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? ;-)


Anonymous said...

lets get the experts from Tanjong Rambutan to examine their heads first. Then, we decide ok Tony?

Unreasonableness and Unsound Mind? Mahatir has already given the reason. The damn Cabinet was incompetent and ignorant on concessions. What a lame excuse and now the people are saddled with 30 years of rising toll, one way or another. Thanks BN. You deserve all the accolades (full of cowdung though)

Anonymous said...

was it S Vellu that signed the contracts?

he has uttered many statements in the past to suggest a degree of suspicion....

the other avenue is to challenge the contract to be voidable should either party make a material misrepresentation, if my mind serve me right as I am not a practicing lawyer (heck, I am not even practicing anything)

Perhaps, YB Pua, you can consult YB Teo on how this can be achieved.

Lee Wee Tak

Anonymous said...

Y should a person living in Sabah, Sarawak and Kelantan share the cost of buy-back e.g. LDP or KESAS?

They're not using these highway.

The Buy-Back proposal is sound like a bailed-out plan.

Who care? It's tax payer money.

Shawn Tan said...

Not sure of the legal definition, but I doubt that being illogically stoopid classifies as being of 'unsound mind'. d= Trying to establish and prove that the ministers were of unsound mind would make an interesting sandiwara at court though.

Mango said...

You could try on the basis that the contract was unfair as the parties involved were corrupted or paid off and not in the interest of the Govt.
This would require paper trail of assets of all parties involved in the deal.
For example,you need to get Work Minister to give you a toll license. Check the accounts of the concessionaires on how much they pay the contractor, then the subcontractors and suppliers etc. Check if there are irregular payments. i.e. withdrawal of large cash , payment to overseas accounts etc.
I doubt you will be able to have access to all these accounts as you need Govt to Govt co-operation and only a change of Govt to Pakatan would allow you to trace all these pay offs in foreign country.
If ACA can pursue Eric Chia to HK for irregular payment, I am sure a new Pakatan Govt can do that too, then all lopsided Agreements will be cancelled.
But first, we need to change the Govt in the next election.Fellow concessionaires, just watch out if you feel guilty now, milking the poor rakyat.

telur dua said...

Nah, tiga-suku is more like it. LOL.

Bentoh said...

I wonder if it is possible for parliament to pass a new law to review the contracts~~

Unknown said...

thanks for the laugh. though it is so true.

Anonymous said...

Of course not lah. Cases like this, the CJ (another guard dog for BN) will just drag the case to the grave. In Malaysia, only the BN can excercise the LAW or BN-LAW. Nobody else can. BN can sue or derail anyone that oppose them but not vice versa in the BN rule. Even the newly formed MACC is a joke. It's just re-naming rather than re-branding. Even the Royals are at the mercy of BN. Remember what happened when our beloved Agong denied BN their choice of MB for Terengganu? BN started on a smear campaign, similar tactic used by TDM on all the Sultans that had a 'weakness' for the media to exploit. The gutter politics & grand master was initiated by TDM himself.

Anonymous said...

Yes!!! that's is right... of unsound mind...we have a case here!!!

legal definite of unsound =not of sound mind, memory, or understanding.
There the contracts were so complex that you do not expect the civil servants and Minister (especially given the eductional level of our then Minister of Works) to understand the implications of the toll concessions contract to the public then and in 30 years... plus no one could understand the deals,dealings that went with the award of such contracts!!!

I am sure the current trend "I cannot remember" (reference to Tun Mahathir and senior Police Officer Gan and such) can be moot for sound memory.

No elected representative in their sound right mind would sign such a contract that gives 30 years of hardship to very people who elected them.

Anonymous said...

Is there a mental term for people who constantly flip-flop, lies & make u-turns in decision all the time? This is certainly not normal behaviour. It's like a schizo.

We should run a survey to ask the public if they think our current cabinet (or cabaret) of ministers are of sound mind. That may be prove to the courts. Unless the courts think the public's opinion is of unsound mind.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but it has been difficult to get into DAP website. Must be flooded by UMNO Youth hackers. Or DAP become very popular suddenly :).

Anonymous said...

sometimes i find all this very hilarious. the media scared of gov because the gov can anytime revoke the license. why they don try this with PLUS or LDP or whatever concessionaires. The gov just says "hey, i want that toll remove and I'm not going to give anything. You've already earned enough. Failing to heed your company can never do business in malaysia again"...

of course, if the company was some cashing milk for some "off duty" politicians then it will be different story....

Anonymous said...

When Empress Dowager in Ching Dysnaty signed a Treaty to lease Hong Kong for 100 years till year the King of Great Britain..!Did anyone think The Dowager were of Unsound Mind or Under Duress..when "the Eight United-Nation army" 'Pakat-together' threatening to attack Peking..? Even if under "Undress/Unsound Minds"..Why there was no any suggestions from Hongkongers' to BUY BACK..NOR anyone from the Bullying-White-people to OFFER a "Reasonable-Price " for sales-Hong Kong? Do we think there were a "Gentelmen-Agreement" for the people of their nation?

