Case Riview: Malaysian Legal System

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15thFebruary 2010

Saira Banu
MLS Tutorial: 3-4 pm
Cases
i) Strait Settlements
Reception of English Law
Case
Kamoo v
Thomas
Turner
Bassett

In the Goods
of Abdullah

Facts
Pf, a native from
Bengal, had
agreed in June
1806 to be
employed by the
Df, as a
“khidmuggur” or a
table servant in
Penang at a salary
of $6/mnth.
Unfortunately,
since his
employment, the Pf
had been severely
ill-treated by the Df.
On July 20, 1907,
the Pf was whipped
20 times with a
rattan by an order
by the Df. Pf
complained to the
Police Magistrate,
Df was angered
and ordered Pf to
be confined and
caused the Pf to be
tied up to a stake &
had him whipped a
100(x), placed Pf
under confinement
for 2 months and
finally dismissed
Pf’s service.
A Muslim, who died
in Penang, devises
his entire property

Issue
Pf filed an
action for
assault,
battery and
false
imprisonment
against the Df
for $600. The
Df denied any
liability.

Principle
The Charter of
Justice applies
retrospectively to
civil injuries which
have been
sustained &
crimes which
have been
committed before
the Charter came
into existence
force. The object
of the Charter is
to protect the
native inhabitants
from oppression
& injustice.

Judgement
Verdict for
the Pf $150
with costs.

Whether the
will is valid?

The Law of
England
introduced into

Court held,
applying
previous

by a means of will.
According to
Muslim law, a
Muslim can on
devise 1/3 his
property to nonbeneficiaries.

Reg V
Willans

The resp. Willans,
a Police
Magistrate, had
refused to try a
case involving one
Chivatean, an
agricultural
labourer who had
frequently
absented himself
from work.

W hether the
resp.’s refusal
was well
founded.
W hich in turn
depended on
whether the
statute passed
in England
in1824 is also
applicable in
Penang by
virtue of the
Charter of
Justice.

the S.S by the 2nd
Charter had
superseded the
previous law. Any
local inhabitant of
the S.S who
wishes to leave
their property by
will in accordance
with their
personal law
must expressly
indicate their
intention that their
will is to be
construed by
those personal
laws. In absence
of such express
declaration,
English law would
apply.
W hen Penang
became a British
possession, there
were no
inhabitants to
claim the right of
being governed
by any existing
law & no tribunals
to enforce such
law. As such it is
difficult to assert
that the law of
Kedah applies to
the island after it
was occupied by
the British
administrators.
For the first 20
years since it was
founded, there
was no unknown
body of law
recognised as the

decision in
Rodyk & ors.
V Williamson
& ors., that
the will was
valid. The
administratio
n granted to
the widow
must be
revoked.

The statute
passed in
England
in1824 is
also
applicable in
Penang by
virtue of the
Charter of
Justice.

Fatimah &
Ors. V Logan
& Ors.

A Muslim who died
in Penang, leaving
behind him a will.
A-G for the Pf
contended that
Muslim law must
be applied.

What law must
be applied to
determine the
validity of the
will?

law of the place.
The 1st Charter
introduced the
law of England
into Penang. As
for the 2nd
Charter, it
introduced the
law of England as
it existed on that
date not only to
Malacca &
Singapore but to
Penang as well,
In so far as the
conditions &
circumstances of
the place &
persons shall
admit.
The propositions
that previous to
the Charter of
1807 Islamic law
was in force in
Penang & that
the Charter made
no alteration in
the law cannot be
accepted. In 1786
Penang was a
desert &
uncultivated land,
virtually
uninhabited &
without any fixed
institutions. Either
on the
settlements of the
island, or if not
then, by the
Charter of 1807,
the law of
England was
introduced to
Penang &

The Charter
of 1807, the
law of
England was
introduced to
Penang &...
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