Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rulers can be sued, says Kit Siang - Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 12 — DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has condemned the spate of police reports over party chairman Karpal Singh's stand that Rulers can be taken to court.

The 89 reports accusing Karpal of treason led to him being questioned by police for two hours yesterday.

"This is the height of nonsense in the police and the Home Ministry," said the Ipoh Timur MP in a press statement today, adding that the Rulers can be sued under Malaysia's constitutional monarchy.

The two DAP big guns appeared to have a falling out when Karpal's insisted on suing Sultan Azlan Shah for declaring that Barisan Nasional could form the government in Perak but did not get Lim's support.

After Karpal had criticised Lim at a press conference, the two met to bury the hatchet and while Lim still does not support suing the Perak Ruler in this case, he stated today that it is legal and not an act of treason to bring a monarch to court.

"Are all the law professors and lecturers going to be questioned by the police for teaching their students that Rulers can be sued in court in their official capacities? Are all the judges and the lawyers in the country going to be charged with treason for holding that Rulers can be sued in their official capacities?" he asked.

Instead, the DAP stalwart called on the 89 people who lodged the reports to have investigations opened against them for making "false police reports".

He cited an article in the Star yesterday, where Universiti Teknologi Mara law professor Dr Shad Faruqi wrote that "from Day One of Merdeka, the King and the Sultans were open to civil suit for their official actions. They were only immune personally. In 1993 even the personal immunity was taken away. In sum it is not a violation of the Constitution to resort to the courts to seek an authoritative opinion on one's rights and duties".

"The illegitimate Perak state exco member, Dr Mah Hang Soon, is one of the 89 who should be investigated for lodging a false report against Karpal in his capacity as Perak MCA Youth leader," Lim added.

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