In 1795, British by signing a Treaty with Holland(Netherlands) enabling them exchange Sumatra(which under British territory) for Melaka under their administration..!Could we ever think such a Treaty be applicable & be materialised..without any hindrance as of today..?

Since the Government could signed such an unfair & Unreasonable Concession Agreement on behalf of The Rakyat AT THAT MOMENT..then today isn't it fair & reasonable for The Rakyat to voice their disagreement to the Government by all order to "Claim Back" what was unfair & unreasonale to the Cronies' Interest by our elected Government..?Someone must forgo something to make it "Fair & Reasonable"...if still desiring cling on to Power..!

The only SOLUTION is mainly due to the Power in the Majority of Rakyat order to SHAPE THE MINDS TO Good-Rakyat-Governance in our Government..!


Only by-together ,the Rakyat would make a much more better Malaysia to play ..and to be Great Rakyat..Great Nation..Great Bangsa Malaysia for our beloved country Malaysia..!

May God Bless Malaysia...!

Anonymous said...

To review all the contracts, we have to change the govt first. Then, we have to change a few judges and of course, the head of ACA. All this while we do our homework to build up the case. Then only can we challenge the contracts!

And I don't believe that a so-called unity govt will ever work. We have to cut the gangrene, and kill the parasite that is UMNO/BN.

I hope DAP/PR can continue to hold these forums so that we can be informed how the BN govt has cheated and continue to cheat 25 million Malaysians.


Donplaypuks® said...

There are two valid legal grounds on which these Toll/IPP/Water Privatisation contracts can be challenged in court by Citizens and NGO's.

Firstly, on the grounds that the terms and loan assistance given by the Govt were not in consonance with normal, fair and arms length commercial practices either locally or internationally.

Secondly, and this will be more difficult, that bribes and inducements were paid or favours granted to certain parties from the Govt side to sign without looking too closely at favourable terms granted to concessionaires or to civil servants who were subsequently appointed to the Board of these privatised entities.

Solid proof will have to be tendered and internationally renowned consultants and experts appointed to check up on costings, unfair pricing etc e.g. the construction price per km of highway is a well known yardstick which can be applied to M'sia.

We also have the evidence of Ani Arope, ex-MD of Tenaga that pressure was exerted on him by certain people at teh EPU and PM's office to grant ridiculous sen per kw rates when Tenaga could generate electricity at a fraction of these costs.

Where there's a will, there's a way to attack these crooked deals!!

Anonymous said...

The judge can always declare the contract void. Afterall even judges in England keep on changing their grounds on homicide whether it is objective or subjective. Nothing is static in law.

Anonymous said...

Congratulation are actually in order. What must be noted in the debate, EVERYONE including representative of MCA and ACCIM agreed with YOU that your plan to take over the toll-roads is a good idea..

I can hear this topic coming up again and again all the way into the next GE...

Anonymous said...

I also fully appreciate the difficulty of DAP and Pakatan stance of this.

Bearing in mind that DAP and PR, apparently, stands for good governance and that include respect sanctity of contracts, including those entered by BN, should somehow PR gain control of federal-ship one day.

A contract can also be voided by fundamental breach of conditions by either of the parties. Tan Seri Khalid has revealed that Syabas breached a condition in procurement procedure in relation to tendering....should there be any breach of similar magnitude by the concessionaires, should it not be sufficient for their award to be challenged as well?

The analysis, press releases and seminars regarding these toll issues have given me some evidence about the grey matter stored within the PR ranks and has given me great heart. A while ago people may accuse PR of not having the experience to govern but from today onwards, let there be said that after almost a year of administering Perak and the swift analysis and suggestion of solution to a nightmare of the nation for more than 30 years, PR deserve a chance to lead the country

Lee Wee Tak

Klang Valley Properties said...

The political tsunami has brought many changes into Malaysia.Malaysians are not yet ready for these changes and some may refuse to accept the new environment.For myself,structural changes in Malaysia is very important in the long term,though painful.More truth on the previous ruling has been digged out.In fact,Malaysians has been in 'fantasy' world for quite sometime and it's the time for us to wake up.BN has successfully created a "special" branding for themselves.What is the first thing that cross your mind when you mention the word 'BN'? Reputation is built over time,whether it is good or bad.The branding of opposition party has to start now to make sure they have a 'share of mind' in every Malaysian.
I'm very happy to have voted for the change.

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

Will it be fairer if respective states buys up the highway.
State to buy up a portion of the highway if it passes the state borders.
If the bn government wont do anything, PR states can do something.
Each states must have their own laws.
Why USA can do it.Why we cant?
Take a look at the Thailand's highways.Only certain roads in Bangkok have tolls plus a certain road to Pattaya have tolls.
The rest of their highways are for free.

KoSong Cafe said...

What about 'conflict of interest' when the government of the day signed the contract to benefit its own political party?

Anonymous said...


freeways dont benefit cronies. toll highways do. what do you expect the BN leaders to do?
if the people continue to protest, just use the FRU and water cannons on them. If this measure doesnt wok, just ISA the protest organisers. Still doesnt work? make them disappear.