Access to Justice: Women’s Experiences in Penang Syariah Courts

Author: Shariza Kamarudin
Format: Paperback 142 pp.
Subjects: Gender, Law, Religion
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9789670960678
Price: RM25.00

In Access to Justice Shariza Kamarudin offers a rare insight into the lives and experiences of women as they navigate their way through the Penang Syariah court system. Grounded in theories of justice, Islamic jurisprudence and feminist legal theory, Access to Justice collects valuable first-hand accounts of the female litigants as they face an overwhelmingly patriarchal system. Touching on issues of polygamy, talaq divorce, domestic violence, domestic abuse and child custody, Shariza Kamarudin studies the responses of women, highlighting the ways in which issues of gender, class, and race play an important role in the administration of Syariah law. Finally, making use of the United Nations Development Programme Access to Justice Framework, Access to Justice calls for a reform in the administration of Syariah law in Malaysia which puts at its heart access to legal knowledge, legal representation and gender awareness.
Shariza Kamarudin is the Programme Manager for the Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting in Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), a state-linked company in Penang, Malaysia. She graduated from the Centre of Research for Women and Gender, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Penang with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Gender Studies) where this monograph was originally developed.
Posted in Books, Law, Religion

Abuse of Power: Selected Works on the Law and Constitution

Author: Tommy Thomas
Format: Paperback 298 pp.
Subjects: Law & Business, Malaysia, Politics
ISBN: 9789670960081
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM50


 “Amongst the select group of constitutional law advocates in Malaysia, Tommy Thomas ranks among the best – fearless, dedicated, committed and vocal in his decades-old pursuit to entrench respect for fundamental rights and liberties for the ordinary Malaysian. He brings to his writings the same passionate advocacy as a constitutionalist as he has done in the numerous cases argued by him in our courts of law – without fear or favour, and with a conviction borne out by a deep-seated belief in the sanctity of the Constitution, despite numerous setbacks over the many years of litigating in court over constitutional issues …
 This timely collection of essays should be read by lawyers and non-lawyers alike for its valuable insights into important constitutional issues, and for the thinking jurist, it will serve as a beacon of conscience into what is right, correct and proper under the Constitution. … 
 It will be a disservice to the advancement of constitutional law in Malaysia to dismiss the views of a constitutional thinker like Thomas without deliberate and conscious reflection – be it in court or elsewhere.”
Dato’ Mohamad Ariff Yusof
Retired Judge of the Court of Appeal
“In endorsing this book, I feel greatly privileged because I have known the author for many years. When I was on the bench, he used to appear before me as a young lawyer and I found him to be very good and alert on his feet. Equally, this book shows that he is even better in his writing …
 When I was under siege during the 1988 Judicial Crisis episode, Tommy Thomas, was one of the lawyers in a team headed by the late Raja Aziz bin Addruse trying to save the judiciary.”
Tun Salleh Abas
Former Lord President
Posted in Law, Politics

Brave New World

Author: Azmi Sharom
Format: Paperback 272 pp.
Subjects: Education, Law & Business, Malaysia, Politics
ISBN: 9789670630892
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM38.00
Azmi Sharom may be best known for his law expertise and his intimate acquaintance with the Sedition Act, but as this collection shows, he has a lot more to talk about: faith, fear-mongering, football, and Flight of the Hamsters, for example.
Drawn from selected newspaper columns published between 2007 and 2015, these essays cover Merdeka, mob rule, and the path from one to the other. Azmi clears up the question of whether Malaysia is a secular or Islamic state, explains the role of the monarchy as determined by the Constitution, and outlines (perhaps a little wearily) how the introduction of simple concepts such as academic freedom and an independent police commission might actually be beneficial to everybody. Along the way, we’re invited to consider how history is taught to our youth, who’s responsible for landslides, and why we can’t all just unite against our common enemy, the Aedes mosquito.
The state of Malaysia today ensures that he’s never short of material, and he’s often scathing, frequently hilarious and consistently fair in his assessment of it.

The book comes with a free CD of two original songs by Azmi.

Azmi Sharom is an Associate Professor in a public university. He teaches Human Rights and Environmental Law. He has been writing articles for newspapers and magazines for many years, starting with comic reviews in the 90s and moving onto current affairs on an ad hoc basis from 2001 and then regularly from 2007. Currently he has regular columns in The Star and Sin Chew Jit Poh.
Posted in Law, Politics

Law, Jurisprudence and Human Rights in Asia

Editors: Jefferson R. Plantilla & Salbiah Ahmad
Format: Paperback, 358 pages
Subject: Law
ISBN: 9789675832130
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2011
Price: RM50.00


Asian States report to the United Nations human rights treaty monitoring bodies on the existence of laws, policies, programs and even local legislations that support human rights. They also report on court decisions upholding human rights. To what extent are these laws, policies, and programs faithful to the provisions of the international human rights instruments? Do they have impact on government systems in addressing human rights-related issues? How far has the judiciary been able to apply the international human rights standards in their decisions? Has the judiciary been helpful in deepening the roots of international human rights standards in the national legal and judicial systems? Has it introduced new concepts that deserve adaptation as human rights principles? Finally, how do legal practitioners see the international human rights standards in terms of their work on human rights issues?

This study answers these questions in varied ways. Each State in this study has particular contexts and responses to human rights. No State has fully complied with human rights state obligations. But this study provides different experiences that should be further developed and employed to facilitate application of international human rights standards on concrete issues that confront people.

Posted in English Books, Law

Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia

Author: Loh Kah Seng
Format: Paperback, 189 pages
Subjects: Law, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789833782765
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2009
Price: RM28.00
Making and Unmaking the Asylum recounts the entangled stories of leprosy in colonial and postcolonial Malaya/Malaysia and Singapore – decades of heavy handed biomedical policies and laws enacted in the name of modernity, science and development, interwoven with the personal accounts of those who were sent to the asylums. The leprosarium was a living hell for many. It is also no coincidence, Loh argues, that the majority of patients were poor and working-class.
Yet this book also richly demonstrates how patients resisted being victims – creating new families, forging friendships, working, joining unions, and actively engaging in their communal religious and cultural lives.
Having struggled to remake the asylums into homes, ex-sufferers in both countries has been evicted or moved again, their personal and collective histories erased, and their real homes exchanged for antiseptic hospital wards, or worse.
Posted in English Books, History, Law, Social Studies

Malaysia: 45 years under the Internal Security Act

Author: Koh Swe Yong
Format: Hardback, 330 pages
Subjects: Law, Politics
ISBN: 9789832535461
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2004
Price: RM100.00
The greatest value of this book is to reveal the truth of our history. It helps us to understand how the government has so unjustly used the ISA to suppress dissidents and oppositions inside the country for the last 45 years. This book symbolises another effort by the civil society to oppose the ISA.

This book documents small and big events which took place right back to 1960, when the ISA was first implemented. It is a collection of events depicting how the ISA has been abused and misused in the last 45 years.

As citizens of Malaysia, should we not emulate the people of South Africa? Should we not make a concerted effort to have the ISA abolished in the cause of upholding “justice, democracy and the rule of law” in our country!

Posted in English Books, Law, Politics