Loyal Followers

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Insulting Islam


There are much hoo haas right now about non-Muslims insulting Muslims and Islam in Malaysia. A young non-Muslims couple is now under investigation. The Vatican envoy has been read the riot act by the Foreign Minister.

Latest, a guy had apparently been abducted, bundled into an Alphard, beaten up, stripped half naked, pictured with the word "Hina Islam" and the photo splashed on the internet before being dumped by the side of the road for insulting Islam.

I actually don't know who is/are more insulting to Islam. The guy who was abducted or the people who gave him that treatment.

Anyway, the Quran says:

"You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah - indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination."(3:186)

Then, a Sahih Muslim hadith says:

"Anas reported: A Bedouin urinated in the mosque. Some of the persons stood up (to reprimand him or to check him from doing so), but the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Leave him alone; don't interrupt him. He (the narrator) said: And when he had finished, he called for a bucket of water and poured it over." (Muslim hadith 557, Book of purification).

Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa says:

"None of this is to condone violence of any sort. Indeed, the example of the Prophet and his Companions – the greatest sources of Muslim normativity – bear witness to their enduring the worst insults from the non-believers of his time. Not only was his message routinely rejected, but he was often chased out of town, cursed at, and physically assaulted on numerous occasions. But his example was always to endure all personal insults and attacks without retaliation of any sort. There is no doubt that, since the Prophet is our greatest example in this life, this should also be the reaction of all Muslims. As the Qur’an instrucus, “Be patient, as were the great prophets.”

(source is here )

So, make your own conclusion.

ps a friend of mine had told me of another verse from the Quran:

Ch 3 Vs 134 – “(Believers are those who) who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and WHO RESTRAIN ANGER AND PARDON THE PEOPLE - and Allah loves the doers of good.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Election Petition - a note to YB Rafizi

I refer to the report on Free Malaysia Today dated 5th June 2013 titled “Impossible To Win Election Petition”.

I have written before on the standard of proof in election petitions. Thus I will not comment on YB Rafizi’s statement on the same subject.

I wish to however address two issues.

Firstly, allow me to state the reason for the high standard of proof which is required to win an election petition. To understand the reason for the standard of proof, we need to know – and understand – the basic premise of an election petition.

The premise of an election petition is an electoral result which is being challenged.

To put it simply, there has been an election. And there is a result of that election. That result is born out of a democratic process which takes the form of an election. That result therefore represents the WILL OF THE MAJORITY as expressed through the election process. The candidate which is preferred by the majority is therefore declared the winner in the election.

Now, what is being challenged in an election petition is actually the will of the majority expressed in the election. Being so, in order to sustain that challenge, sufficient reasons must be shown to unseat the will of the majority. Those reasons proffered by the challenger must thus satisfy a high legal burden. Otherwise, the will of the majority could easily be defeated in the Election Court. That would make a mockery of democracy.

Take this scenario as an example.

Candidate A won an election by 3000 votes. Candidate B files an election petition showing that 300 voters had managed to wash off their so-called indelible ink immediately after voting. Videos of a bus full of people who looked like Bangladeshis parking itself at the voting centre were also produced.

Here, it is not sufficient for candidate B to just show those evidences. He must demonstrate how those things affect the result of the election. In respect of the 300 voters who washed off the ink, it must be shown that they had, in addition to washing off the ink, managed to vote twice. In relation to the bus, it must be shown that those people were indeed foreigners who were not entitle to vote and they did vote.

If the laws were to permit the result to be vitiated just by showing 300 people had washed off the ink and a bus full of Bangladeshis was parked at the voting centre with nothing more, what that would mean is that the will of the majority could be over-ridden and set aside by the minority. That would be undemocratic. I am sure in such event – of that happens to a Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate – the PR would be complaining of how undemocratic the laws are!

In the above scenario, any complain in respect of the procedural non-compliance must therefore be supported with evidence that at least 1500 votes were affected by the non-compliance. If that is done, then candidate A could not and should not have been the winner. Therefore, the result would be vitiated and another election must be called.

That is how it works.

The second issue which I would like to deal with is this.

The aforesaid report in Free Malaysia Today goes on to say:

On that note, the Pandan MP said that the electoral laws in Malaysia are skewed to allow and tolerate discrepancies, unless it hits a criticial level that can alter the election results.”

