Source: The Sun Daily
BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)
LATELY the papers are gushing with news about vaccinating children. The deputy health minister says he is planning to make it a crime for not vaccinating one’s child. The minister of health disagrees. He prefers educating the parents instead.
The Women’s Ministry is mulling to prosecute parents who refuse to vaccinate their child. Some radio stations have come into the act too – vilifying parents who refuse to vaccinate their offspring.
Statistics have been rolled out to show an increase of cases of measles and deaths from diphtheria – all attributed to a failure to vaccinate. No clear causal links have been established, though.
To complicate matters, Indonesia acknowledged that since 2003, fake vaccines have been given to millions of children. This follows a scandal in China involving improperly stored vaccines distributed in 24 provinces since 2010. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The federal government’s proposal to change the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976 would empower Putrajaya to blatantly interfere in the independent professional body representing lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia, the pro-moderation group G25 said today.
G25 highlighted Putrajaya’s plans to give powers to the minister in charge of legal affairs to decide the rules and regulations of elections within the Malaysian Bar, saying that this would interfere with its self-regulation.
“It is untenable that a member of the federal Cabinet could be reposed with the power of determining the manner in which the Bar’s elections are to be conducted.
“This is tantamount to blatant government interference in the affairs of an independent Bar. Such interference cannot be tolerated,” it said in a statement today.
G25 said any attempts to impose government control and to undermine the independence of the Malaysian Bar must be seen as an attack on the rule of law, insisting that it cannot be condoned.
Pointing out that the planned LPA amendments are a violation of international standards adopted in a 1990 United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, G25 noted that these principles state that lawyers shall be entitled to form self-governing professional bodies with an executive body that is free from external interference. Read more
Student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang is appealing against his conviction and sentence on a charge of making seditious speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
The Court of Appeal postponed its decision on former student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang’s sedition case sine die today to consider submissions from both parties.
“This case is quite technical, so we need time to consider it,” said Justice Mohtaruddin Baki who headed the three-member bench.
The other judges presiding on the hearing are Zakaria Sam and Prasad Sandosham Abraham.
Safwan is appealing against the decision of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in December last year to uphold his conviction under the Sedition Act 1948.
Meanwhile, the prosecution is appealing against the High Court’s decision to impose a lighter sentence of a RM5,000 fine, and urged the Court of Appeal to reinstate the prison sentence first imposed by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.
This would be Safwan and the prosecution’s final appeal in this case.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Safwan’s lead counsel Ariff Azami Hussein said the postponement was a good sign. Read more
Source: Malay Mail Online
BY ADRIAN LIM CHEE EN
Sedition Act 1948
Safwan Anang’s conviction under the Sedition Act 1948 today shows how democratic space continue to shrink. It is yet another shameful attempt to revive a relic of the colonial past.
What was Safwan Anang’s crime? He spoke about electoral fraud in the 2013 General Elections, ranging from late arrival of postal boxes to misuse of governmental resources, indelible ink and so on. To date, nothing has happened to the EC, whereas Safwan has exhausted both appeals.
He was first sentenced to 10 months imprisonment by the Sessions Court in September 2014. He appealed the sentence, and the High Court reduced his sentence to a RM5,000 fine in December 2015. In less than 24 hours, the prosecution appealed the High Court’s decision, paving way for a showdown at the Court of Appeal.
In 2014, hundreds of others were arrested, detained, investigated or charged under the Sedition Act in what was dubbed a “Sedition dragnet”, a move human rights activists condemn as a shameful act to silence critics and revive a culture of fear.
What were the other hundreds’ crime? They drew cartoons, criticised corruption and leakages, gave a legal opinion in line with his expertise etc.
Human rights organisations, civil society activists, academics, legal experts and the international community continue to condemn the atrocity. Read more