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Sunday, February 8, 2009

a note from Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysian Bar President

Re : Article at page N10 entitled “Bar : Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”

I was shocked to see your headline for the story at page N10 that read “Bar: Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”.

I had never spoken those words as you can see from the body of the story and it gives a totally wrong impression.

I would like you to immediately publish a clarification both on your website as well as in tomorrow’s edition of The Star in these terms:-

“It had been reported on 6 February 2009 at page 10 as follows: “Bar: Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”. It has been brought to our attention that these words were never uttered by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, the President of the Malaysian Bar and the headline gives a completely wrong impression of what was in fact said. We regret the error. We have received a further clarification from the President of the Malaysian Bar as follows:-

“I write to further clarify my statement that the prerogative of the Sultan cannot be challenged in Court. I had explained that in the view of some lawyers, this is a non-justiciable issue. Thus, although our view and the view of many is that the State Assembly ought to have in these circumstances been dissolved, but because the prerogative lies entirely with the Ruler who exercised it after going through a process of ascertaining the wishes of the majority, challenging it would be difficult. However in the Pairin case in Sabah such a discretion of a Governor (not a Ruler) was held to be justiciable. I stated that we are presently in unchartered territory. Different legal interpretations are always possible. The Bar would never take the position that one should not exercise the fundamental right to seek legal redress on any issue.”

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
Malaysian Bar

ShAuNnY BoY:P ~