I do not know as a fact whether YB Rafizi did say that. On the assumption that he did say that, I would like to respond to that statement.

It is NOT CORRECT and NOT TRUE that electoral laws in Malaysia are “skewed” to allow and tolerate discrepancies.

Our election rules are mainly contained in an Act called the Election Offences Act 1954. This Act is mainly based on the Common Law principles and the provisions of the United Kingdom's Representation of the People Act 1948 (which later became the Representation of the People Act 1983). The provisions of our laws are not only similar to the UK provisions but also to the Indian provisions.

So, our electoral laws are not peculiar to us. In hearing election petitions, our Election Courts are normally referred to authorities and judicial precedents from the UK and Indian Courts. Sometimes we refer even to the Canadian and Australian cases. If our laws are said to be skewed to tolerate discrepancies, then the UK and Indian laws are also skewed as such!

In a report dated 11th December 2012 by a Law Commission in the UK, consisting of eminent jurists, namely, The Rt Hon Lord Justice Lloyd Jones (Chairman), Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Mr David Hertzell, Professor David Ormerod and Frances Patterson QC, the Commission among others, states:

In our consultation paper we summarised the jurisdiction of the parliamentary election court as:

i. reviewing the votes in a scrutiny, potentially declaring another candidate elected as the person having the most lawful votes; or

ii. examining the validity of the election, potentially resulting in an MP being unseated and a new election being called. Here, we distinguished between:

(a) invalidity for breaches of the rules by electoral administrators;

(b) a successful candidate's corrupt or illegal practice; and

(c) a successful candidate's disqualification from office.”

That is precisely what our Election Courts are empowered to do too. Section 32 of our Act says:

“32. The election of a candidate at any election shall be declared to be void on an election petition on any of the following grounds only which may be proved to the satisfaction of the Election Judge:

(a) that general bribery, general treating or general intimidation have so extensively prevailed that they may be reasonably supposed to have affected the result of the election;

(b) non-compliance with the provisions of any written law relating to the conduct of any election if it appears that the election was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in such written law and that such non-compliance affected the result of the election;

(c) that a corrupt practice or illegal practice was committed in connection with the election by the candidate or with his knowledge or consent, or by any agent of the candidate;

(d) that the candidate personally engaged a person as his election agent, or as a canvasser or agent, knowing that such person had within seven years previous to such engagement been convicted or found guilty of a corrupt practice by a Sessions Court, or by the report of an Election Judge; or

(e) that the candidate was at the time of his election a person disqualified for election.”

As we can see, the provisions are identical. (The power of “scrutiny”, ie, to recount votes is contained in section 50 of our Act.)

The Law Commission further states:

Administrative breaches

How a breach of a rule pertaining to administration of the poll should affect its validity involves a balancing act between giving teeth to the rules and achieving a certainty in electoral outcomes. The law has therefore placed some restraints on the consequences of breach. As our consultation paper explained, a challenge based on ground 2(a) above is essentially founded on the breach causally affecting the outcome of the election. In contrast, a candidate's corrupt or illegal practice or disqualification vitiates the validity of the election irrespective of the effect on the result.

The law's restraint is judicial in origin. Section 23(3) of the 1983 Act states that no UK Parliamentary election shall be declared invalid if it appears that: (a) the election was so conducted as to be substantially in accordance with the law as to elections; and (b) the act or omission did not affect the result.

Considering identical provision in the Representation of the People Act 1949, Lord Denning MR in Morgan v Simpson re-stated its wording in positive form; a breach of the rules must affect the outcome of the election in order to result in its nullity. An election will be held not to have been conducted substantially in accordance with the law as to elections if there was a "substantial departure" such as to make "the ordinary man condemn the election as a sham or a travesty of an election by ballot". The bar was thus set very high for an administrative breach to invalidate an election irrespective of its impact on the result.”

Again, that is PRECISELY the position in Malaysia. In respect of procedural non-compliance, we need to prove that such non-compliance must affect the result or outcome of the election. Please see section 32 (b) as reproduced above.

