MARK KODING v. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
a. A Member of the House of Representatives, Mark Koding made a speech in Parliament on the 11th of October 1978 which the Public Prosecutor thought was seditious. b. Mark Koding asked for closure of Chinese and Tamil schools in the process of implementing the national language, Bahasa Melayu. c. Mark Koding was charged with committing an offence contrary to Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 (Revised 1969).
2. PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
a. After the end of the prosecution case in High Court defence counsel submitted no case to answer, but the learned trial Judge held that there was, and called on the accused to enter his defence; whereupon his counsel announced that the defence did not wish to call any witness. b. On the application by the defence, the judge in High Court referred the matter to Federal Court. The case was stated as a special case and remitted to Federal Court under sections 48 and 49 of the Courts of Judicature Act 7 of 1964 (Revised 1972), Act 91. c. The judge in High Court had stated three questions as an reference for the judges in Federal Court.
3. ISSUE :
The main issue from this case is whether or not the Member of the House of Representative, Mark Koding has the right of free speech in Parliment even if the speech was found to be seditious?
a. As a Member of Parliament, Mark Koding was given the right of free speech in the Parliament given by sections 3 and 8 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance [No. 15 of] 1952 and by Article 63(2) of the 1957 Federal Constitution. Article 63(2) of the 1957 Federal Constitution states that, “ No person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him when taking part in any proceedings of either House of Parliament or any committee thereof. “ b. However, the Article 63(2) of 1957 Federal Constitution has been validly limited by the constituional amendment...
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