Cops say no to Dataran Merdeka for anti-GST rally this Saturday

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows hundreds of people gathering for the anti-GST rally Himpunan Derita Rakyat (Hindar) at Padang Merbok, April 11, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

File picture shows hundreds of people gathering for the anti-GST rally Himpunan Derita Rakyat (Hindar) at Padang Merbok, April 11, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The police today told organisers of this Saturday’s protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to steer clear of Dataran Merdeka, warning that those who insist on using the venue would face action.

Dang Wangi district police chief Zainol Samah said the police were told yesterday that City Hall already has plans to use the historic square for another event, which makes the venue off-limits to protesters.

“On March 30, the police was informed by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall that there will be preparations at Dataran Merdeka for the ‘Car Free Morning Program’, so the place cannot be used,” he said.

“As such, we will not hesitate to take stern action if the rally is held there as it is unlawful under Section 11 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. However, the organisers can hold their rallies at other places such as Padang Merbok.” Read more

Malaysian activist Nisha Ayub is first transgender to win US Women of Courage award

Source: Asian Correspondent

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

MALAYSIA’S leading defender of trangender rights, Nisha Ayub, was a recipient of the prestigious International Women of Courage Award on Tuesday in Washington D.C.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the award to Nisha and 13 others in recognition for their courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress.

In his speech, Kerry lauded Nisha for standing up for Malaysia’s transgender community, which still faces violence, discrimination, and oppression.

He said that despite threats to her own safety, Nisha remained committed to her work because “it’s what she cares about and because she knows it’s the right thing to do”.

“Nisha Ayub – for your extraordinary work to promote societies that are more just, fair and tolerant, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, we honor you,” said Kerry. Read more

Death penalty: Home Ministry says 12 executed in last six years

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Death Penalty

Death Penalty

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― Malaysia has executed 12 out of a total 829 people who were sentenced to death since 2010, the Home Ministry said today.

In a written parliamentary reply to Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, the ministry added that 95 others have received either a royal pardon or had their death sentence commuted.

“The sentence has been handed out due to the offences of murder, drug trafficking, smuggling firearms, and also kidnapping,” the ministry said.

Gobind had asked the government to give a breakdown on the death sentences meted out since 2010.

Last week, prison authorities came under criticism for what was described by Amnesty International as the “secretive” hanging of a 34-year-old man at the Taiping prison.

This was because Gunasegaran Pitchaymuthu was reportedly given very short notice regarding his execution.

Discussions and debates to abolish death penalty in Malaysia, especially under the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) had been taking place in Malaysia since 2011, but no legislative amendments had been proposed to date.

Suhakam renews call for moratorium on death penalty

Source: FMT News

Suhakam questions execution of three men given that the government is working on amendments to the death penalty.

suhakam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has renewed calls for a moratorium on the death penalty following the “secretive” execution of three murderers, whose families were given only two days’ notice.

The execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu, Ramesh Jayakumar and Sasivarnam Jayakumar last Friday has caused a furore in the international human rights community, with Amnesty International condemning what it called a “last-minute” execution of the convicted murderers.

“The Commission expresses regret in this regard as only recently in November 2015, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri announced that the Government was in the midst of finalising amendments to remove the mandatory death penalty in relevant laws,” said Suhakam chairman Hasmy Agam in a statement today. Read more

Death penalty violates right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SUHAKAMMARCH 29 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (the Commission ) notes the execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu, Ramesh Jayakumar and Sasivarnam Jayakumar on 25 March 2016 under section 302 of the Penal Code, read together with section 34 of the same Code.

The Commission expresses regret in this regard as only recently in November 2015, Minister in the Prime Minister s Department, YB Hajah Nancy Shukri announced that the Government was in the midst of finalising amendments to remove the mandatory death penalty in relevant laws. The Bill was expected to be tabled at the current (March 2016) Parliamentary session. Today, over two thirds of the world s nations have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Read more

Three Malaysian Inmates Convicted for Murder Sentenced by Hanging, “Secretly” Executed

Source: Lawyer Herald

Amnesty International Malaysia has condemned the impending ‘last minute’ execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for March 25, 2016. — File pic

Amnesty International Malaysia had condemned the impending ‘last minute’ execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu scheduled for March 25, 2016. — File pic

Malaysian authorities “secretly” executed three inmates convicted for murders Friday. According to the representing attorney for the three inmates, their families were only notified two days before their execution.