In so far as corrupt or illegal practices are concerned, these are divided into two categories:

a) where the corrupt and illegal practices were committed by the candidate himself or his agent, or with his knowledge or consent, the result is automatically vitiated regardless of whether such acts affect the result or not. (section 32 (c)).

b) where the corrupt and illegal practices have so extensively prevailed, the result would only be vitiated if they may be reasonably supposed to have affected the result of the election. Here, we do not have to show that the acts were done by the candidate, his agent or with his knowledge or consent.

What is being emphasized under sub-paragraph (b) above however is “reasonableness.” The question is, after looking at the totality of the evidence, is it reasonable for the Court to suppose that the result has been affected by the acts.

In respect of non-compliance of the rules or procedures, the question, as Lord Denning puts it in Morgan v Simpson:

Was there “substantial departure" such as to make "the ordinary man condemn the election as a sham or a travesty of an election by ballot". The bar was thus set very high for an administrative breach to invalidate an election irrespective of its impact on the result.”

That IS the position in England and that IS the position here.

Our election laws are not skewed to tolerate discrepancies. Our laws are based on the English laws as well as other respected jurisdiction within the Commonwealth.

In fact I dare say that our election laws are even better than the English laws. That is because here, we have an automatic right to appeal against any decision of the Election Court to the Federal Court (where at least 3 Judges will sit). In England, the decision of the Election Court is not appealable. A judicial review may however be asked for. But that is not automatic as judicial review may only be invoked if the High Court grants leave to do so.

When our laws place a high burden on us and do not always work in our favour or do not support our cases, it does not speak well for us to say that our laws are skewed.

Now, numerous election petitions are filed. Pakatan Rakyat is challenging many election results where the Barisan candidates had won. Conversely, Barisan Nasional is also challenging many results where the PR candidates had won.

I will bet my last dime that the Pakatan Rakyat lawyers will argue the same thing as the Barisan Nasional lawyers’ would in defending the results of the election which favour the PR candidate. In other words, all the above arguments which I have set out, will also be used by PR to defend the result of the election where the PR candidate had won.

Now, doesn’t that give new meaning to “fair is foul and foul is fair?”

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The A-Z of the 13th General Election

A – Anwar Ibrahim

Once deputy prime minister and de facto heir-apparent to the premiership and now the Opposition leader, this GE will be a defining moment for him and the opposition front he leads.

B – Barisan Nasional

The incumbent. Lost its coveted two-third majority for the first time in 2008. Although it has somewhat been affected by the weakening of two of the MCA and MIC, its ability to adapt and perform well should not be underestimated.

C – the Chinese

It is not a secret that support by the Chinese for MCA, and therefore the BN, is dwindling, especially in urban areas. As UMNO courts the Malay votes, GE13 will serve to define Malaysia’s and Malaysians’ ability to maintain social and racial harmony.

D – DAP

Helmed by veterans Lim Kit Siang and his son, Lim Guan Eng, this small, but influential party has made major inroads in urban areas. Its strategic partnership within the opposition front seems to benefit but remains testy as it will never come to term with PAS’ dreams of hudud laws and Islamic state.

E – the Economy

Both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat are conscious of the fact that most Malaysians are affected by the rise of cost of living. The state of the economy will be a major issue in GE13.

F – FELDA

FELDA was listed on the Bursa KL in one of the largest IPOs recently. It remains to be seen whether the listing will affect the settlers’ support for the BN.

G – Guan Eng (Lim)

The current Chief Minister of Penang and a DAP stalwart. The work is cut out for the BN to unseat him and his party from Penang.

H – HINDRAF

In 2008, the PR’s good performance was not least due to the support it received from HINDRAF. It may have lost some of its lustre but it still wields some influence over the Indian poor.

I – the Indians

It cannot be denied that the Indians are among the poorest in the country. Many among them do not even carry a Malaysian birth certificate. While some analysts project that Indian support has returned to the BN, the Indians are surely the decisive factor in some constituencies.

J – the Jews

While there was a Jalan Jahudi in Penang – now renamed Jalan Zainal Abidin – Malaysia can hardly be said to be Jewish friendly. It is an irony that a people of a country which is about 7500 km away could be an election issue in Malaysia, but election issues in Malaysia range from the inconspicuous to the ubiquitous.

