COP21 – Outcome and Future of the Agreement

Source: BFM

Hailed as a turning point for action to limit climate change below dangerous levels, The Conference of Parties (COP) 21 Climate Change Summit in Paris last December saw 195 countries come together to adopt a universal and legally binding global climate deal. We speak to Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Lead Spokesmen for Like Minded Developing Countries and His Excellency Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Malaysia, about the outcome of the summit and what happens next.

Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Lead Spokesmen for Like Minded Developing Countries | His Excellency Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Malaysia


Apex court can reverse own ruling on minor’s conversion to Islam, say lawyers

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi plans to take her case to the Federal Court, in a bid to declare the conversion of her children to Islam, done by her ex-husband, as null and void. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 11, 2016.

The Federal Court can break the impasse over unilateral conversions of children to Islam through M. Indira Gandhi’s case, although it had in 2014 ruled that conversions be decided by the Shariah court, lawyers say.

They said there had been past precedent of Federal Court benches departing from their previous decisions, and it was largely a question of how the legal questions were framed and argued before the judges.

Lawyer Mohamed Hanif Khatri Abdulla said the Federal Court bench could revisit the same issue it had decided earlier.

“No decision is cast in stone and cannot be changed. That is why we have a procedure in the Federal Court where parties get leave to argue issues of public importance.”

At the same time, there was nothing to stop the executive from amending laws in Parliament to pacify Muslims and non-Muslims on custody, conversion and the religious status of dead persons.

Hindu kindergarten teacher Indira will be appealing to the apex court after the Court of Appeal set aside the High Court’s decision to quash the conversion certificates of her children who were converted to Islam by her ex-husband without her knowledge. Read more

Repression and regime survival – Khoo Ying Hooi

Source: The Malaysian Insider


In my November column, “Malaysia’s vote on protecting human rights defenders, diplomatic window dressing”, I raised the question of the commitments of the 117 countries which voted “yes” to the United Nations’ Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, including Malaysia.

The question was raised mainly due to the consistency of the authorities in cracking down on those who speak against government policy, which at this stage could suggest that such forms of intimidation are at the heart of the administration’s tactics.

There are various levels of repression. In Malaysia, repression has its own dimension. For the most part, it sets restrictions on individuals’ civil rights which anticipate the limiting of coordination and mobilisation capacity of groups and individuals, as we have witnessed in many recent cases on human rights activists.

Jakarta Globe reported last week’s deportation of an Indonesian rights activist, Mugiyanto Sipin, who was supposed to speak at a forum titled “People’s movement can bring change” held by the Bersih group in conjunction with its Yellow Mania event. Read more

TPPA Debate periodic roundup: 7-10 Jan 2016

A roundup on the debate around the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement from various sources during the period of 7-10 January 2016:

In 2016, let’s hope for better trade agreements and the death of TPP – Joseph Stiglitz

Source: The Guardian

The Trans-Pacific Partnership may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades


Pic taken from FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system.

Most notable was the Paris climate agreement reached last month. By itself, the agreement is far from enough to limit the increase in global warming to the target of 2ºC above the pre-industrial level. But it did put everyone on notice: the world is moving, inexorably, toward a green economy. One day not too far off, fossil fuels will be largely a thing of the past. So anyone who invests in coal now does so at his or her peril. With more green investments coming to the fore, those financing them will, we should hope, counterbalance powerful lobbying by the coal industry, which is willing to put the world at risk to advance its shortsighted interests.

Indeed, the move away from a high-carbon economy, where coal, gas, and oil interests often dominate, is just one of several major changes in the global geo-economic order. Many others are inevitable, given China’s soaring share of global output and demand. The New Development Bank, established by the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), was launched during the year, becoming the first major international financial institution led by emerging countries. And, despite Barack Obama’s resistance, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established as well, and is to start operation this month. Read more