Suhakam welcomes Child Act amendments, but wants legal marrying age raised to 18

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has welcomed amendments to the Child Act 2001, but wants the legal age for marriage to be raised to 18.

In a press release on Monday, its chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam (pic) said that they were concerned with the omission to prohibit marriages between any persons below 18 years.

“The Commission therefore urges the Government to amend all domestic laws to raise the legal age of marriage for all to 18 years, to be in compliance with the Child Act which defines children as those below the age of 18,” he said.

In general, Hasmy described amendments to the Act as “comprehensive”.

He said that it showed continuous improvements in the protection of children’s rights in the country and would forward its comments on the various amendments to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

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STATEMENT: Dire Need for Institutional Reforms to Uphold the Rule of Law and for Effective Checks and Balances




1. HAKAM is gravely concerned with the seemingly increasing disregard for the fundamentals of democracy by the Federal Government and key institutions of the nation.

2. That the situation is critical is evident given the increasingly strident and combative tone that the Government and institutions have adopted in dealing with, and rejecting, widespread criticism over the manner in which matters of national importance and public interest have been dealt with. Without intending to define or limit the nature of these matters, HAKAM views with concern the manner in which the following matters have, or have not, been addressed:

2.1 Race relations and increasingly contentious and divisive ethno-religious issues. The direct impact on the social and economic environment can no longer be ignored. It is no coincidence that an increasing number of Malaysians are looking for more fulfilling lives elsewhere;

2.2 The administration of justice. It is no longer possible to brush aside the obvious signs of a significant loss of public confidence in institutions involved in this vital aspect of the democratic framework of this nation. Internationally recognised indexes conclusively show that Malaysia is no longer perceived as a country that upholds the Rule of Law. The efficacy of these public institutions is made possible only by the fact that stakeholders continue to have confidence in them;

2.3 Free and fair elections. This needs no explanation; and

2.4 Corruption and illicit capital out-flow. This has hurt and continues to hurt all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.

3. The dismissiveness of the Government and its reliance on a legal framework that it has harnessed to suppress legitimate dissent on matters that affect all Malaysians, regardless of their backgrounds and political leanings, clearly point to the interest of the nation having been made subservient to political interests. Read more

Maria Chin fails in bid to strike out Bersih 4 charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maria Chin Abdullah is seen outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex after her challenge to strike out an illegal assembly charge today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah failed today in her bid to  strike out a charge for organising the Bersih 4 overnight public demonstration last year.

High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah dismissed the application, saying the electoral reform group’s chief failed to notify the Brickfields police 10 days before the rally as required under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“Based on that reason, the application has no merit,” he said in his ruling.

He also said the High Court has no power to decide or cancel the previous decision to charge Chin by the Sessions Court. Read more

End the misery of stateless children – Goh Siu Lin

Source: FMT News


Federal Government should make decisions within six months as recommended by Court of Appeal.


The Association of Women Lawyers refers to the news report on the long-awaited decision of the Home Ministry in granting citizenship to Navin Moorthy under Article 15 of the Federal Constitution.

This is indeed a significant moment for child rights in Malaysia, in line with the spirit and intent of the said Article 15A while upholding Malaysia’s obligations under Article 7 the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child on the right of every child to acquire a nationality.

M. Navin was born in this country to a Malaysian father and Filipino mother. He had endured a 3 year legal battle seeking Malaysian citizenship after his father’s two earlier applications to the Home Ministry for his son’s Malaysian citizenship were consecutively rejected in 2011 and 2012. Read more