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Posts Tagged ‘lawyers’

Extreme High Costs (Bloodsucking Tollgate Atttitude) On Property Tranfer – original article by @AgreeToDisagree – 1st February 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, Bad By-Laws, checks and balances, Fair Chrges, Invasive Laws, Justice, Law, preventing vested interest, Wealth distribution on February 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

Some of us have not had the pleasure of owning many properties in this lifetime to be familiar in transferring the same, so please bear with any inaccuracies that may show up in this article intended for exposition of greed of the current ‘toll keeper mentality’ system. Because some of us have the finances to ignore these fees which are excessive to others, or take for granted that this is written in stone (most assuredly the MPs have the power to change this, or Bar Council the power to address this but both have not spoken, thus rendering them unvotable or not carrying out their responsibilities to better the system of governance leaving loopholes in place to parasities off), does ot mean everything is fine or that the system is fair, this is a very serious issue that must be addressed.

The current property sale or transfer process follows :

– a lawyer charges fees that vary (often equal to a month or few of salary) for representing transferring party
– transfer form is obtained and signed
– stamp duty department contacted by lawyer about sale
– stamp duty department will give notice how much the govt. to determine stamp duty based on excessive Stamp Duty Act figures.
– buyer or transferring parties will pay stamp duty which is 1% or more (this is excessive, in fact no Stamp fees should be levied at all – if someone wants to give you something, who’s business is it to say you have to pay the government first? MPs who neglect such things and do no amend such things, do not deserve your vote.)
– if deceased and within family, the stamp duty is waived
– if alive they have to pay stamp fee (why the difference? can’t family members transfer properties without stamp fees before they die and not be charged? why after dead then waived? this speaks of the viciousness of the system)
– if a family member the stamp duty is waived 50%

Effectively the transfer will be subject to interference by the government valuation (which could be colluded with at higher rates for pro-government of the day legal firms, or colluded against for anti-government of the day legal firms). This should be altered by the MPs of the day.

The Stamp Duty Act in all cases gives too much power to the government Land Office to decide what stamp duty is to be paid to the lawyer by the arbitrary power to decide the value of the property. The MPs and candidates for MPs should on top of the removal of Eminent Domain powers removal, and granting of Allodial titles (for freehold owners) requirement, be ready to promise to AMEND the Stamp Duty Act which is both invasive, wastes the time of all parties and adds unnecessary layers of administration.

WHATS WITH THE EXTREME COSTS FOR TRANSFER? It’s your property not the government’s property, and transfer should not cost anything (to witness and smudge some ink, they want us to pay nearly a month’s salary or even a year or few in high value properties?!? An officer can be assigned at the Land Office to sign themselves as a witness for a moment – yeah right I saw the Stamp being placed on the triplicate government issued titles in the presence of the owner and lawyer – this can be further proven with live videos made of EVERY signing) be so cumbersome or invasive.

This toll keeper mentality fo the government and law has to go. If anyone gave another person any property not sold it, for any reason, from a few properties, why should ANYONE much less government be allowed to demand and extract a pound of flesh or fees for a private property transfer in which no money passes between the giver and receiver? Who knows the commission that property agents charge could be an industry of making people move out of neighbourhoods to cause them to spend money  on the system as well. With this sort of stamp fees in place, the legal profession could not be doing REAL work and rather parasiting off people’s property transfers. Ethics please! Both parties don’t exchange a cent but the lawyer and the government get 1% or more % costing 1000s or even 10s of 1000s?!? AMEND THE LAW!

Property Transfer should be done in the below fashion :

– transferring parties (or party and Will) with lawyer shows up at Land Office as proof
– officer in charge of land transfers witnesses the transfer at Land Office (new owner, lawyer present), token stamp fee for RM1 ONLY (no valuation based fees or involvement of valuer state or private)
– 3 parties stamp or sign or mark in triplicate 3 single titles
– one copy kept by land office for proof, another by the owner, the 3rd copy kept by lawyer’s firm (in the event the lawyer’s firm goes bust, the lawyer has to pass all records to another legal firm of choice  and inform the current owner of any property being moved and land office that the record has been transferred to the new legal firm)

We are civilised now, what you earn can be used to buy what you own, but DO NOT vote for anyone who has this toll keeper mentalty which has doubtless led to the sense of entitlement that led to the government daringly placing toll booths everywhere. PAS who knows how to bulldoze the toll booths, so PAS ready to get your legal team in your poltical party to work on this an propagate the unvotability of all other political parties who do not understand this? Bloodsucking ‘kutu’ policy coalitions who ignore these issues need to be thrown out!

