Low: More space needed for civil societies to express ‘frustrations’

Source: The Star Online

Datuk Paul Low, pic from the Star Online.

Datuk Paul Low, pic from the Star Online.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government needs to do more for civil liberties and societies, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low.

He said more space should be given to civil societies to “express their frustrations” and for the Government to hear them out and have constructive engagements.

Low, however, said civil liberties and human rights come with responsibilities.

“You cannot be ideal, there are borders and limits.

“Even in the area of expression, you cannot simply say something without understanding the consequences of what you are saying,” he told reporters on the sidelines at a dinner hosted by the German Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Holger Michael here on Tuesday.   Read more

One-third complainants sacked for having HIV, discrimination report shows

Source: The Malay Mail Online

There were 3,330 new HIV infections reported last year, according to statistics from the Health Ministry. — AFP pic.

There were 3,330 new HIV infections reported last year, according to statistics from the Health Ministry. — AFP pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Five out of 15 people who filed a workplace complaint lost their jobs last year after their employers found out they had HIV, according to a finding by the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) released today.

MAC’s HIV and Human Rights Mitigation Report 2015 also showed that termination of HIV-positive workers mostly happened in the tourism and entertainment sector such as hotels, golf resorts and an entertainment venue.

One of the cases also occurred in a government-linked public transport company.

Eight of the 15 complaints involved some form of workplace discrimination, including demotion at the workplace due to their HIV-positive status and also a forced resignation. Read more

Opposition MP’s, A. Samad Said questioned by police over Bersih 5

Source: The Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR: Three PKR MP’s and National Laureate Datuk A. Samad Said was questioned at the Sentul district police station in regards to the Bersih 5 rally held last month.

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar were questioned by the police under the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 4(2)(b) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 but chose to remain silent.

“There were a lot of questions asked but we chose to reply in court,” said Johari.

They were in the police station for about an hour and said they were unsure if they would be facing charges.

National Laureate Samad said that he felt “appreciated” because his poetry is now considered as a “weapon against the government”. Read more

Lawyers: States’ unilateral child conversions void if federal ban kicks in

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Reuters pic

Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Unilateral child conversions will likely become void when a proposed federal ban takes effect should state Islamic authorities ignore the ban, lawyers said.

Family law expert Balwant Singh Sidhu said that if the proposed inclusion of Section 88A to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (LRA) makes it clear that both parents’ consent is required for a valid conversion of a child of a civil marriage, the other party who did not consent will succeed by getting the civil court to declare the conversion registered by state religious authorities as void.

“If state religious authorities still continue to convert children when the converted parent goes to them, without the consent of the other parent, after 88A is passed, then they would be going against a federal law, and the conversion may later be declared void by a civil court, so they would have acted in vain,” the family lawyer with over 30 years of experience told Malay Mail Online yesterday when contacted.

Under the proposed list of amendments to the LRA tabled in Parliament late last month, Section 88A(1) says, among other things, that a child’s religion will remain as the religion of both parties of a civil marriage before one of them converts to Islam, unless both parties agree on the child’s conversion. Read more