K - Karpal Singh

Dubbed the “Lion of Jelutong”, Karpal will again be the main draw for DAP. Could be a short fuse within PR every time Islamic state and hudud laws aspirations of PAS come to fore.

L – Lahad Datu

I would have listed Lim Kit Siang but for the far reaching social and political consequences of the recent Lahad Datu incident. This incident cuts both ways, giving nationalistic support for the BN as well as showing the hitherto unforeseen adverse results of Project IC.

M – Mahathir (Dr)

The grand old man of Malaysian politics. PM for 22 years. Still going strong with political rhetoric despite his retirement. Openly said he would not support UMNO in 2008 although he did campaign for his son, Dato’ Mukhriz in Kedah. Will surely beat the campaign trail this GE.

N – Najib Razak

The incumbent Prime Minister in his first GE as the PM. Had sought to implement a transformation programe for Malaysia. Independent voter survey has shown his individual popularity as the PM. GE13 will show whether his popularity will translate to a vote for his party, the BN.

O – Oh My God!

Things which some Malaysian politicians say in recent time could only be met with this remark.

P – Perkasa/PAS

Dr Mahathir has openly thrown his support for Ibrahim Ali to be nominated by the BN. If nominated by the BN, whether that decision would negatively impact the fence sitters in the urban areas is one thing for the BN to consider. Another question is, why must the BN field an outsider when many of its leaders are available for nomination.

PAS - an integral component of the PR. Also loose cannon within the PR. At loggerheads with DAP as far as Islamic state and hudud laws are concerned. A party which is not shy from claiming that heaven is a certain destination for its supporters.

QQuantitative progress

For the first time the government has sought to measure its success and effectiveness quantitatively. The ETP reports are full of numbers, rates and percentages. The PR has responded with its own set of numbers.

R – Raja Nong Chik

Widely tipped as the BN candidate for Lembah Pantai. Can he win the urban seat for the BN?

S – Social networking

The internet has been successfully employed by the opposition in 2008. Since then, social networking sites have been awash with political posturing by both the BN and PR supporters and politicians. Its impact on the electorate is undeniable.

T – Transformation

The Prime Minister’s key programe from day one. The GE will judge the voters’ response to this initiative.

U – Urban voters

If the voting trend in 2008 is analysed, a political demographic line could be drawn along the urban areas where support for the opposition was clearly stronger. Urbanites have grown to maturely ask tough questions nowadays.

V – the Victors and Vanquished

Whatever the result will be, it is imperative that the victors celebrate with humility and responsibility while the vanquished accepts the result peacefully.

W – Winnable candidates

Many candidates who won the last GE had since jumped seat. Candidates must not only be winnable but must also be trustworthy and honest.

X – X-rated videos

No, they don’t work anymore. Malaysians reject smut-politics and crave for smart-politics instead.

Ythe Y-generation

Young voters who will vote for the first time in this GE are educated, news-savvy and have a different world-view than the old politicians. Harder to please and easy to isolate, they form quite a force in this GE.

Z – Zealots

In a country as multi-racial and culturally diverse as Malaysia, racial and religious zealots are easy to breed and hard to control. The birth and growth of extreme right wingers is a cause for concern. Let’s hope the GE would not be marred by this factor.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Indefeasibility of Malaysia’s Territorial Sovereignty Over Sabah

The incursion into Sabah by a ragtag “army” of a now defunct “Sultanate” with the intention of having a picnic in their “homeland” (to borrow the description by a self-styled Princess of the said “Sultanate”) would be comical, if not for the utterly tragic consequences that follows.

In weeks after the incursions, eight Malaysian policemen were killed, some of whom were allegedly tortured, killed and their body mutilated by the “army” of the now defunct Sultanate. As of the date of writing, a total of 62 people have been killed. That the so-called Sultan declared a Jihad and the self-styled Princess calling the Malaysian army un-Islamic lend a surrealistic aura to the whole episode which would make Salvador Dali green in envy.

The fact remains that their acts were an act of terrorism perpetrated by armed bandits on an unsuspecting State and her people. There was nothing Islamic about those acts. To use Islam and Jihad in this totally illegal and inhumane act of aggression against a peaceful State which has been treating some of them with unlimited generosity is a misuse and abuse of the religion and God of the worst kind.

