Azalina: LPA amendments not to control Bar

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (LPA) is to address present shortcomings on “bread and butter” issues concerning the Malaysian Bar, says de-facto law minister Azalina Othman Said.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Bar Council, she explained that the issues were mandatory prerequisites to be a Bar member, such as educational qualifications, common bar exams and language ability.

Azalina pointed out that a common bar exam was required to be a member of the Bar, because at present, members of the Bar came from various backgrounds. Read more

New security law debuts as PM fights critics

Source: Gulf Digital News Online

Kuala Lumpur (AFP): Tough new security legislation came into force Monday in Malaysia, with critics saying the “draconian” law threatens democracy and could be used against opponents of the scandal-tainted premier.

The National Security Council Act was pushed through parliament in December by the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has faced calls to resign for more than a year over an huge alleged corruption scandal.

The legislation gives the government power to declare virtual martial law in areas deemed to be under “security threat”.

Critics accused Najib and his government of enacting the law, and other tough recent legislation, to ward off political and legal challenges.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan - The Star Online file pic

Wan Saiful Wan Jan – The Star Online file pic

“The law will definitly put fear in people planning to participate in street protests,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, a Malaysian think tank.

“The public perception in terms of the timing of the draconian law is that Najib wants the law in order to stay in office.”

The legislation allows a National Security Council headed by the prime minister to essentially suspend civil liberties in designated “security areas”, giving security forces sweeping powers of search, seizure and arrest. Read more

National Security Council Act gives authorities unchecked and abusive powers

Source: Amnesty International


The National Security Council Act that comes into force today empowers the Malaysian authorities to trample over human rights and act with impunity, Amnesty International said today.

“With this new law, the government now has spurned checks and assumed potentially abusive powers,” said Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

The new law will grant the Malaysian authorities the power to carry out warrantless arrests, search and seize property, and impose curfews at will.

One provision, Section 18, allows the Prime Minister to arbitrarily designate any area in the country a “security area,” if he deems it a potential source of “harm.” Read more