Individual rights a hot issue

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 28 Dec 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The judiciary dealt with more constitutional issues this year, particularly on the rights of an individual.

Early last month, four men obtained leave from the Seremban High Court to challenge a syariah law ruling that barred them from dressing as females.

They sought a declaration from the Civil High Court that Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (NS) Enactment had no effect and was not applicable to them, contending they were psychologically women or had gender identity disorder.

The four, who work as bridal make-up artists, were granted the leave by Justice Rosnaini Saud on the grounds that the matter involved various constitutional issues. No date has been fixed to hear the judicial review application.

In the application, Muhamad Juzaili Mohd Khamis, 24, Shukor Jani, 25, Wan Fairol Wan Ismail, 27, and Adam Shazrul Mohd Yusoff, 25, named the Negri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department, its director, chief syariah enforcement officer, chief syariah prosecutor and the state government as respondents.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz, who underwent a sex change operation, failed in his application on May 25 to change his name to Aleesha Farhana Abdul Aziz on his MyKad.

The High Court hearing his case ruled that it had no power to make any order in relation to changing the gender status in personal identification based solely on a sex change operation, in the absence of provisions in law.

Justice Mohd Yazid cited three grounds for the rejection the chromosome count, genital organ during birth and internal organs.

Mohd Ashraf died two weeks later from unstable angina with cardiogenic shock.

In another ruling, the Court of Appeal declared a provision in the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) 1971 restricting students from expressing support for or opposing any political party as unconstitutional.

In a landmark 2-1 majority decision, the three-man panel held that Section 15 (5) (a) of the UUCA was unreasonable and violated freedom of speech.

Besides cases involving constitutional issues, the long-running sodomy trial of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim continued to get wide media attention.

Come Jan 9, the High Court will give its verdict whether Anwar is guilty or not on the charge of committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature three years ago against former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 26. - Bernama

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