Faridah Begum bte Abdullah v. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah

Faridah Begum Bte Abdullah V. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah

Faridah Begum bte Abdullah v. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah

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Faridah Begum bte Abdullah v. Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah 1 MLJ 617 was the first and is as of 2007 the only case to have been heard by the Special Court of Malaysia which hears cases brought against the Malay rulers (the sultans who serve as constitutional monarchs of seven of the Malay states).

The plaintiff was a Singaporean businesswoman and the defendant was the Sultan of Pahang. Faridah alleged that the Sultan had committed libel against her, and sued for damages. The Attorney General consented to the case, permitting the Special Court to hear it. However, whether the alleged libel had in fact occurred was never decided, as the Special Court ruled 4-1 that non-Malaysians could not bring a suit against the Malay rulers.

Background

In 1993, the Constitution of Malaysia was amended, with a new Part XV being added. This Part XV provided for the constitution of a Special Court to try the Malay rulers for any crime, as well as any civil cases brought against them; previously, the rulers had been above the law. The Special Court would comprise the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge of Malaya, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, and two judges, present or past, from either the Federal Court or a High Court, nominated by the Conference of Rulers.Wu, Min Aun & Hickling, R. H. (2003). Hickling's Malaysian Public Law, p. 80. Petaling Jaya: Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-74-2518-0.

Faridah Begum was the first case heard by the Special Court, and remains the only...
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