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  • Dr Navin C Naidu

Freedom to associate

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

"Is there a juster justice and a more lawful law? " – Max Radin, American legal scholar

Article 10(1)(c) Federal Constitution (FC) is a broad-brush stroke upon the constitutional canvas expansively guaranteeing all citizens have the right to form associations while callously giving substance and meaning to liberty of the person at Article 5. Restrictions ambush the uninformed in Article 10(2).

Whether Malaysian politics attaches party loyalty, fidelity and vendetta with the freedom to associate is a toss of the dice given the events after February 2020. Conflating the constitutionality, unlawfulness or immorality of party-hopping in the hustle and bustle of politics is the DNA of the deep state.

“Constitutional positivism requires protection of the rule of law that depends wholly upon constitutional text,” declared the apex court in Karam Singh v. Minister of Home Affairs [1969] 2 MLJ 129 despite the skewering of Article 5 FC in the bargain. Thus, all 183 Articles and 13 Schedules FC are cast in constitutional concrete positivism that obviates clarification, explanation or justification.

But, the label “positivist” is a concept that denies any necessary connection between morality and law, according to D. Dyzenhaus, The Genealogy of Legal Positivism (2004). It appears the Karam Singh court engaged in intellectual malapropism caused by mental lethargy.


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