Posted: 11 Aug 2010 12:50 AM PDT
Source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article (By Yow Hong Chieh, 11/8/2010)
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng today revealed that less than one in 20 High Court suits filed by civilians against the government and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in the last five years has gone their way. Only 4.4 per cent of High Court suits favoured civilians, in contrast to the much higher proportion of such judgements in Sessions Court (54.6 per cent) and
"I can't speculate on that," said Lim, a lawyer by training. "But it seems that, if you want sue government or the police, you bring it to the lower courts," he joked. "You stand a higher chance. It seems that way."
From 2005 to 2009, 2,881 suits were filed against the government, 1,871 in High Court, 774 in Sessions Court and 236 in
Lim received the figures in a written reply to a question he had submitted for Parliament's April session. Calling the figures "the tip of the iceberg", he claimed that the cases listed in the reply were not an accurate representation of the true number of aggrieved civilians. He said this was because civilians had to have enough money, time and courage before they could sue the government. He gave the example of Pandamaran assemblyman Ronnie Liu, whose 21-year-old suit against the police was only concluded last year in his favour.
"Simple case — cops beat up civilian — can drag for more than 20 years," Lim said. "If you die young, too bad."He said that, by his estimation, for every civilian who sued the government of IGP, there were 10 more who lacked either the money, time or courage to take their case to court. Lim commended the Bar Council, which last month said it planned to set up a law committee to provide legal aid to those who cannot afford it. "I welcome the announcement, and I want the government to fully fund this committee," he said. "This is for the rakyat, not for us lawyers."
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