Deloitte quits as 1MDB’s auditor

Source: The Edge Market

KUALA LUMPUR: Deloitte Malaysia has notified 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) of its intention to resign as the embattled state fund’s auditor, and the 1MDB board is now looking for a new auditor.

“Until a new auditor is appointed, Deloitte will remain as auditor on record,” said 1MDB in a statement yesterday.

“The board appreciates the professionalism displayed by Deloitte to date and highlights that Deloitte will continue to audit key subsidiaries of 1MDB, including but not limited to TRX City Sdn Bhd (formerly known as 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd), Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Edra Bhd,” it added.

1MDB disclosed that Deloitte had notified it of its intention to resign on Feb 26, but the fund did not say why it making the announcement only now.

However, Deloitte  in a separate statement referred to the civil forfeiture complaint filed by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) on July 20.

It said the complaint contains information, which, if known at the time of the 2013 and 2014 audits of 1MDB, would have impacted the financial statements and affected the audit reports.

Accordingly, it said, the audit reports issued by Deloitte in connection with the 2013 and 2014 financial statements of 1MDB should no longer be relied upon. Read more

Travelling abroad not constitutional right, court rules in Pua case

Source: Malaysiakini

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur today ruled that the ban on Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua on travelling overseas, stands.

Justice Hanipah Farikullah said that it was not a constitutional right for all, including Pua, to be allowed to travel abroad.

She also said in her oral judgment that the director-general of the Immigration Department has the power to enforce the ban under Section 3(2) of the Immigration Act.

The court cited Loh Wai Kong’s case which was decided by Lord President Suffian. It said the court was bound by this decision, which was also cited in the recent Victoria Jeyasalee versus the Federal Territory Islamic Council case.

As a result of the two cases cited in the Federal Court, Justice Hanipah said this court was bound by it, based on the stare decisis principle (a decision from a superior court that binds the lower court). Read more

Amend legal definition of rape, says Fatimah

Source: The Star Online

Women, Welfare and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.

KUCHING: A state minister wants the legal definition of rape to be amended soonest, following the gazetting of the Child Act (Amendment) 2015.

Women, Welfare and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said it would be “disappointing” if the amendments to the Child Act did not include a broader definition of rape.

She said her ministry had been pursuing this matter since the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of a 60-year-old man in the “finger rape” case last year.

“The perpetrator was let off because the definition of rape only covered penile penetration.

“I wrote a letter on behalf of the state government to the Attorney-General to review the definition of rape so that there will be justice for the victims.

“The reply we received then was that comprehensive amendments would be made to the Child Act.

“Now it has been gazetted but it does not include the definition of rape. Of course that would be very disappointing to us.

“We are still waiting for the definition to be amended. Maybe it will be done through an amendment to the Penal Code,” Fatimah said after presenting assistance to storm victims here yesterday.

Read more

Najib gets new powers amid planned protests over fund scandal

Source: Reuters

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks at the opening of a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/OLIVIA HARRIS/FILE PHOTO

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak will get sweeping security powers on Monday amid planned protests calling for his resignation over U.S. allegations that millions of dollars from a state fund wound up in his personal bank account.

The new National Security Council (NSC) Act, which comes into force on Aug. 1, allows Najib to designate any area as a “security area”, where he can deploy forces to search any individual, vehicle or premise without a warrant. It also allows investigators to dispense with formal inquests into killings by the police or armed forces in those areas.

Najib’s ruling coalition promoted the law as a means to counter threats to security in predominantly Muslim Malaysia, which has long dealt with a fringe element of radical Islamists.

But critics say the law’s expansive powers threaten human rights and democracy in the middle-income emerging nation, and could now be used to silence critics of the One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund scandal.

“The concern among the civil society and others is because the NSC can be used against anything that the government is unhappy with,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, adding that it could extend to public rallies.

“It does give the PM a huge amount of power to declare emergency zones…,” he said. Read more

Nine Lahad Datu intruders jailed for life

Source: The Star Online

Off to jail: Policemen escorting the Lahad Datu intruders (in purple) after their sentencing at the Kepayan prison in Kota Kinabalu. Pic drawn from The Star Online.

Off to jail: Policemen escorting the Lahad Datu intruders (in purple) after their sentencing at the Kepayan prison in Kota Kinabalu. Pic drawn from The Star Online.

KOTA KINABALU: Nine Filipino nationals were spared the noose after the High Court here ordered them to be jailed for life following their conviction for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The nine included Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, nephew of the late self-styled Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who ordered the intrusion at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in February 2013.

