NGOs concerned over regressing human rights

Source: FMT News

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) is concerned with the regression of human rights in the nation.

At a press conference on its midterm Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process report, the group, made up of 54 NGOs, revealed its assessment of 60 measurable recommendations out of the 113 recommendations accepted by Malaysia in 2014.

The UPR report details United Nations member state’s performance in relation to the implementation of human rights recommendations it has accepted based on recommendations of other countries.

In its midterm report, Comango revealed that only 20% of the 60 recommendations had been fully implemented, while 57% of the recommendations have seen a regressing situation.

Areas which have seen a regression are freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of religion, elections and migrant workers among others. Read more

Azmi Sharom: University students risk expulsion over vague law protecting ‘parliamentary democracy’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lawyers and law experts slam usage of 124 B Penal Code amendments as being unconstitutional. Pic taken from FMT News.

Lawyers and law experts slam usage of 124 B Penal Code amendments as being unconstitutional. Pic taken from FMT News, associated with the next article.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Undergraduates can be expelled from universities if they are charged with a law that vaguely outlaws activities harmful to parliamentary democracy, senior law lecturer Azmi Sharom said today.

Azmi highlighted the problem of the new criminal offence introduced in 2012 as Section 124B of the Penal Code, with the vague and undefined phrase of “parliamentary democracy” making it impossible to know what would amount to a threat against it.

“Where students are concerned, if they are charged, they can have disciplinary action taken against them, that is (in) the Universities and University Colleges Act, so you don’t have to be found guilty to be expelled from your institution, you can merely be charged,” the associate professor at Universiti Malaya’s (UM) law faculty said at the Bar Council’s forum “Section 124 of the Penal Code and Parliamentary Democracy” here. Read more

Nur Jazlan: Travel ban for national security

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Sakib noted that it is a privilege to be able to have a Malaysian passport rather than a right. — AFP pic

Nur Jazlan now says travel restrictions can be imposed on grounds of national security. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Travel restrictions can be imposed on grounds of national security, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today after the Malaysian Bar criticised arbitrary overseas travel bans.

Nur Jazlan also denied reports that the ban was aimed at government critics, claiming that it only affected Malaysians who violated the Federal Constitution.

“This policy has been implemented for a long time, not just recently. But the criteria will change from time to time.

“Not for people who criticise the government. Opposition said that. Only for people who commit offence (sic) against the Constitution, for example sedition, religion, race, and threat to national peace and harmony and national security,” he said in a statement.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru said yesterday the government’s claimed power to arbitrarily restrict the travels of any Malaysian is a “myth”, noting that travel bans can only be enforced in limited scenarios like bankruptcies and tax defaults.

The Star recently reported the Immigration Department as saying that it enforced a ruling a few months ago to bar those who insult the government from travelling abroad for three years. Read more