It’s YOUR property, if you want to give anyone it’s your business, WHO THE HELL HAS A RIGHT to demand fees against what property one owns when given away ESPECIALLY when no money passes between the giving and receiving parties?!?

If 66% of the MPs decide Stamp Fees only cost $1, the Stanp Fees will indeed cost $1. These are the MPs needed to be voted in, so find out which MP concurs with this and which MP does not. The MP who does not, thinks they can extract a pound of flesh everytime someone moves their goods and property to a loved one or relative, they will be sadly mistaken.

Consult your MP on if they will grant this to decide if your MP is revotable or deserves your vote or needs to be run against, they too pay for stamp fees. Then there is the issue of candidate deposits? Those who keep the deposit at 8000 and 15,000 respectively effectively keeping out all the people who do not have this sort of money are efgfectively barring the ENTIRE low wealth class from participating in politics. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Find out which MPs want to lower these deposits to 8000 and 15,000 to 8.00 and 15.00 or at least refund the entire deposit IF that candidate did not win and that deposit is more than 50% of their total liquid asset and if they do not own a second home. Otherwise UNVOTABLE again!

Judicial diversity creates confidence (Not by This Article It Doesn’t) – by Roger Tan – 13th November 2011

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 10:39 am
(The Star Paper) Judicial diversity and meritocracy should go hand in hand. A judiciary that does not reflect society’s diversity will ultimately lose the confidence of that society. ENGLAND’S senior judiciary has often been described as “pale, male and stale” – that is a white, male-dominated bench. This is understandable because despite many calls over the years for more diversity in judicial appointments, women and ethnic minorities are still sorely under-represented in the highest echelons of England’s judiciary.
Today, Lady Brenda Hale still remains the sole woman justice out of 12 places in the highest court of the United Kingdom, now known as the Supreme Court. First appointed to the House of Lords as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lord) on Jan 12, 2004, she was reappointed to the new Supreme Court when it replaced the House of Lords in 2009. In October this year, Rabinder Singh became the first Sikh, a non-white, to be appointed a High Court judge of England and Wales. There is no law lord from an ethnic minority. This year two more white men, Jonathan Sumption, QC and Lord Justice Wilson, were appointed to the Supreme Court. Holding court: Former Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Azmi (front row, second from left) chairing a meeting of judges from Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam. The Judicial Appointments Commission should always encourage a diverse judiciary which is more representative of the make-up of our country. — Bernama
The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, did remark recently that he would like the Supreme Court to be 50/50 men and women from the point of perception, but he stressed that it was more important to consider judicial selections based on merit. Lord Hope, the Deputy President, was more hopeful, however. “It’s a great mistake to rush it forward and say that diversity must prevail over merit. The system depends on skilled people who can actually do the job and we can’t afford to have passengers here, just in the name of diversity,” he said. But is this insistence on merit reasonable when actually it is a non-issue? Or is it simply an excuse not to effect judicial diversity speedily? If so, then perhaps the very definition of what is merit should be re-examined. In fact, leading the call for more women and ethnic minority judges in the courts is none other than Hale herself. She said she was rather tired of being repeatedly told that change was “a matter of time”, but change never came. Recently, Hale told the House of Lords constitution committee that “the lack of diversity on the bench is a constitutional issue”.
On Nov 3, the Guardian newspaper reported Hale as arguing before the committee that judges would approach issues differently based on their background, and that a lack of diversity could also change the substantive results of cases (“Resistance to diversity among judges is misguided”). She added that in “disputed points you need a diversity of perspectives and life experiences to get the possible results”, particularly how the gender of justices would matter in cases such as child-birth and rape. In fact, this argument that diversity enriches judicial decision-making and that the outcome of a case is often influenced by a judge’s background is not new. In 1981, Professor J.A. Griffiths wrote in The Politics of Judiciary that English judges were neither entirely objective nor neutral in their decisions because their decisions often reflected their own political outlook and attitude. For Malaysia, the above issues are even more relevant as ours is a multi-racial, multi-religious and polyglot society. So how does Malaysia fare with judicial diversity? Is ours a more representative bench? The table shows the racial composition and gender of the judges in our superior courts. As the table shows, there is a fair number of women and non-Malay judges at the High Court level, but not in the appellate courts. In fact, since Merdeka, only one white, two Chinese, one Indian and one woman were appointed to head the High Court of Malaya.
