Blacklisting gutter politics
Writer: Lord Bobo
Published: Fri, 01 Apr 2011
What do you think about our country’s current situation, and where it is heading? @abbyshahrin, via Twitter
There is never a dull moment in this country. In the midst of so much suffering and injustice, here we are, obsessed with a sex vid. It’s like we are a country of pubescent teenagers.
Unfortunately, as the mainstream media is controlled by the ruling government coalition; they get to choose was is published and what is not. For days, we were bombarded with news on who the mysterious man in the video was, as only “high-ranking
media representatives” were allowed to watch this video at a private screening hosted by the elusive “Datuk T”. You can’t make this stuff up.
It was finally revealed that “Datuk T” was in fact a trio – Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik, Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Datuk Shuaib Lazim. As expected, the video became the centre of attention for supporters of both the government and the opposition.
Everyone was so busy elbowing each other out of the way as they attempted to get on their soapbox having mounted their moral high horse, that the questions of how, why, and who were forgotten.
Hidden camera? Nevermind lah. Political ploy?
It’s okay lah. Is it even who they say it is? Doesn’t matter lah!
Unfortunately, gutter politics seems to be the norm in Malaysia. This is not to say that it is not normal elsewhere – even the US and British elections are almost always affected by some sensational issue or other, be it some old photo being dug up, a candidate being caught slagging off a group of people, or someone forgetting to turn off his mic and making damaging statements.
We all love a good scandal, and a nice juicy piece of news.
But while the sensationalist gutter politics are a part of election campaigns worldwide, most developed nations (and societies) do focus on other, real, issues too. In Malaysia, gutter politics seems to be just about the only kind of politics everyone gets excited about.
But hey, let’s not be too depressed about Malaysia’s current state. It is, after all, still peaceful and harmonious with no mass civil unrest. Lord Bobo is all about channelling positive vibes everywhere.
And this is where the Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok comes in – that awesome brand spanking new “rakyat centre” in Bangsar Utama. The centre was set up as a place to gather, mobilise and empower more people to join the LoyarBurok army.
What does this “army” fight for?
Well, our current initiative, UndiMalaysia!, is about voter education, and making the rakyat aware of what issues to discuss when it comes to politics, and exercising their right to vote. Say no to gutter politics, don’t let yourself be distracted from the real issues that politicians should be addressing.
To find out more, go here. Join the army. There may be free bananas. And hey, we may be politically nonpartisan, but we sure love a party, son!
Is it lawful for the government to blacklist a driver and prevent him from renewing his road tax just because he has an outstanding traffic summons, if he has not been convicted of the alleged traffic offence? @Boleh Settle?, via email
Many people do not understand their rights as citizens of Malaysia.
The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the state. It guarantees the right of all Malaysians, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, and political affiliation. All citizens are guaranteed equal rights.
One of the rights guaranteed by the constitution is the people’s right to property. Article 13 provides that (1) no person shall be deprived of property except in accordance with law; and (2) no law shall make provision for the taking or use of property by force, without adequate compensation.
Article 13 is often used in land acquisition cases. However, Article 13 actually does not only encompass immovable property such as land, but includes movable property such as vehicles.
Therefore, if the Road Transport Department (RTD) prevents someone from renewing his or her road tax, the RTD is denying that person’s constitutionally granted right to property.
Based on the constitution then, if this denial is without any legally justifiable reason, the RTD should compensate the vehicle owner.
This is not some theoretical legal argument dreamt up in a haze of purple banana shakes; the courts have actually ruled that the RTD cannot blacklist vehicles because of an offence that has not been proven in court, and that any such action is contrary to Article 13.
In fact, the RTD has been directed to pay compensation to a successful applicant because he had to rent another vehicle.
Hence, vehicle-owners please note: your rights are protected by the constitution, and the authorities cannot arbitrarily deny your right to renew your road tax. If you are prevented from renewing your road tax without a valid reason you should ask the RTD for a written reason for the prevention.
And remember, there is always the possibility of you suing the RTD for damages, including for the loss of use of your vehicle.