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Bitter, blunt and bold

In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.

– Jordan B. Peterson, Canadian clinical psychologist

Jordan B Peterson has brilliantly bequeathed a bitter, blunt and bold aphorism that should be useful for those safeguarding their precious rights, privileges and immunities that are riddled with unwelcome restrictions.

Citizens clamouring for contentment are deemed blunt and bold because of their growing dissatisfaction with bitter, careless and callous government policies. National pathos gathers momentum.

Article 10 (Malaysian Federal Constitution) supposedly grants freedom of speech, assembly and association. This blunt and bold statement of ‘constitutional supremacy’ is evidently bitter for Parliament.

Section (2) (a) (b) (c) of Article 10 requires citizens to swallow the bitter pill of parliamentary supremacy with “such restrictions as Parliament deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security, public order, or morality of the Federation . . .”

The restrictions in Article 10 are an affront to the basic structure doctrine of the Federal Constitution. The supreme law of the land is bitterly subject to Parliament’s extreme laws that disturb its basic structure doctrine.

The Reid Commission (1955-1957) was probably not cognizant of the basic structure doctrine which the Supreme Court of India entrenched in 1973 in the seminal Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala that fettered parliamentary amendments to the Indian Constitution.

Malaysian jurisprudence occasioned a bold judicial pronouncement concerning constitutional supremacy in Ah Thian v. Government of Malaysia [1976] 2 MLJ 113. Some fifty years later, the same apex court bitterly and bluntly reversed itself in Sivarasa Rasiah v. Badan Peguam Malaysia [2010] 3 CLJ 507.

Common law gets invariably buffeted by subjective judicial attitudes. Principles of law advancing bitter, blunt and bold truths that have withstood time-honoured and time-tested trials and tribulations are simply cast aside in favour of the dictates of unseen hands.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” remarked the inimitable George Orwell. That should be equally palatable for both the oppressor and the oppressed.

Mixed emotions accompanied by a volley of strong thoughts come flooding into my consciousness as a rapid-fire reminder to stay alert and focused when local constitutional supremacy agitates the Westminster monster that denied itself a written constitution.

If Article 10 Federal Constitution is intended to be a guardian of morality, how come parliamentary laws, such as the Computer Crimes Act, and the Communications and Multimedia Act, among others, allow unimpeded access to Internet pornography?

Here the bitterness, boldness and bluntness of parliamentary supremacy mocks constitutional supremacy like a coterie of cocky crows cackling at some disused scarecrows in a paddy field in Kedah.

How does a democracy operate and remain functional when laws are ensnared between forked-tongues, double trouble, doublespeak and double standards? Like selective prosecution, citizens are subject to selective persecution as …


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