Debate On The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill : The Workers’ Party Getai Show


By: B Goode

This month is the month when hungry ghosts roam the earth looking for food and some entertainment. Yesterday in Parliament, they had some from the Workers’ party (WP). I don’t know about the food, but there was certainly a lot of drama dished out by the WP’s wayang troupe.

For 7 hours they gave a performance worthy of their monthly allowance. Their target audience, whoever that might be (ghosts and the living deads), might have been impressed but for many other discerning viewers, it was a waste of time.

First thing first. I for one am not in favour of this contempt of court thinghy. In a roundabout way, I agree with the WP in that the law on contempt of court is way, way too broad. But it is not because it infringes on freedom of speech as they have argued. It has something to do with the democratic system.

Many people are not aware that the judiciary forms part of the government. And in a democracy, the people is king. But since the judiciary is not elected by the people, there must be other means for them to be accountable to the people. The law on contempt of court in effect cuts the means for the people to put the judiciary in check or the ability for the people to scrutinize the performance of the judiciary.

So why did I say that the WP was just performing a wayang show?

Because the law on the contempt of court has been around since the British set foot on this island. Only thing is that it was carried out based on precedents.  The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill that they debated in Parliament yesterday was actually the same thing except that the law is now written down.

So what exactly was the WP against? It seemed as if they were only against the law being written down. Because if they were against the law, they should have done their protest a long, long time ago. It seemed as if they had just realised that there was this draconian law simply because they saw it written on a piece of paper.

Lest they forget, they have six MPs in parliament. Enough for them to table a Bill to renounce the contempt of court law. The British did it in 2013. Granted the Bill will never see it being passed considering that they are in a minority but at least it would be a proper way to go about it and not seen as pandering to the masses or simply put, performing a getai show.

Will the WP do it? I highly doubt so because knowing the WP, it will be too much of a hard work for them.

So on behalf of our `brothers’, I would like to give the WP a slow clap. It was one helluva show!


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