Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Unsound Mind"

I was speaking at a forum organised by the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) this morning with regards to the "Declassified Highway Concession" contracts. I won't bore you with many of the details which I have already written about, but I thought this particular exchange with a member of the audience was most witty ;-)

Someone asked, given the unreasonableness of the terms of these highway concession contracts, isn't it possible that someone challenge their validity in the courts? To a lay man like me, that certainly sounds plausible. No?

But my colleague who was speaking at the same forum, a lawyer and MP for Serdang, Teo Nie Ching, responded that the unreasonableness of the terms of these contracts can only be challenged for their validity in court for 2 possible grounds.

The first, was if the contracts were signed under duress a-la the alleged resignation letters signed by the Perak assemblymen. Well, this is clearly no go, for the Government couldn't have justified itself in court that they signed these unfair terms "under duress" (they're the Government, for goodness sake!). So that's out.

But the second, was more interesting. You could challenge the validity of the unreasonable terms, and hence the contracts, if you could prove to the courts that they were signed when you are of "unsound mind".

The floor cracked up laughing when Nie Ching asserted that, it might just work for not many would deny the fact that the BN Government (and its ministers) are of "unsound mind" especially in the light of the their many perplexing decisions, and worse, their subsequent flip-flops and U-turns! ;-)

Anybody want to volunteer giving it a shot? ;-)
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