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Excavating claims and dredging rights

The greatest praise government can win, is that its citizens know their rights and dare to maintain them. — Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans

Vision, Mission and Provision 2023 has arrived on a firm foothold for politically active citizens and public action councils (PACs) to maintain their frequently forgotten and seldom invoked bundle of claims and rights. The State exists for the sake of the Individual, and not vice versa because both must sacrifice some rights, claims, interests, privileges, duties and obligations under the supreme law of the land in an unapologetic effort to maintain morals, public order, economic life and national security.

PACs must be welcomed for constant interaction with an open-door government because that is the business the latter has agreed to engage in without force or pressure; interact to motivate and enable MPs to raise issues in Parliament relating to the well-being of their constituents; offer significant assistance to lawmakers as it records, catalogues and presents MPs with people-centric parliamentary business; and participate in the passing of necessary, needful and proper laws for the betterment of Malaysian society ranging from airports to zebra-crossings.

It is insulting to the Federal Constitution (FC) for anyone demanding proof from it when it is the leading, controlling and enabling document for all claims, rights, privileges, duties, functions and obligations for the Individual and the State. In other words, the FC is res judicata — settled law — for the proposition that Parliament position itself one step behind the FC.

Public education is certainly another candidate for PACs’ intervention. The State controlling education policy is an affront to human rights even in totalitarian regimes. After all, Article 152 FC grants everyone the right and privilege of learning or being taught in any language other than the National Language (Malay). The ghosts of Merdeka University and UEC issues aside, the State is always beholden to the supreme law of the land, and legislation must stand in the shadows of constitutional supremacy.

Public and private education should offer compulsory subjects such as civics, economics and political science instead of...


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