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Human institutions

"Every institution is the lengthened shadow of one man."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist

As soon as the American revolutionaries jettisoned the British yoke, they went about instituting a federal government. One of the protagonists, Thomas Paine, had constantly complained that government, by its very nature, is evil and intolerable.

John Locke conceptualised a liberal and limited government. This global oxymoron has prevailed throughout the ages with willing preys and waiting predators. Therefore, nobody has the right to complain. 

Should we await the long overdue lengthened shadow of the man, or woman, who sees fit to abolish and outlaw government with its coterie of greedy institutions? 

Significant forces — population, production, reproduction, regulation and distribution — impelled the evolution of human institutions that created kinship, economy, religion, polity, law and education. Inevitably, tribalism wrought safety and security in numbers. 

“Today, it’s no longer left or right-wing politics; it’s the politics of open or shut government,” suggested Tony Blair. Politicians gloat and boast until the temperature of election fever runs high. 

Incompetents mismanage the economy. The polity is in disarray. Education is in ruins. Law and justice grapple with disfigured cultural patterns. Race and religion rage on. The elite and the bourgeoise enjoy their distractions. 

The human institution of change and reform remains embryonic. Justified resistance and meaningful dissent meet heavy-handed reaction by the authorities instead of peaceful interaction. 

Intellectuals who are fed up say that that there are only two (in)human institutions that have real impact, power and authority: money and bullets. Both kill at will. 

Wars thus became necessary. Killing, plundering and grabbing territories is the norm till today. The genius appears in the form of a well-honed post-war human institution called ‘palpable justification’. 

Law and justice, supposedly the last hope for mankind, paints a dismal picture. MLK, Jr. assured us that “we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” 

Law and justice in Malaysia are strangers to one another. Both had a horrible upbringing without sustenance from Natural Law. Both received succor from caselaw (prior binding decisions) thanks to the ‘felt necessities of the times’. 

Legal positivism reigns and rules supreme. Natural Law is relegated to religious courts. The Law Giver is replaced by the Law Maker. Third-rate lawyers, judges and legal scholars prefer confusion to blur the lines of definition and determination. 

In Malaysia, one imprisoned former prime minister and the current prime minister share one common feature — both met the forces of pardons, remissions and respites. They are now competent criminology consultants. 

Article 42 Federal Constitution is a powerful human institution. If the supreme law of the land says it’s lawful, legal and legitimate to be constitutionally forgiven, what better argument is there? 

Those who disagree with the power of pardon must find ways and means to constitutionally amend this provision. Whether it will succeed is another story for another era. 

The electorate is another powerless human institution. For example, eighty-five million Americans believe the 2020 election was fraudulently stolen from President Donald Trump. 

Thirty or so American judges thought otherwise, and dismissed all civil and criminal complaints. Eighty-five million trumped by thirty means these two human institutions are still deeply polarised. 

One human institution tries and punishes the wrongdoer in open court at the trial phase. The wrongdoer has two more bites of the cherry. Appellate courts don’t try the case, but they try the finder of fact and law! 

Many silly laws must find their way into the bin of jejune jurisprudence. Section 33A(1) Industrial Relations Act 1967 clearly qualifies when you research Cheek Hong Leong v. KYM Industries (M) Sdn Bhd [1997] 7 C.L.J.317 High Court. 

Another silly law is section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964. You need consent (leave) to appeal. Why even mention it if such consent is subject to a denial or rejection? 

Public Enemy Number One has never been tried in a court of law. However, in November 2023 the Court of Appeals decided that vernacular schools teaching Mandarin and Tamil is constitutional. Wrong target! 

James Madison emphasised that “the safety and happiness of society are the objects of at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.” 

This Madisonian rhetoric has never sprouted roots anywhere. Sacrifice for the people? Which leader can we recall who sacrificed the very institution he craved after? 

The one human institution that is free from any and all controls, and laws, is the fbi (finance banking investment) industry. Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812), the fbi icon said it for all times: “Give me control over a nation’s currency, and I care not who makes its laws.” 

Malaysia’s Federal Constitution actually contains a shadow-stopper at Article 48(1)(a) where those with unsound minds are disqualified from seeking political office. The Agong as Chief Executive should enforce this discipline. 

Inhuman institutions — abuse of power, corruption, misuse of public funds, and selective prosecutions — must face the strictest of sanctions when law and justice are fortified with renewed pith and substance. 

One human institution sorely missing is a Parliament of Religions where a Charter of Enlightenment and Enfranchisement will make Article 11 Federal Constitution a shining beacon of perpetual light. 

The Ministry of National Unity is a burdensome non-entity. 

Disobeying or violating the Malaysian Federal Constitution must encounter extreme sanctions. That’s no way to treat the supreme law of the land.


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