Monday, 13 July 2015

Saving Malaysia from the idiots, hypocrites and cowards.

Sometimes it feels as if we're all heading for the cliff in a runaway car, and we are bickering about what we should listen to on the radio. I'm sad because I see ‎Malaysia heading that way right now.

We Malaysians have to ‎focus.

Stop letting the idiots, hypocrites and cowards set the agenda. Hold them up to a higher ‎standard .

Hold yourself up to the highest standard your better self wish for you to have.

We can still save Malaysia, one day at a time.

Let me just quote Obama on this. His words ring true for us now in 2015:-
"We’ve got some enormous challenges out there. ... But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. ... We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve. And I’m confident we can solve them, but we’re going to have to focus on them — not on this."
- Transcript of Obama’s remarks on his birth certificate issue on April 27, 2011

Jason Kay
(initially posted on Facebook on 05 June 2015)

Monday, 15 June 2015

Law for the Layman, part 1, Interpreting the Law – by Jason Kay, Melaka

These are a series of short articles introducing basic legal concepts to the inquisitive lay person. Law is both an art (at the higher levels) and a science (at its core). There is no mystery to it. If you are curious about how lawyers think, do read on.

Part 1: Interpreting the Law

The classic lesson on how to interpret laws is the hypothetical “No Vehicle in the Park” law.

Assume that there is a law stating that no VEHICLE is allowed in the park.

It naturally follows that if a vehicle goes into the park, then there would be a breach of this law attracting sanctions (usually this would mean a fine, but it could also include a term of imprisonment).

Simple enough so far?

Now, this is where the lesson begins: How would you argue for/against (a) person(s) charged with “using a vehicle in the park” in contravention of the clear law stating that there can be “no vehicle in the park” for these 7 separate scenarios.

1. Adam drives his car through the park to save on commute time.

2. Garbage trucks coming into the park daily to empty the trash cans placed in the park.

3. An ambulance with an emergency case cutting across the park because it is the shortest way to the hospital.

4. Policemen on motorcycles riding through the park in hot pursuit of robbers who ran into the park.

5. Children riding their bicycles in the park.

6. A mother pushing her baby in a pram in the park.

7. Trishaws ferrying tourists on a scenic tour of the park.

A lawyer would ask 2 questions.

First question: Is it a vehicle? (i.e. the car, garbage truck, ambulance, motorcycle, bicycle, pram, and trishaw). If it is, go to the next question. If it is not, stop here because there is no contravention of the law.

Second question: Is there a valid reason for allowing the “vehicle” into the park even though there is a clear law against having vehicles in the park? Putting it in a different way: Should there be exceptions? If yes, why, and when?

If you can see the differences in the 7 scenarios and present a coherent argument that would justify your conclusion consistently, you are one step closer to thinking like a lawyer.