So, what does Jamalul Kiram want? He has been shifty about this. On one count he said he doesn’t want to claim Sabah. On another, he said he wants recognition. Okay. So we call him a Sultan. Is that recognition enough? Of course not. At the end of it, he said he is the poorest Sultan in the world. That is more than sufficient answer to the question. He wants money. Forget altruism. Forget the advancement of his so-called people. Forget honour. Forget dignity. It is just about money.

However, why must Malaysia, as a State, give money to some delusional people who live in the 17th century? What would prevent this very same people from coming back to ask for more when the money runs out? What basis do a people have to hold a State to ransom every now and then just because this people do not have a source of income other than from partaking in piracy, kidnapping and now, terrorism as well as prostituting Islam?

One can read and try to grasp the historical dynamics of this so-called Sulu Sultanate’s claim over North Borneo, a State which later became part of Malaysia and known as Sabah. Even the origin of this claim, that the Sultan of Brunei had given this area to the Sulu Sultanate for the latter’s help in a battle is historically denied by the Brunei Sultanate. Without further delving into these murky historical accounts, there is only one political reality and that is Sabah is part of Malaysia and Malaysia has territorial sovereignty over Sabah. Period.

During the post-world war de-colonisation period, between February to April 1962, a commission of inquiry, known as the Cobbold Commission, conducted meetings in Sarawak and Sabah (then, North Borneo). The Commission concluded that more than two third of the people of these two areas wished that the two areas joined and be part of Malaya.

During this de-colonisation period, international laws have evolved so as to recognise without limitation the right of the people of a territory to determine their own ruling. This right is known as the right to self-determination. This right is enshrined in the United Nation’s General Assembly resolution 1541(XV). Principle IX of the same provides:

“Integration should have come about in the following circumstances:

(a) The integrating territory should have attained an advanced stage of self-government with free political institutions, so that its peoples would have the capacity to make a responsible choice through informed and democratic processes;

(6) The integration should be the result of the freely ex­pressed wishes of the territory's peoples acting with full knowl­edge of the change in their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage. The United Nations could, when it deems it necessary, supervise these processes.”

Following the finding of the Cobbold Commission, the Governments of the United Kingdom and Malaya issued a joint statement on 1st August 1962 to the effect that a Federation of Malaysia should be established by 31st August 1963. A formal agreement was prepared and signed in London on 9th July 1963 on behalf of the Governments concerned (the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore).

On 5th August 1963, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaya, following a 6 day meeting in Manila, requested the Secretary General of the United Nation “to send working teams to Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak in order to ascertain the wishes of these peoples with respect to the proposed Federation.” It was agreed that these States would also send observers during the exercise.

The term of reference of the exercise was, among others, as follows:

The Secretary-General or his representative should ascertain, prior to the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia, the wishes of the people of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak within the context of General Assembly resolution 1541(XV), Principle IX of the Annex, by a fresh approach, which in the opinion of the Secretary-General is necessary to en- sure complete compliance with the principle of self- determination within the requirements embodied in Principle IX.”

Further, the Mission was to take into consideration:

1) The recent elections in Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak but nevertheless further examining, verifying and satisfying himself as to whether: (a) Malaysia was a major issue if not the major issue; (b) electoral registers were properly compiled; (c) elections were free and there was no coercion; and (d) votes were properly polled and properly counted; and (2) the wishes of those who, being qualified to vote, would have exercised their right of self-determination in the recent elections had it not been for their detention for political activities, imprisonment for political offences or absence from Sabah (North Borneo) or Sarawak.”

(Source: United Nation General Assembly 18th Session, the Question of Malaysia, pages 41-44)

It is interesting to note that the terms of reference requested the United Nation to ascertain the wishes of the people “by a fresh approach.” Many, including our own citizen, Jeffrey Kitingan, have complained that there was no referendum made. This complaint fails to take into consideration the “fresh approach” which was requested by the three governments. This complaint also overlooked the fact that that there was and is no requirement under international laws that a referendum is made before the people in a territory could be said to have voted for self-determination or to join any State.

After all, Principle IX of the aforesaid Resolution 1541(XV) provides:

The integration should be the result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory's peoples acting with full knowl­edge of the change in their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage. The United Nations could, when it deems it necessary, supervise these processes”

A referendum is just another method to determine the wishes of the people and it is not a mandatory method.