They were, respectively, Tun James Beveridge Thomson (1957-1963); Tan Sri Ong Hock Thye (1968-1973) and Tan Sri Gunn Chit Tuan (1992-1994); Tan Sri Sarwan Singh Gill (1974-1979); and Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob (2004-2006). Further, the members of our Judicial Appointments Commission comprise six Malays, one Chinese, one Indian and one east Malaysia bumiputra, and only one of the nine members is a woman. To my mind, the situation could be due to a dearth of non-Malays in the Judicial and Legal Services, but overall women still outnumber men in this sector. Currently, in respect of Sessions Court judges, there are 119 Malays (56 are women), two Chinese (women), five Indians (three are women), nine east Malaysia bumiputras (four are women) and one Others (a woman). For Magistrates, there are 139 Malays (84 are women), two Chinese (men), one Indian (woman) and four east Malaysia bumiputras (all men). However, there are probably more non-Malays serving in the Attorney General’s Chambers.
But if other judicial officers such as deputy and assistant registrars are added, women would almost double men. This is not a new phenomenon as, in the last two years, women have doubled the number of men entering the legal profession. Of course, non-Malay law graduates prefer to enter the legal profession rather than join the Judicial and Legal Services with the view, whether rightly or wrongly, that private practice is more lucrative. In fact, with the revised remuneration scheme, the current basic pay of a magistrate who is a fresh law graduate is RM1989.45 (with additional perks worth about RM1,000 depending on the location where the magistrate serves). This, of course, is far better off than his predecessor in earlier days, like in the early 1980s when a magistrate’s basic pay was only about RM1,050. In any event, if the reason for under-representation in the appellate judiciary by non-Malays is due to a lack of meritorious candidates in the Judicial and Legal Services, then resort should be had to the pool of meritorious candidates among senior members of the Bar just like in the case of Jonathan Sumption, QC who recently made history by being the first lawyer to be elevated directly to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Having said that, let no one mistake me as advocating a quota system or positive discrimination on the grounds of gender, race and religion in judicial appointments because that would go against Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution. I am also mindful of the views expressed by some women judges themselves, such as the former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé.
She argued that it was not enough to have simply more women or minorities on the bench. “What we need”, as she was quoted by Australian judge, Justice McHugh, “is a change in attitudes, not simply a change in chromosomes.” I disagree. If there exists a total absence or a huge disproportionate presence of women and minorities at appellate courts, something must be wrong somewhere. It is my considered opinion that the Judicial Appointments Commission should always encourage a diverse judiciary which is more representative of the make-up of our country. We must also correct any perception that our judges, who are the arbiters of civil laws, are not fair and independent especially when they adjudicate upon sensitive issues such as race and religion. It follows that who we appoint to the seat of justice is a matter of life and death.
As one of America’s finest trial lawyers, Gerry Spence, put it so trenchantly: “Who are these judges who wield such power over us, a power reserved for God? Who are these mere humans with the power to wrest children from their mothers and to condemn men to death or cage them like beasts in penitentiaries? Who possesses the power to strip us of our professions, our possessions, our very lives? “They make law. They may take away your wife or your good name or your freedom or your fortune or your life. They are omnipotent. And the question is: To whom have we so carelessly granted that power? Are they the kind who would understand you, who from their experiences would know something of the fears and struggles you have faced? Will they care about you or about justice?”
It is, therefore, my honest view that judicial diversity and meritocracy should go hand in hand because a judiciary which does not reflect the society’s diversity will ultimately lose the confidence of that society. In other words, the strength of any judiciary is primarily dependent on public confidence even if seated on the bench are monolithic judges who are most meritorious. This is achievable if there is the political will, and one only need to look at how successfully Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did in bringing diversity to the American judiciary.
The writer is a senior lawyer and a former member of the Malaysian Bar Council.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Nice title and the front 70% of this article is meaningful to a point (excepting the ‘bodekist’ name dropping) , however the remaining 30% (much like Bumiputra APARTHEID policy) is self interested/self serving sycophantic/propagandist drivel. Roger Tan’s article is fine up to the below points.
1) We must also correct any perception that our judges, who are the arbiters of civil laws, are not fair and independent especially when they adjudicate upon sensitive issues such as race and religion. A blatant lie.
