The confirmation by Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas that the AG’s Chambers will not be appealing the recent High Court decision declaring section 13 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, 2012 (SOSMA) unconstitutional is a breath of fresh air and a step in the right direction towards restoring the rule of law and judicial independence in this country.
Battered by the judicial crisis in the 80s, the judiciary has suffered severe damage to its image as an independent body of government, albeit there being signs of recovery with recent courages judgements of the Federal Court such as in the cases of Semenyih Jaya and Indira Gandhi.
Semenyih Jaya has restored the independence of the judiciary from the executive and recognises the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.
The AG’s said decision acknowledges that judicial power has been undermined in instances where the executive dictates terms to the judiciary, such as in prohibiting the grant of bail, whether absolutely or conditionally, in the case of the said section 13.
That there is a pressing need to restore confidence in the judiciary is beyond doubt and developments such as these will certainly help in achieving that aim.
The AG must now concentrate his efforts towards the abolition of draconian laws that the Pakatan Harapan government has pledged to abolish in its election manifesto such as the Sedition Act and various provisions of SOSMA itself which undermine judicial independence and basic human rights.
It is hoped that such efforts are made sooner rather than later as the matter concerns the rule of law, which this government has repeatedly pledged to uphold.
Dated this 13th December, 2019.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY