Mark Koding V. Public Prosecutor

In: Business and Management

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Title and Citation
Mark Koding v. Public Prosecutor
[1982] 2 MLJ 120
Facts
On 11 October 1978, the Accused, Mark Koding, a lawyer and member of the Dewan Rakyat made a speech in Parliament which was thought to be seditious. He was subsequently charged with committing an offence under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act.
Issues
1. Whether, as a Member of Parliament (MP), the Accused’s right of free speech in Parliament, given by sections 3 and 8 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance [No. 15 of] 1952 and Article 63(2) of the 1957 Federal Constitution, has been validly limited by the subsequent amendment made to Article 63 with the addition of Clause (4) by the Constitution (Amendment) Act. 1971 (Act A30). 2. Whether the Accused’s right of free speech in Parliament is part of the Constitution’s basic structure or a fundamental rule of natural justice, thus rendering any supposed amendment of the Constitution seeking to limit such right is void and of no effect. 3. Whether the demand for closure of Chinese and Tamil schools in the process of implementing the national language can be legally and constitutionally treated as questioning Article 152(1) and thus, bringing into operation section 3(1) (f) of the Sedition Act 1948 (Revised 1969), despite there not being a demand for the abolition of prohibition of the teaching or learning of such languages.
Reasoning
1. While Sections 3 and 8 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance 1952 as well as Article 63(2) of the Constitution grants an MP freedom of speech in Parliament without being held liable to be prosecuted or questioned in court, the subsequent addition of Clause 4 in Article 63 states that Clause 2 is not applicable to any person who has committed an offence under Article 10(4) or the Sedition Act 1948.
Noting that the Accused is charged via the…...

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