4 As I understand the appellants case it is simple enough It is that his

4 as i understand the appellants case it is simple

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[4] As I understand the appellant’s case it is simple enough. It is that his fundamental right to form the PSM had been infringed by the ROS and the Minister. But this simple argument was put forward in such a convoluted form by the appellant’s counsel that I must confess my difficulty initially in understanding what it was that learned counsel was really getting at. So, to appreciate the
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27 [2007] 1 CLJ A B C D E F G H I Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim v. Menteri Dalam Negeri Malaysia appellant’s case it is necessary to consider the relevant constitutional provisions. Article 10(1)(c) guarantees to all citizens the right to form associations. Article 10(2)(c) empowers Parliament by law to impose such restrictions on the right conferred by art. 10(1)(c) “as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, public order or morality”. [5] It is to be noted that art. 10(2)(c) uses the formula “such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient”. Does this mean that Parliament is free to impose any restriction however unreasonable that restriction may be? In Nordin bin Salleh v. Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan [1992] 1 CLJ 463; [1992] 3 CLJ (Rep) 135, Eusoff Chin J (as he then was) thought that: “Reasonableness is not material in art. 10(2)(c) of the Federal Constitution.” But that is a view not commented on at all by any of their lordships of the Supreme Court when the case went to them. (See, [1992] 2 CLJ 1125; [1992] 1 CLJ (Rep) 72). In my judgment, the view expressed by Eusoff Chin J at first instance in Nordin bin Salleh is the product of a literal reading of art. 10(1)(c). But it must be said in fairness to that learned judge that the relevant authorities on constitutional interpretation may not have been referred to him during argument. The proper approach to the interpretation of our Federal Constitution is now too well settled to be the subject of argument or doubt. It is to be found in the joint dissent of Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead and Lord Hope of Craighead in the Privy Council case of Prince Pinder v. The Queen [2002] UKPC 46: It should never be forgotten that courts are the guardians of constitutional rights. A vitally important function of courts is to interpret constitutional provisions conferring rights with the fullness needed to ensure that citizens have the benefit these constitutional guarantees are intended to afford. Provisos derogating from the scope of guaranteed rights are to be read restrictively. In the ordinary course they are to be given ‘strict and narrow, rather than broad, constructions’: see The State v. Petrus [1985] LRC (Const) 699, 720d-f, per Aguda JA in the Court of Appeal of Botswana, applied by their Lordships’ Board in R v. Hughes [2002] 2 AC 259, 277, para 35. [6] More than 20 years earlier, in Dato’ Menteri Othman bin Baginda & Anor v. Dato’ Ombi Syed Alwi bin Syed Idrus [1984] 1 CLJ 28; [1984] 1 CLJ (Rep) 98, Raja Azlan Shah Ag LP (as His Royal Highness then was) expressed the same view:
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28 [2007] 1 CLJ A B C D E F G H I Current Law Journal In interpreting a constitution two points must be borne in mind.
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