Attorney Palaya Rengaiah, the lawyer for Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu, 35, Ramesh Jayakumar, 34, and his brother Sasivarnam Jayakumar, 37, said the three men were told on Thursday, that they will be executed the next day, the Guardian reported. “The execution was done between 4:30 and 5:30 this morning. They were hanged to death,” Rengaiah said. Read more

Blow lid on whistleblower — Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHABERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

MARCH 28 — In the midst of confusion surrounding the business of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), there appears to be bemusement among some sectors of the public on what a “whistleblower” is in law.

A whistleblower, in law, is not someone who whistles loudly any tune or music he wants in public with the purported motive of disclosing a wrongdoing by some government department. If that was the legal position, then any number of government agencies can be vilified and undermined in public on the pretext of whistleblowing — as in the case of trial by media.

Likewise, writing a blog article for example, based on so-called inside information, to disclose a purported wrong by say, a minister or a ministry, also does not qualify as whistleblowing in law.

Contrary to his expectations, the blog writer could end up committing various crimes and may even face potential civil liability if his accusations of wrongdoings are levelled at individuals.

For this reason and reasons that follow herein, I am surprised why quite a few refer to the Sarawak Report as a “whistleblowing site” because, at best, what are reported are allegations which are not proven in accordance with the law. Read more

Malaysia: Landmark ruling allows Muslim convert to be Christian

Source: Asian Correspondent

https://asiancorrespondent.com/2016/03/malaysia-landmark-ruling-allows-muslim-convert-to-be-christian/

A Malaysian Muslim man walks towards a mosque for noon prayers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pic: AP

A HIGH COURT in Malaysia has made a landmark ruling to allow Muslim child converts to chose their religions in adulthood.

The precedence was made yesterday at a court in the state of Sarawak, involving Azmi Mohamad Azam, also known as Roneey, who was allowed to revert back into Christianity after his parents converted him to Islam when he was a child.

Situated on Borneo Island, Sarawak is home to a plethora of indigenous groups, and Azmi, now 39, was originally from a Bidayuh Christian family that converted to Islam when he was eight.

Judge Yew Jen Kie had cited the federal constitution’s charter, which accorded freedom of religion, in allowing Azmi to embrace his beliefs now that he was a grown adult.

With the ruling, the National Registration Department had also been ordered to change Azmi’s name to Rooney Rebit. This means that a detail on his identity card, which also contained the status of his religion, would be changed to “Christian”. Read more

Amnesty denounces ‘shocking’ Malaysian executions

Source: Daily Mail UK

Amnesty International said Malaysian authorities hanged three convicted murderers Friday despite calls for clemency from rights groups that called the executions “shocking and disturbing”, as the country considers scrapping the death penalty.

Malaysian and international organisations including the UN’s human rights body had this week issued appeals for authorities to stay the expected execution of Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu.

However, Amnesty said two brothers, Ramesh Jayakumar and Sasivarnam Jayakumar, also had been hanged Friday. Read more

Six years on, family of slain Shah Alam schoolboy wins RM400,000 govt compensation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Aminulrasyid-signpost_170_135_100SHAH ALAM, March 24 — The family of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the 14-year-old killed by a patrolling police officer during a midnight joyride through the suburban streets of Shah Alam six years ago, won today their protracted court battle for damages against the government.

High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim in his ruling favouring the family said the then officer Jenain Subi had gone against the Inspector-General’s Standing Orders (IGSO) when he opened fire during the incident.

“The defendant’s action was careless, excessive and it went against the IGSO,” Ahmad Zaidi said in his court here.

He then ordered Jenain and other defendants to pay RM150,000 for damages caused by pain and suffering, another RM150,000 for aggravated damages.

The judge also ordered Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was the Selangor police chief the time, to pay RM100,000 for public misfeasance. Read more