Time for electoral reforms – Ramon Navaratnam

Source: The Star Online

BY RAMON NAVARATNAM

I WOULD like to congratulate Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah on his recent promotion to the prestigious but onerous post of Election Commission chairman.

I am sure voters will also laud him loudly for giving his fresh and independent insights on how we can modernise the electoral commission and the electoral process. We need radical reforms to our somewhat stale electoral system.

Indeed, Mohd Hashim has started on the right foot by stating publicly that he might be introducing some electoral changes to put us on par with systems enjoyed by more mature developed countries!

And why not? After all, we are on the threshold of becoming a developed nation – if we achieve our target date of 2020! Thus, we have to reform our election system accordingly. Read more

Rafizi nabbed over OSA leak while leaving Parliament

Source: The Malay Mail Online

OSA-222x300KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — PKR’s Rafizi Ramli was arrested outside the Parliament compound as he was exiting today, for the alleged wrongful communication of classified documents.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed shortly after the arrest that Rafizi was being detained for investigation under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Rafizi previously disclosed what he claimed to be an excerpt from the Auditor-General’s report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which is classified under the OSA.

“Yes, (for the incident) outside Parliament House,” Khalid told Malay Mail Online when asked if Rafizi was arrested over his alleged use of the AG’s report. Read more

Malaysian murder convict loses appeal against hanging in Singapore

Source: Bangkok Post

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s highest court on Tuesday quashed a final appeal by a Malaysian murder convict, setting the stage for his execution by hanging despite calls for mercy from rights groups.

Human rights groups have called on Singapore to abolish capital punishment but the government has rejected such calls.

Kho Jabing, 31, was sentenced to death in 2010 for bludgeoning a Chinese construction worker to death in a robbery gone wrong and spent the next six years in a legal roller-coaster trying to avoid the gallows.

A High Court judge had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment and caning in 2013 on appeal following changes to the penal code that put an end to mandatory execution for murder convicts.

But state prosecutors fought the decision and the Court of Appeal, Singapore’s highest court, reinstated his death sentence in January 2015.

Kho’s scheduled execution last November was stayed at the eleventh hour when his lawyer filed another motion, which was denied on Tuesday.

Judge Chao Tick Hin, who delivered the final decision of the five-judge court, said the motion did not introduce any new material compelling enough for the court to reconsider the death sentence.

“It is the applicant’s core case that our decision in the re-sentencing appeal is wrong. But the material he advanced fell far short of even showing that this court’s decision was wrong, let alone demonstrably or blatantly wrong,” the judge said.

He said a new execution date will be set by the Singapore president, who has already rejected clemency. Read more