Protecting migrant workers can benefit host countries’ economies, UN says

Source: The Malaysian Outsider

Migrant workers staying in cramped quarters in Malaysia. The UN says if migrant labour is given benefits and social protections, it will boost the economies of the host countries. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 1, 2016.

Migrant workers staying in cramped quarters in Malaysia. The UN says if migrant labour is given benefits and social protections, it will boost the economies of the host countries. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 1, 2016.

Governments must provide migrant labour with the same benefits and social protections they give their own citizens, which will boost their economies and worker productivity, a United Nations official said.

Of the estimated 232 million migrants in the world in 2013, more than 95 million are from the Asia Pacific region, according to the UN’s Asia Pacific Migration Report 2015 launched this week in Bangkok.

Migrants contribute significantly to GDP growth in host countries, while sending home about US$435 billion (RM1.8 billion) in remittances to the Asia Pacific region in 2015, said Hongjoo Hahm, deputy executive secretary of the UN’s development arm for Asia and the Pacific.

Yet many face abuses at every step of the way, from recruitment agencies and job brokers at home to exploitative employers, officials and police abroad.

It is the responsibility of governments in the countries that send and receive migrants to have domestic, regional and inter-country discussions to create the policies and conditions necessary for safe migration, Hahm said. Read more

To prevent fraud, Sabah MACC wants to reissue native certificates

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider

KOTA KINABALU, March 1 ― The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Sabah is now working on a proposal to recall all native certificates and replace them with better quality documents, after discovering that non-natives here have been using fake certificates to buy land.

Its outgoing state director Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim said a total recall of all native certificates would be the best solution due to the probability that possibly thousands of fake native certificates have been forged by syndicates since the practice was ceased by the state government in 1982.

“We have been talking about this with the state secretary, and will be proposing to the state Cabinet and the chief minister in an upcoming integrity seminar on April 7, “ said Hishamuddin, who handed over his post to successor Datuk Shaharom Nizam Abdul Manap today. Read more

Misuse of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to Stifle Freedom of Speech and Expression Must End – Malaysian Bar

Press Release

Misuse of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
to Stifle Freedom of Speech and Expression Must End

The Malaysian Bar is aghast at the decision of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (“MCMC”) — pursuant to Sections 233 and 263(2) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (“CMA”) — to deny public access to The Malaysian Insider (“TMI”) online news portal indefinitely.

MCMC announced the decision in its statement dated 25 February 2016, without giving any specific reason.  However, it appears that MCMC has taken action against TMI because TMI allegedly published matters that have caused confusion.  MCMC has not identified the offending publication(s) by TMI that caused this purported confusion.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Mohd Salleh Tun Said Keruak has reportedly said that TMI has been blocked as one of the articles published by it “… quoted a statement that could cause confusion because it contradicts with official statements by MACC.  They don’t mention who the source is.  It could confuse the public.”[1]

Causing public confusion is not, and cannot be, an offence under Section 233 of the CMA.  MCMC’s reliance on Section 233 for its action against TMI is therefore without any basis, and   oppressive.  It is quite puzzling that anyone could consider causing public confusion to be an offence at all.  It is also rather demeaning and offensive to assume that Malaysians will be “confused” merely as a result of contradictory statements in the press, or because the source of press statements was not disclosed. Read more

Pahang MB cannot use public office position to sue Utusan for defamation, court rules

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Istana Kehakiman / Palace of Justice ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Istana Kehakiman / Palace of Justice ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, March 1 ― Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob cannot proceed with his defamation suit against newspaper publisher Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd in his capacity as a public official, the Court of Appeal ruled today.

Utusan Melayu’s lead counsel Datuk M. Reza Hassan said the court allowed the publisher’s bid to strike out the defamation suit and ordered Adnan to pay RM3,000 in costs.

He confirmed that today’s decision is considered a landmark ruling, which means media outfits are free to write critical reports against public officials if they do not include personal criticism.

“As far as we are aware, there are no similar cases locally,” Reza told reporters here after the decision by Datuk Rohana Yusuf, Tan Sri Idrus Harun, Datuk Mary Lim. Read more

Censorship in the Information Age – Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Outsider

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

Last week, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) directed Malaysian internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to The Malaysian Insider.

The Malaysian Insider is the latest in a series of local and foreign websites blocked in Malaysia, allegedly for jeopardising “public order”.

Prior to The Malaysian Insider, whistleblower website Sarawak Report, weekly publication The Heat and business newspaper The Edge Financial Daily, along with content aggregator, Medium, were also blocked or suspended, as the case may be for print publications.

It may have been viable to blot out pieces of information as a means of maintaining social order in the yesteryears, when newspapers, TV and radio were the sole sources of information on what is happening in the country, region or world.

People of that era too, arguably, questioned the actions of their government less than their present day counterparts. However, the credibility of both our government and local mass media were also, arguably, of a much higher standing in those days.

But in this day and age, with multiple avenues available to obtain the same news, is such censorship still a practical method of restricting information flow, or will it, in the process of trying to do some good, inadvertently have the exact opposite effect? Read more

Migration: Our policy Black Hole – Lim Teck Ghee

Source: The Heat Malaysia

BY LIM TECK GHEE

Malaysia should get rid of its policy black hole and politicking if it wants to solve our migration problems.

The recent ruckus over the plan to bring in as many as 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers into the country should shine the spotlight not only on the topic of foreign labour in Malaysia but also more crucially, on our migration policy.

In any country especially one with relatively open and porous borders – whether it is first, second or third world; developing or developed – one would expect that a national migration policy would receive priority attention, and be placed at the forefront of public policy and attention.

Such a policy would be accompanied by transparent disclosure of what the targets of that migration policy are, whether these targets have been met, and whether there needs to be refinements or changes to policy implementation.

Details of the policy would be published on a regular basis to enable all stakeholders to scrutinize and monitor the policy, and provide feedback to policy makers. Read more