Judicially reviewing New Kamasutra
Writer: Lord Bobo
Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2011
Dear Lord Bobo, what’s a judicial review? Is it reviewing the judiciary? Also, can a judicial review be reviewed? What’s that called? Rearviewmirror, via email
JUDICIAL review is the name given by lawyers and the courts to give the illusion that some semblance of the rule of law remains in Malaysia. Okay, sorry, we should take off our cynic’s hat for this. Let’s start again.
Judicial review is the mechanism for the judiciary to review the actions of the Executive branch of government (meaning the prime minister and cabinet, or civil servants) or laws passed by the Legislature. It is sometimes confused by laypersons (which is not people who like to lie down a lot, it is just a poofy way of referring to “normal folk”) with the process of reviewing a judicial decision, which is technically an “appeal” or “revision”.
In Malaysia, to judicially review governmental action, you must file your application for leave to apply for judicial review within 40 days of the decision you are aggrieved by. If the government refuses to make any decision, you’re better off peeling bananas than hoping to find some way to appeal.
If you miss the 40-day deadline, too bad for you, Mr Aggrieved Citizen, as the courts seem to have forgotten that they have the discretion to extend time (not in an altering the space-time continuum sorta way, we mean they can extend that 40-day deadline). Oops, sorry, that cynic’s hat slipped on again – taking it back off.
The Attorney General’s Chambers can choose to come and object to leave (meaning they can ask that someone not be allowed to judicially review a decision) if they feel the applicant is a trouble maker. The AG is meant to be acting in the public interest rather than as lawyer for the government. Of course, that is based on the assumption of having an AG who understands there is a difference between the public interest and the government’s interest.
Malaysia does not have such an AG. Hence, the AG will always come and object to your leave application if you are actually seeking to review government action, and 8.5 times out of 10 the courts will buckle under and dismiss your application for leave on grounds that it is frivolous. The 10th time, the Court of Appeal will dismiss your application for you. That 0.5 is where the court will begrudgingly give you leave for a part of your application.
Wait, are we wearing that cynic’s hat again? As what we are saying is based on solid fact and not mere theory or hypothesis, perhaps it is not a cynic’s hat after all, but a realist’s one.
Anyway, if you by random chance happen to be in that 0.5 position, once you have your leave, the AG will come back as lawyers for the government department and by reason of a plethora of legal machinations (all legitimate, of course), be able to convince a judge that the government did no wrong.
It is curious – most Malaysian judges are incapable of finding that the government has ever done anything wrong. Perhaps we should all chip in and buy them some glasses?
My husband wants me to buy a copy of that new sex book by the Obedient Wives Club. But I think it’s degrading to women, don’t you? Gertrude Tham, via email
FIRST of all, His Supreme Loveship does not think sex is degrading. Through sex, Sir Alex Ferguson was born so that legions of men around the world may eat and sleep football and thus escape from their responsibilities quasi-legitimately. Through sex also, George Lucas was born and bestowed upon us a good Star Wars trilogy. (Ok, so the bad Star Wars trilogy was later conceived and tortured us with terrible CGI and Best Performance by a Piece of Wood Playing a Human Being in the form of one Hayden Christensen. But still.) Sex is a biological necessity for both the survival and progress of humankind (and monkeykind as well, mind you).
Yet, humans, particularly those occupying Asia and that famous middle belt of North America, get all flappy and flustered whenever the topic of sex is discussed both brazenly and publicly. Perhaps some of us still have conservative views about sex. We coyly believe it’s a private matter best confined to the bedroom where it’s experienced by two people (or more, based on that OWC book), in whatever gender permutation, or man to animal ratio preferred. Even though we have probably done more things with a glow-stick than a Jacky Cheung fan.
But what if religious law says you can have four wives? What if the law – at least according to the OWC – also suggests that sex on demand is the best way for women to prevent their husbands from straying? We don’t have to subscribe to the same laws or even the interpretation of such laws.
But surely, we can allow ourselves to be awed by the openness to sex by a bunch of supposed fundamentalists who have even created an alternative to the great Kamasutra? His Supreme Awesomeness is, for sure. And this is coming from the ape-x of awesomeness. The title alone blew us away: Islamic Sex, Fighting Jews to Return Islamic Sex to the World – holy banana muffins!
As to the reason your husband would want this book – well, perhaps he’s researching wars and wonders if “sex” here is a metaphor for “sleeping enemies”. Or perhaps he’s recently found interest in contortions after befriending a fakir. And he now wants to push his body to the limit – with some help.
Or perhaps he just wants some good old-fashioned TLC – with a twist or two. Whether you want to satisfy his curiosity is entirely up to you – unless of course you’re actually an Obedient Wife who happens to be a bit on the rebellious side. In this case, maybe you could start the Disobedient Wives Club. That way, every time your husband asks for some, you can ignore him or point him to the cactus.