when I overheard Boss say “I love her to the very bits …” and then Haji said “Then tell that to her!”. For a moment I was stunned, there I was distracted from a very important thought process on how to address the judiciary and completely blown away by the middle aged man’s expression of love for his wife with such vivid passion. As the seniors continued their chatter, I was drowning myself in love. Thoughts of the florist occupied my mind, i was imagining having such passion for her in the far future, and I got distracted again. This time it was the radio playing some God forsaken song by Taylor Swift.
So anyway, it got me thinking about love and the judiciary. No! Not Tyler Swift but lawyers and love, think about it these are people you go to for a divorce . Does it not make you wonder how do they love? Judges send people to death, like really how progressive or compassionate can they be? They are supposed to be wise, progressive and their job among others is to tell the parliament what can and what cannot be law. We are one of the few countries in the world that still hang people, how progressive is that? What is the point of having a Palace of Justice when the justice it expounds is corrupt, perverted and ridiculous? Like no insult to the judges, but is it that hard to see that sending someone to the gallows solves nothing?
Don’t tell me that it is the will of the people, and so it must be respected. Judges or even lawyers are supposed to be the bunch that vanguards the society into progress, but look at where our society is now. We just had our ex Prime Minister admit to high treason which has undermined the development of our society. Our whole election process is tainted, we had over 300 000 people on the roads demanding for clean and fair elections. All three arms of the government are tainted with corruption, enough is enough we need to act now.
We cannot afford to act as if everything is in order, for us to continue to kill people by law for whatever reason is not progress, it is destroying our society. If the layman does not understand this, it’s okay but if a Judge cannot see this then really what is the point of all that education? We amended our constitution over 600 times since it came into effect, how many were progressive amendments? How many times have Judges given a progressive judgement? We have become such a sick society, that public prosecutors would proudly brag about the number of people they have successfully prosecuted to death.
We need to review all our laws, our courts must play a greater role in shaping a progressive society. In order to progress we must stop state violence, we need better check and balance and most of all we need an independent judiciary. All you lawyers including myself, we bear the blood of our people that die at the hands of the law, because we failed to push our society in the right direction. We still have capital punishment because our courts have a perverted sense of justice. Our profession used to be noble, not because we derived divine powers to kill with legal justifications. It was noble because we were assumed to be farsighted and with our knowledge we build a better society.
We are considered to be the thinking faculty of our nation, we manifest the dialectical process of the human mind. We understand how a bill becomes an act, we understand where law derives its legitimacy from, and we know how sick it is to allow an institution to kill humans. To alienate law from philosophy and compassion only creates an arrogantly disillusioned and dangerous judiciary. We have the intellectual capacity to put an end to capital punishments, we have campaigns with people pushing for such changes. What is missing is the political will to do so.
The courts must stop murdering people, and then justify it as an act of democracy, such insanity must stop. We the people, the rakyat must strip this power from the courts, the judiciary is tainted and a tainted judiciary should never have the right to put a human however guilty of whatever crime to death. The provision in the Constitution which says no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law, must be amended to no person shall be deprived of his life. Our Federal Constitution is a living document that should receive a fair, liberal and progressive construction in order to stay relevant.
Don’t quote Andrew Harding please, i was not amused when he said our Constitution is to be admired. Really what is there to admire about that so called document of destiny? A document that reminds us of how sick we are, how stupid we are that we need a document to guarantee our rights. Where is our common sense? Where is our humanity and where is our compassion? Someday we have to let go of that document, or we will never develop.
This valentines, i hope the people will stay true to the commitment of building a great nation. Let us love, and stop the violence, there is no point celebrating love when we collectively commit murder legally. I am calling for all Malaysians to call for the repeal of capital punishments in Malaysia. If our laws are derived from the common law, then just like how we apply cases decided in England to our cases, why do we not follow their Parliaments act in getting rid of capital punishments? Do not fool the people by saying that it is the will of the people. It is not, it is a creature of the English legislature which has since matured to abandon capital punishments. It is about time our Judiciary did some progressive changes itself.
I would like to end this piece with a tribute of admiration for one of our greatest judges, the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader. The great judge had two loves in his life; one was the law, the other his wife. It is said that he loved the law to madness, and the only thing he loved more was his wife, Haseena (beautiful in Urdu). Tan Sri Eusoffe was a victim of the 1988 judicial crisis. When Haseena passed away in 1993, the judge was devastated. After her passing he would publish poems written in her memory in full-page advertisements to mark the day she went away. He penned his poems in Latin, a language which he loved. Tan Sri Eusoffe had been profoundly depressed after Haseena’s passing, and he lost his zest for life. In 1996 the legendary Judge took his own life in a tragic circumstance. Today i remember and celebrate such love, i end with quoting his poem from 1994 :
“Soror, lux mea?
My love, Light of my Life!
Puto ex te in silentio,
I think of thee in silence,
Et saepe loqui tuam name:
And often speak thine name:
Omnia mea sunt habentque memorias,
All I have are memories,
Et photos in artus;
And photos in a frame;
Vaga requiem tuam,
To thy resting-place I wander,
Ut collocet rosarum cum amore et solicitudine:
To place roses with love and care:
Nemo scit dolorem,
But no one can know the heartache,
Sicut me vertam et derelinquent te ibi;
As I turn and leave thee there;
Nullum monumentum stare potest plus strenus.
No monument can stand more stalwart.
Amorem esse perpetuum sit et semper sit memor laetare,
Than the everlasting love we share, let’s then rejoice,
Sed si facit talem cuiusdam servus. ”
Ever bear in mind that such a bond surely makes us but one of a kind.”
*Dada – Punjabi reference to dad’s father.