What? No justice for Mazu?

Posted on July 27, 2010

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Some years back, the Privy Council, hearing an appeal from New Zealand, made the observation that one cannot refine the law to a point where the law becomes an ass.

In my view, once again today, the law was made an ass.

The Federal Court today refused leave to former Sabah chief minister Chong Kah Kiat to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in striking out two suits he had brought in relation to the halting of the project to construct the Mazu statue in Kudat,  on the basis that Chong had no locus standi to bring those actions in his name as the chairman of the Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation which, the authorities now contended, was not a registered society and, therefore, unlawful. The Malaysiakini report on this decision this morning can be read HERE.

Work on the 88 – foot high statue is said to have been 95% complete when the authorities brought the project to a halt on 13th April, 2007.

The project had begun after the Kudat Town Board had, pursuant to its letter dated 8th February, 2006, presumably to the unregistered and illegal Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation, given its approval for the erection of the statue.

The unregistered and illegal Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation, in obvious reliance on that authoritative approval, has expanded time and money in the construction of the statue, before the authorities stepped in to halt the works.

Should it now be in the mouth of the authorities to say ‘unregistered and illegal’, when they had previously approved the project?

Should not the authorities be estopped from raising ‘unregistered and illegal’?

Where does the justice and equity in the case lie?

Or is justice and equity no longer a commodity to be expected from the Palace in Putrajaya?