The Book of Prof Shad.docx

20 fair procedure 5 but there is no denial of the

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fair procedure. 5 But there is no denial of the right to life if the plaintiff is dismissed in accordance with the provisions of law. 6 In Lembaga Tatatertib Perkhidmatan Awam v Utra Badi [2000] 3 MLJ 281 it was held that the right to life includes the right to livelihood. 7 In Nor Anak Nyawai v Borneo Pulp [2001] 6 MLJ 241, native customary rights were regarded as part of the right to livelihood. In Hong Leong v Liew Fook Chuan [1996] 1 MLJ 481 the enjoyment of a reasonably healthy and pollution free environment was held to be part of the constitutional protection. In Lembaga Tatatertib Perkhidmatan Awam v Utra Badi [2000] 3 MLJ 281 it was held that the right to life includes the right to reputation. Gopal Sri Ram JCA in Utra Badi read Articles 5 and 8 compendiously and held that the combined effect of Articles 5(1) and 8(1) is to demand fairness both in procedure and substance whenever a public law decision adversely affects any facet of life. A contentions issue in some jurisdictions is whether the right to life includes the right to terminate one’s life through suicide or active euthanasia. There are currents and cross-currents and only time will settle the debate. MEANING OF ‘PERSONAL LIBERTY’ Broad approach : Personal liberty does not merely mean liberty of the physical body. It means much more than a ‘right not to be subjected to unlawful arrest, imprisonment or other physical coercion’. In its generic meaning liberty is the power of doing what is allowed by the law . It is the freedom to develop our faculties . It is “the soul’s right to breathe ”. In the USA the term personal liberty has been expansively interpreted to include “ all the attributes of personhood”. According to Tan and Li-ann “this extends not only to the freedom of expression or religion but also the right to equal opportunity, the right to privacy and even the right to procreate 8 5 See also Pihak Berkuasa Negeri Sabah v Sugumar Balakrishnan [2002] 3 MLJ 72 6 But see Harmenderpall Singh Jagara Singh v PP [2005] 2 MLJ 543 that Article 5(1) on life and personal liberty does not extend to the right to livelihood. 7 See also Kanawagi s/o Seperumaniam v Penang Port Commission [2001] 5 MLJ 433 8 Kevin YL Tan, Thio Li-ann, Tan, Yeo and Lee’s Constitutional Law in Malaysia & Singapore ”, Butterworth, 1997, p. 529. 21
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In Roe v Wade 410 US113 (1973) a woman’s right to abortion was regarded as part of her constitutionally protected right to personal liberty. In India police surveillance and police visits to a person’s house at night to verify his movements and activities are an invasion of personal liberty 9 . The right to privacy is part of personal liberty 10 . Preventing a detainee from sending a scientific manuscript he had authored in prison to his wife for publication was an infringement of his personal liberty 11 .
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