Talks on TPP still under way, says Mustapa

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: A cost-benefit analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will be ready soon, according to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The US-initiated TPP covers nearly 40% of the global economy and includes 12 countries. A meeting was recently held in Hawaii by delegations and while progress has been made on the negotiations, several key issues, including next-generation drugs, autos and dairy products, remain on the table.

Mustapa said the analysis, done by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, would be ready in the next few days. The analysis focuses on national and overall interests.

He said the final document, together with the two cost-benefit analyses, would be presented to the public and Parliament once completed. Read more

Law abused to haul in those protecting democracy, forum told

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Law professor Dr Azmi Sharom questions several arrests made under the Penal Code for activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, August 14, 2015.

Many of those recently investigated under a law on activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy are actually doing work that is aimed at improving the country’s political system, speaker at a forum last night said.

These included anti-graft investigators and journalists who are probing and exposing wrongdoing at the highest levels of government so that citizens are well-informed of what their politicians are doing, said law professor Dr Azmi Sharom.

“In a parliamentary democracy people vote in their leaders. When someone exposes wrongdoing by the government, the people will be better informed when they go to vote.

“So if this is good for parliamentary democracy, then why are they being detained for ‘acts detrimental to parliamentary democracy’?” said Azmi, who was a speaker at the forum titled, “Section 124B: An affront to parliamentary democracy”, last night. Read more

Ruling on transgender may be overturned on technicality

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: The ruling which declared criminalising cross-dressing as unconstitutional may be overturned on a technicality, with the Negri Sembilan government arguing it was filed prematurely.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who acted for the state government, submitted that the suit by three transgenders had been filed in response to them being charged by the Syariah Court.

“There is no decision yet that is amendable to judicial review, you can’t scuttle a criminal proceeding that is just about to begin,” he told the Federal Court.

The trio had filed a judicial review at the Seremban High Court to obtain a declaration that Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 was invalid as it was not in line with fundamental freedom. Read more

Court reserves judgment on non-Muslims as Syariah lawyers

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has reserved its judgment over whether a non-Muslim is allowed to practise as a Syariah lawyer.

Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, who chaired a five-man panel, said the court would deliver its judgment on a later date.

The Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) contended that only Muslims could practise Syariah law as Syariah courts had no jurisdiction over non-Muslims should they display any professional misconduct during proceedings. Read more