During the United Nation’s General Assembly (18th session) the followings were reported:

The Mission had considered that it would be meaningful to make a "fresh approach" by arranging consultations with the population through elected representatives, leaders and the representatives of political parties as well as non-political groups, and with any other persons showing interest in setting forth their views. During the Mission's visits to various parts of the two territories, it had been possible to consult with almost all of the "grass roots" elected representatives. Consultations were also held with national and local representatives of each of the major political groups and with national and local representatives of ethnic, religious, social and other groups, as well as organizations of businessmen, employers and workers in various communities and social groups.”

On the wishes of the people of Sarawak and Sabah, the Mission was left without any doubt that they had made an informed decision to join the Federation of Malaysia. In the Mission’s own words:

“As far as the specific questions which the Secretary-General was asked to take into consideration were concerned, the members of the Mission concluded, after evaluating the evidence available to them, that: (a) in the recent elections Malaysia was a major issue throughout both territories and the vast majority of the electorate understood the significance of this; (b) electoral registers were properly compiled; (c) the elections were freely and impartially conducted with active and vigorous campaigning by groups advocating divergent courses of action; and (d) the votes were properly polled and counted; the number of instances where irregularities were alleged seemed within the normal expectancy of well-ordered elections. The Mission came to the conclusion that the number of persons of voting age detained for political offences or absent from the territories when voting took place was not sufficient to have affected the result. The Mission also gave careful thought to the reference in the request to the Secretary-General that "he ascertain prior to the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia the wishes of the people of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak within the context of General Assembly resolution 1541 (XV), Principle IX of the Annex."

The Mission then concluded that the both Sarawak and North Borneo (later, Sabah) had:

"attained an advanced stage of self-government with free political institutions so that its people would have the capacity to make a responsible choice through informed democratic processes." Self-government had been further advanced in both territories by the declaration of the respective Governors that, as from 31 August 1963, they would accept unreservedly and automatically the advice of the respective Chief Ministers on all matters within the competence of the State and for which portfolios had been allocated to Ministers. The Mission was further of the opinion that the participation of the two territories in the proposed Federation, having been approved by their legislative bodies, as well as by a large majority of the people through free and impartially conducted elections in which the question of Malaysia was a major issue and fully appreciated as such by the electorate, could be regarded as the "result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory's people acting with the full knowledge with the change of their status, their wishes having been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage.” (emphasis is mine).

It is thus clear as daylight that the choice to join Malaysia was made by the people of Sabah. Due recognition was later given to the Federation of Malaysia by the United Nation.

On 16th September 1963, Malaysia was then officially formed. Indonesia and the Philippines, despite their joint request to the United Nation with Malaya and despite sending their own observers while the Mission was undertaking its work refused to recognise Malaysia’s sovereign over Sabah.

The Philippines reserved her claim over Sabah in the Manila Accord 1963. Despite such reservation, no official claim has ever been made. Under the law, the Philippines can be said to have abandoned her claim as such. The Philippines know that any claim which it may wish to make over Sabah is doomed to failure. The aforesaid Mission was established pursuant to the Philippine’s’ joint request. It does therefore not make sense that the Mission’s findings could be challenged by the Philippines.

The so-called Sultanate of Sulu must be aware that territoriality of a sovereign nation must be determined at a finite era or period in accordance with the acceptable norm of international laws at the relevant time. Historical time travelling in respect of a territorial sovereignty must be limited to the time when a sovereign is established over a region. Failure to do so would result in copious, comical, baseless and even tragic claims over a region resulting in instability and loss of lives.

Otherwise, what would prevent some lunatics who claim he or she is the descendant of Caliph Al-Makmun from the Abbasid dynasty from claiming a third of the world as his or hers? Or Spain from being claimed by a self-professed descendant of the Umayyad? Or Singapore being claimed by a descendant of the Thai representative who was killed by Parameswara? Or a descendant of the Emir of Hejaz from claiming Mekah and Madinah from the Saudis?

Malaysia has every right to defend its sovereignty over any part of its territory in any manner she deems fit. Anything less would make a mockery of international laws and accepted norms and conventions of international relation.