Sunday, March 15, 2009

Everyone has their right to an attorney

Because of the influence from the Perak Umno rebel state government, the Ipoh High Court had denied Perak State Assembly Speaker V.Sivakumar’s right to have an attorney to represent him in his suit against the rebel state administration.

They reason that since Sivakumar as a Speaker is a public or civil servant, he has no right to engage an attorney of his own to address his case in the court against the rebel state government led by Umno. According to Umno he could only be represented by the state legal advisor.

This ruling does not make any sense at all. In this case every public or civil servant who has a case to be heard in the court will have to engage the state legal advisor or attorney-general to act on their behalf. A teacher is a public servant, a customs officer is a public servant, a municipal council worker is a public servant, the driver of the prime minister’s official vehicle is a public servant, a clerk attached to the treasury department is a public servant, a cleaner working in the prime minister’s official residence is also a public servant.

So does the attorney-general or state legal advisor have to answer to the calls of all public servants who are in a legal tussle or whatever case they may have to face? Why can’t a public servant have their every right to choose or select an attorney of their own to represent them? What is wrong with the judicial commissioner who sat in the chambers of Ipoh High Court? Why can’t he use the common sense to make the judgment correct but choose to depend blindly on the standard proceedings of the government which applies generally to only specific application and not as the entire service?

Well, the Court of Appeal had finally given its judgment and allowed Sivakumar to have his rights back to seek his own attorneys to represent him. Sivakumar’s basic human rights had been restored after being denied by the Ipoh High Court judgment.

The Perak Umno rebel state government had tried to prevent Sivakumar from advancing his legal suit against them by misusing the stature of the state civil service for their political ends.

The federal constitution guarantees all its citizens their rights to an attorney. And by depriving one’s right to an attorney means insulting the federal constitution as well. As such, Umno had in fact insulted the federal constitution.

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