High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung also imposed the life sentence on Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Basad Manuel, Ismail Yasin, Virgilio Nemar Patulada@Mohammad, Salib Akhmad Emali, Al Wazir Osman, Tani Lahad Dahi and Julham Rashid after finding them guilty under Section 121 of the Penal Code.

The nine appeared calm when the senten­ces were read out at the special High Court in the State Prison Department Hall at Kepayan near here yesterday. Read more

‘Don’t admonish students who offer constructive criticism’

Source: NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Students who voice out criticism in a constructive manner should not be subjected to any disciplinary action, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Instead, he said such constructive criticism should be acknowledged and taken into consideration.

“I ask that the Higher Education Ministry as well as other ministries, government bodies and departments listen to criticism and students’ voices. “Do not take disciplinary action against them because they should not be shackled…on the contrary, they should be given guidance,” he said.

However, Zahid said students should be wary of the way they criticise the government. “Criticisms should be constructive and not destructive.

One can criticise and have opposing opinions but it must be intellectual,” he said during the 2016 Parliamentary Conference of Students dinner at the Putra World Trade Centre here earlier tonight. Read more

Cyber laws to be reviewed to curb IT, social media abuse: Azalina

Source: NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s cyber laws will be studied and enhanced to prevent abuse of information technology (IT) and social media, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She said the move was necessary based on developments today which saw the influence of social media playing a major role in the lives of the people. “It cannot be denied the benefits of social media as an easy, quick and cheap agent of communication.

But, the trend of cyber attacks as well as abuse of social media is seen as getting rampant,” she told a media conference after attending the 2016 Student Parliamentary Session lunch here today.

She said certain parties were abusing social media with the aim to commit fraud, recruit terrorists and plant hatred against the government as well as disrupting national harmony.

Azalina stressed that the government did not intend to curtail the freedom to voice and the right to use cyber space, but studies on the legal cyber limits needed to be made to protect users from becoming victims.

“The review is aimed at looking at the balancing point between a user’s freedom and responsibility,” she said.

Azalina was earlier reported as saying a special cyber court to try crimes under cyber laws was expected to be operational in Kuala Lumpur next month, followed by Selangor and Johor. Read more

Child Act (Amendment) 2016 gazetted

Source: FMT

The amended Act includes the child registry which will now contain records of convicts who commit crimes against children to allow screenings to be conducted.

PUTRAJAYA: The Child Act (Amendment) 2016 with four main amendments – child registry, community service order (CSO), a family-based care and heavier penalty – was gazetted yesterday after obtaining the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim said the ministry would conduct an awareness campaign to ensure that the public and all agencies were ready before enforcing the Act.

“This is good news for the ministry after three years, and after various meetings were held to improve the Act and it took into account current issues related to pedophilia, etc,” she told reporters at the ministry’s Aidilfitri gathering here today.

She said the child registry would now contain records of convicts who committed crimes against children to allow screenings to be conducted on individuals working with children as an added safety measure.

Meanwhile, the CSO is a rehabilitation programme for children who are involved in crime and adult offenders, including the mother, father and guardians, who abuse or neglect their children.

She said the amendment would also increase the fines and enable prison sentences to be raised to RM50,000 and 20 years for offences under Section 31.

IGP: New security laws ‘better than ISA’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, July 26 ― There is no need to revive the abolished Internal Security Act (ISA) as the newly legislated security laws are much more effective, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) said that laws like the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) has made the ISA irrelevant.

“We don’t need ISA anymore, we have Poca, Sosma and Poca. I think these combined laws are better than ISA.

“We can forget about ISA, because we are more comfortable now with these new laws. We are confident we can maintain law, peace and order with these laws,” he told reporters during a press conference today after attending the Asean Police (Aseanapol) conference here today.

The other laws that Khalid was referring to is the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act [Sosma]. Read more

National Security Council (NSC) Act to take effect on August 1

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NSC_Act_2016KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The controversial National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 that allows the government to hold emergency powers is set to be in force on August 1 this year.

The date was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a federal gazette dated June 24 that was published on the e-Federal Gazette site on July 14.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by subsection 1(2) of the National Security Council Act 2016 (Act 776), the prime minister appoints 1 August 2016 as the date on which the Act comes into operation,” said Najib, referring to Section 1(2) that states that the Act will come into operation on a date set by the prime minister.

The NSC Act did not receive express royal assent and was gazetted without amendments despite the Conference of Rulers saying last February that some of the provisions should be refined.

The NSC Act proposes to allow the National Security Council — which would be chaired by the prime minister — to take command of the country’s security forces and impose strict policing of areas deemed to face security risks. Read more