NO. We citizens CANNOT correct any perception that our judges are not fair and independent so long as 2 classes of citizenship remain in the form of APARTHEID laws and APARTHEID constitution. The Judiciary should read Article 1 of the Human Rights Charter and know that the Reid Commission recommended 15 years of Special Privileges which unconscionably have been extended to 50+ years with no review as legally promised and implicit in the ‘Social Contract’.  The Judiciary (staffed by Malays mostly) itself has in a display of lack of legal ethics NOT demanded such a review and allowed massive abuses and unconstitutional laws like the Vehicular-AP to pass in Parliament. How can our judges be considered fair and independent? What the reason for this unjustified defense and fetting of a Judiciary which fails it’s duties? For the Judiciary to remain in compliance with the UN, there can only be EQUALITY of all citizens, which means ending the APARTHEID of Bumiputra in it’s entiity in all articless of constitution and laws.
2) It follows that who we appoint to the seat of justice is a matter of life and death. As one of America’s finest trial lawyers, Gerry Spence, put it so trenchantly: “Who are these judges who wield such power over us, a power reserved for God? Who are these mere humans with the power to wrest children from their mothers and to condemn men to death or cage them like beasts in penitentiaries? Who possesses the power to strip us of our professions, our possessions, our very lives? “They make law. They may take away your wife or your good name or your freedom or your fortune or your life. They are omnipotent. And the question is: To whom have we so carelessly granted that power? Are they the kind who would understand you, who from their experiences would know something of the fears and struggles you have faced? Will they care about you or about justice?” It is, therefore, my honest view that judicial diversity and meritocracy should go hand in hand because a judiciary which does not reflect the society’s diversity will ultimately lose the confidence of that society.
NO again. Your honest view Roger Tan is less than honest by my refutation in point 1, obfuscates the dishonesty of the Judiciary with generalizations and rapid shifts in subject matter, superficially glossing over severe abuses than addressing them. You are a propagandist with a degree, and an ex-member of the Bar Council.  The Bar if honest at all, should suspend all members refusing to address the issue of Bumiputra APARTHEID, of unconstitutional and illegal by any world standard Vehicular-AP or forced Military Conscriptions, of Toll Concessions which have profited off the people no end, of the ILLEGAL denial of non-Muslims access to Gambling venues/games other than 4D, ILLEGAL denial of non-Muslims to legal protections of Adult Services industry/venues/adult services workers, the effective abolition of the right to APOSTASY to our Muslim citizens to choose their own faith. Bar Council has remained inactive and silent on all of the above against UN Human Rights Articles 1, 8 and 18, and more. It is good though that Roger Tan (obviously a not too evident propagandist for fascism and dictatorship, indirect abettor for theocracy), is an ex-member of the Bar Council.
3) In other words, the strength of any judiciary is primarily dependent on public confidence even if seated on the bench are monolithic judges who are most meritorious. This is achievable if there is the political will, and one only need to look at how successfully Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did in bringing diversity to the American judiciary.
Ends with platitudes and name-dropping, with no mention of the above points, end with no solution at all. Is this what the Bar Council is now? An article mill? A TK.Koh-like (Oh look an NLP – TEAM KILLER KOH . . .) sycophant? A simple form with YES/NO boxes on the above issues could decide which Bar Council / Judiciary members may be allowed to remain in Bar Council by sheer right of objectivity uncoloured by whatever moral lenses which impinge on the freedom of Humanity via the mediocrity of social stature bias :
7 Point Acid Test To Objectivity of Legal Professionals : A YES/NO Questionairre
1) End APARTHEID of Bumiputra
2) End Forced Military Conscription
3) End Vehicular-AP
4) End punishment for APOSTASY (must be handled by a Malay, as this is racially sensitive)
5) Gaming Licenses to be non-mega franchise based and to include entire Gamut of Gaming Varieties not just 4D
6) Endorse Adult Services Industry Venues/Red Light District Zoning (for non-Muslims)
7) Right to Bear Arms (with appropriate safeguards)
The entirety of Malaysian legal ‘fraternity’s’ attitudes are dishonest and disgustingly ambivalent, and not up to par or in tandem with UNHCR standards and should be blackballed by the legal fraternity worldwide for failing to ensure JUSTICE and protection for citizens has been ensured. The Judiciary and Bar Council are the check and balance against Government/Parliament to ensure, must ensure :
1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.
But most Bar Council Members, Judiciary, legal professionals would likely be disbarred in a truly HONEST government. The taxpayers, especially the afflicted minority citizens paid you to ensure the above which you have not even for UNHCR Article 1 on EQUALITY.
Do your job or resign, not hide behind propagandists to justify your inaction and abettment of institutionalised disenfranchisement, harm legalized via law and tacit approval of the *MALAYSIAN* legal fraternity! Shame on the Judiciary, shame on the Bar Council, shame on the propagandists ! End the APARTHEID of Bumiputra, ensure/protect the FREEDOMS of ALL citizens ! The Star should not publish such drivel (or at least refute openly such articles) if Star is to be respected as a newspaper.