North Koreans doing forced labour in Malaysia, UN investigator says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

United Nations (UN) investigator says more than 50,000 North Korean workers were currently employed overseas in primarily the mining, construction, textile and logging industries. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 ― North Koreans are being sent to Malaysia and other countries to work in forced labour conditions to earn money for the purportedly financially strapped nation, a United Nations (UN) investigator said.

International news wire AP reported yesterday Marzuki Darusman, special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, as saying in a report to the UN general assembly and at a press conference that the companies hiring North Korean workers were “complicit in an unacceptable system of forced labour”.

Darusman reportedly said more than 50,000 North Korean workers were currently employed overseas in primarily the mining, construction, textile and logging industries, mostly in China and Russia, but also in Malaysia, Algeria, Angola, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Libya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Read more

Court allows activist Khalid interim bail but with conditions

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Activist Khalid Mohd Ismath must post RM5,000 bail for each of the 14 charges he faces. – Facebook pic, October 29, 2015.

Activist Khalid Mohd Ismath, who is charged with making inflammatory postings against he Johor royalty, has been given an interim bail by the High Court.

Lawyer Roger Chan Weng Keng said the bail, however, came with several conditions.

He said Khalid has to post RM5,000 for each of the 14 charges he faced, surrender his travel documents and report to the police as instructed by the court.

“The court will convene again on November 11 whether to revoke or vary the bail,” he said. Read more

Non-Muslims must register marriages to avert misery for spouse, kids, say lawyers

Source: The Malaysian Insider

It is important for non-Muslim couples to register their marriage since the Law Reform Act (Marriage and Divorce) 1976 no longer recognises customary rites. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 29, 2015.

Registering a marriage is of paramount importance to protect the legal interest of non-Muslim couple and their children in cases of death or separation, family lawyers said, following a Court of Appeal ruling that prevented a woman from dependency claims after the death of her partner.

Without marriage registration, the woman’s status was equivalent to a “keep” as she would have no rights over the wealth of the man or estate, while their children would be classified as illegitimate as most of existing law gave no protection.

Lawyers said the Court of Appeal ruling on Monday was right in declaring that customary marriage after July 1, 1982 afforded no legal protection since registration was compulsory.

Customary marriage was, at one time, legal until the Law Reform Act (Marriage and Divorce) 1976 came into operation in 1982, lawyer Ravi Nekoo said.

“A lot of complications could arise if the couple live together and have children,” he said.

He said this in response to the court ruling that bank executive Dee Bee Yoke was not entitled to dependency claims following the death of her partner, businessman Low Chin Wee, in a road accident in December 2011. Read more

One-third of foreign workers in Klang Valley have no protection against typhoid

Source: The Star Online

TOO MANY foreign workers in the Klang Valley have not been vaccinated against typhoid, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He blamed employers for the predicament, saying that they were “taking shortcuts” to save themselves money and were putting people at risk.

Checks jointly conducted by the ministry and Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) showed that more than 30% of foreign workers were not vaccinated, he said.

He said that among Malaysian workers, only 3% were unvaccinated. Read more

Dept outlines criteria for 300 schools to conduct classes in English and Bahasa

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The 300 schools involved in the Dual Language Programme (DLP) must meet three criteria – proper resources, teachers who can teach in English and Bahasa Malaysia and parents who are supportive.

Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, who disclosed this, said the selected schools could offer the programme to Years One and Four pupils and Form One students next year.

He also said the schools would be chosen based on “demand” by parents and school heads, besides readiness to offer the programme.

For a start, Dr Khair said the programme will be carried out in national primary and secondary schools. Read more

Negotiating a vote of no confidence – Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

Despite the Westminster systems’ role in enforcing responsibility, there is also uncertainty surrounding it.

THE nation is abuzz with news that the Opposition in Parliament is readying itself to introduce a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

The principle that the Prime Minister must maintain the confidence of the lower House is a central feature of the British style of parliamentary democracy that we inherited in 1957.

Article 43(4): Our Constitution does not explicitly refer to a motion of no confidence. However, it embraces the principle of answerability and accountability of the political executive to the legislature through Article 43(4), which provides that, “If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.”

How “confidence” can be lost and what amounts to “majority” are nowhere explicated. Read more