Friday, January 22, 2010

Nothing to shout about, really

This decision is plain stupid. On my intial reading of the news, I thought it's something to be praised of since it's explicitly propagated by the media that the highest court in the land has finally make a decade wrong a right. However upon my further analyse and observation, it appears the decision is not as good as it sounds like in the newspaper.

The Federal Court has overruled a previous decision from the same court whereby now onwards, it's illegal to purchase a property from a person who is not the rightful owner of the property. This completely undermine and ridicule our Queen's most sensical principle, a bona fide person shall never be penalise for the wrong that he's not aware of. Under the Queen's law of equity, one who comes in bad faith shall never profit from his own wrong. Everyone knows this and God know this as well.

Just to give all and sundry a thumb sketch of the law prior to the abovesaid absurd decision, if you follow the Queen's law closely, if a thief steal an item lets say a handphone, and subsequently sells it to an innocent buyer who has come in good faith in believing that the handphone is not a stolen property but reasonably believe it's the thief's property, the buyer shall not be regard as stealing or handling a stolen property and is not compelled by the law to return the goods to its rightful owner because you have now became the new rightful owner.

However if the situation is otherwise, where the buyer is aware that the handphone is a stolen property and yet he proceed with purchase of the handphone then he will subsequently be regard to have appropriate a stolen property as he is completely aware of the status quo of the property , that it's a stolen goods, and the law compels you to return the stolen property to its rightful owner since you're not the rightful owner. I will draw a simple example on how bad faith should works. The simplest would be to purchase a pirated DVDs. Whoever purchase a pirated DVDs are actually commiting bad faith as they purchase something that they knew is a stolen property in the first place. Hence you're a thief according to the law.

To ease your undertanding, the deciding element to determine whether one is a thief under the law is that one must have the intention to appropriate a property by way of permanently deprieve the original owner of his legal rights shall be deemed a thief who is prosecutable under the law.

It was the state of mind of the buyer which shall determine whether he bears a criminal liability or otherwise. If you come in bad faith you are criminal but if you come in good faith you are good people. So hopping back to our argument, if a person who comes in good faith (bona fide purchaser) oblivious to the status quo of a property and reasonably believe that it's a clean (not stolen) property, he shall not be regard as a thief as he has no intention to buy a stolen goods hence do not need to return the stolen property.

After you have been educated by above unprofessional elaboration of how bona fide concept would works, let's apply it to our First Class Judiciary's rational. Now, the law no longers raise the question whether bona fide should determine whether a purchaser right should ever triumph over a careless original owner's right. Bona fide or not bona fide is no longer relevant in todays context. Today, so long as you purchase a property from a thief, you can never be the rightful owner of the property. You're as much a thief the thief who sold you the property. That's it. Period.

It's plain stupid like what I just said earlier. The law now appears to provide greater protection for careless duped owner more than protection for the purchaser who comes in good faith. The injustice created now is far much greater than injustice before. You now have to return a stolen property despite you have bought it with good faith.

The core reason for the sudden overturn of decision from the highest court of the land is not because the existing principle is unsound but because the court is trying to cover-up the loophole currently existing in our land transfer system by deviating the focus away from the fact that our land transfer system is highly inefficent and the government officials do not WORK in clean hands to upheld transparency and accoutability.

What makes you think corruption is not the reason why titles can be forged so easily?

Why penalise the weak for the incompetence caused by your own omission?

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