According to a Malaysiakini report dated Feb 23 by Hazlan Zakaria:
'One of the greatest flaws in the Malaysian system of governance, says a retired appellate court judge, is placing ministers above the law and beyond the review of the judiciary.
"The pernicious words, ‘the decision of the minister shall not be queried in any court of law' started off with the Internal Security Act and have made their way everywhere," lamented former Court of Appeals judge Mahadev Shankar.
"How can 222 MPs sit down and pass a law that makes the minister above the law they themselves make in Parliament?" Mahadev asked.
He said this at a forum on the constitution and governance at the activist group Loyarburok's resource centre in Kuala Lumpur today.
The forum, modelled on the "fish bowl" dialogue session, which is the rage in discussions overseas, was in conjunction with the launch of the book, The constitution of Malaysia: A contextual analysis, written by Professor Andrew Harding.
Mahadev also criticised the Official Secrets Act as a stopgap that would not serve to hide anything, as giving someone carte blanche to do things in secret would lead to excesses that would soon grow too big to be hidden.
He pointed out that transparency in the drafting of laws has become more opaque in recent times, relating how parliamentary blue papers or draft laws would be distributed to all concerned parties during his time in public service for effective feedback and discussion.
"Now, somebody had the bright spark to only give (the Bill) to MPs and on the day before it is tabled."
However, Mahadev said he was pleased to see more youths attending events such as this forum and wanting to know about the constitution and governance, as well as taking part in move to change Malaysia for the better.
His parting words: "Be hopeful, be brave and act within the law, if at all possible."