What we stand for

G25 is committed to pursue a just, democratic, peaceful, tolerant, harmonious, moderate and progressive multi-racial, multi cultural, multi religious Malaysia through Islamic principles of Wassatiyah (moderation) and Maqasid Syariah (well-being of the people) that affirms justice, compassion, mercy, equity.

Malaysia is to be led by rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and upholding the institution of the country.

We aim to ensure, raise awareness, promote that Syariah laws and civil laws should work in harmony and that the Syariah laws are used within its legal jurisdiction and limits as provided for by the federal and state division of powers.

There should be rational dialogues to inform people on how Islam is used for public law and policy that effects the multi ethnic and multi religious Malaysia and within the confines of the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the nation.

We work in a consultative committee of experts to advise the government and facilitate amendments to the state Syariah laws, to align to the Federal Constitution and the spirit of Rukun Negara.

It is imperative to achieve a politically stable, economically progressive Malaysia and to be able to enjoy the harmony, tolerance, understanding and cooperation in this multi diverse country.

Former COA judge startled by judgment in Kugan's case

A former Court of Appeal judge said he was startled by the recent majority judgment by the Federal Court which decided not to award exemplary damages of RM300,000 to the mother and family of A Kugan who died in custody nine years ago.

The damages awarded by the High Court were upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Commenting on the verdict, Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus said he agreed with the dissenting judgment given by Justice Zainun Ali on applying common law principles.

“I wholeheartedly agree with the dissenting judgment of Justice Zainun that the violation of a constitutional right (which is the case here) entitles the court to award exemplary damages against the tortfeasor," he said.

“The learned judge stated the law correctly. This has always been the position under the common law.

"I am startled and deeply saddened by the majority decision of the Federal Court,” he told Malaysiakini, adding an injustice has been occasioned here to the late Kugan and his family.

Kugan, 22, died in early 2009, after being beaten while on remand at the Taipan police station in Subang, Selangor. He was arrested on suspicion of stealing several motor vehicles.

The court judgment

Justice Zaharah Ibrahim, who wrote the majority judgment at the apex court, pointed out that Section 8(2)(a) of the Civil Law Act 1956 (CLA) states that the damages recoverable by the estate of a deceased person "shall not include any exemplary damages".

She said the High Court and the Court of Appeal took the position that this bar does not apply where there has been a breach of one's fundamental liberty of right to life under the Federal Constitution.

“However, the claim of the person on behalf of the estate of a deceased person under Section 8, must ‘stand to fail’ on the basis of Section 8(2),” Justice Zaharah said in the judgment that was supported by three other judges.

Justice Zainun in her dissenting judgment described the death of an individual in police custody as a clear violation of the most fundamental liberty as enshrined in Part II of the Federal Constitution.

“Custodial death should not ever become a new norm, for something is seriously wrong with a society if it does not find the senseless loss of lives abhorrent,” she added.

Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution, she said, guarantees the right to life, and the role of the court is to examine the award against the totality of the circumstance in which it was awarded, having regard to the conduct of the tortfeasor.

Justice Zainun added that since common law recognises the violation of a constitutional right, it should entitle the court to make an award of damages.

“Where a wrong is committed by the state or an instrument of the state which has the effect of depriving the victim of his life, the victim is entitled to an award of exemplary, or aggravated damages,” she added.

Lawyer M Visvanathan on Tuesday described the apex court decision as a sad day for justice.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo has called for an amendment of the CLA.

Malaysiakini

Related:

Poor judgments a reflection of today’s judiciary, says ex-judge, FMT

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