High Court orders federal and state government to compensate orang asli villagers

Source: The Star

JOHOR BARU: The High Court here has ruled that the Federal and Johor governments have failed to protect the land ownership rights of the orang asli in two villages.

High Court judge Justice Teo Say Eng ordered both governments to compensate villagers of Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Temon and Kampung Orang Asli Bakar Batu Perling for releasing portions of the 137.5ha-orang asli land to developers and individual buyers.

Under the order, both governments have to pay the villagers according to the market value of the land. Read more

Adam Adli appeal postponed after judge withdraws self

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Adam Adli Abdul Halim is appealing his 2014 conviction in the Sessions Court, which found him guilty under the Sedition Act for a speech he made during a rally at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on May 13, 2013 and sentenced him to a year in prison. — Picture by Choo Choy May.

Adam Adli Abdul Halim is appealing his 2014 conviction in the Sessions Court, which found him guilty under the Sedition Act for a speech he made during a rally at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on May 13, 2013 and sentenced him to a year in prison. — Picture by Choo Choy May.

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 28 — The Court of Appeal hearing of student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim’s appeal against his sedition conviction was postponed after a presiding judge recused himself from the case today.

At the start of today’s proceedings, deputy public prosecutor Faiza Mohd Salleh pointed out that Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki was on the panel that acquitted another student activist, Muhammad Safwan Anang, of a similar sedition charge last year.

“You’re putting me in awkward position. If you think (there is a) likelihood of bias… I withdraw myself,”  Mohtarudin said in court.

The other two judges on the panel, Datuk Harminder Singh and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, then set for the hearing to resume tomorrow. Read more

Suhakam praises cops for rescuing 18 from forced labour

Source: FMT News

It hopes more will be done to dismantle human trafficking syndicates operating in the country. Pic taken from FMT News.

It hopes more will be done to dismantle human trafficking syndicates operating in the country. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is obliged to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the country under international law.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said this was so as Malaysia was a signatory to the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999 (No 182).

It said this in response to news reports of the rescue of 18 people, including seven children, forced to work at an oil palm plantation in Hulu Perak.

While commending the police for their efforts, Suhakam wanted more to be done to dismantle more such human trafficking syndicates operating in the country.

“The Malaysian government must monitor and better regulate businesses to prevent child labour. MPs should unite to fight human trafficking,” it said in a statement today.

It said child labour and human trafficking included all forms of slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and forced labour. Read more

Film censorship is being used to quell discourse in Malaysia — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

AS a documentary filmmaker, I regularly screen my films and also give talks and workshops, both locally and internationally. When I am out of the country, I always get asked the question of how local filmmakers deal with the strict censorship laws in Malaysia.

My first response is always to correct their question. The question shouldn’t be how we Malaysian filmmakers deal with strict censorship laws; it should be how we deal with vague, unclear and inconsistent censorship laws.

Take for example, Lena Hendry, who is a former employee of a Malaysian-based human rights non-governmental organisation called Pusat KOMAS. She was found guilty of screening the documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka’ without censorship approval in 2013.

Hendry was convicted under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002 on Feb 21, 2017 and could now face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000 (US$6,750). Sentencing has been set for 22nd March. Read more

Perak police have evidence children used as forced labour in Gerik

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik. — Pic from AFP.

Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik. — Pic from AFP.

SUNGAI SIPUT, Feb 28 — Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik detected on Sunday.

Perak Police acting chief Datuk Hasnan Hassan said it was based on information received and thorough investigations carried out by the police on the case.

“But we cannot disclose more details on the investigations to protect the safety of the informant,” he told reporters after the handing over of duties relating to the Sungai Siput District Police chief here today.

At the event, Perak Police Standard Compliance and Integrity Department head Supt Abd Fatah Abd Rahman was appointed as the new Sungai Siput District Police chief effective today to replace Supt Abdul Aziz Ahmad who is on mandatory retirement.

Abd Fatah, 55, who served 32 years in the police force, had worked in the Special Branch, Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division (D7) and Management Department’s Administrative Division.  Read more

Exploited workers get 12-hour shifts, RM100 per month

Source: FMT News

Negri Sembilan man says his family left their hometown thinking their life would turn around but it only got worse at the oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu. Pic taken from FMT News.

Negri Sembilan man says his family left their hometown thinking their life would turn around but it only got worse at the oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Eighteen people who were allegedly trafficked and exploited at an oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu say they were made to work 12-hour shifts and paid next to nothing despite promises of a steady salary.

According to The Star daily, the victims, including five children, were lured to the isolated plantation, accessible only by four-wheel drive along dirt roads. There, they told police, they were made to work long hours with the children forced to carry the harvested fruits.

Although they were paid, they said the management deducted excessive amounts of money for every food item they received, sometimes leaving them with only RM100 at the end of the month.

“We were promised a steady income but once we got our salaries, the management would give excuses by saying that we told them to get so many things and they were at a loss,” Jag, 29, was quoted as saying. Read more

Police again viewed as most corrupt in transparency survey

Source: FMT News

Religious leaders also take a beating, with 31% of respondents in Transparency-International Malaysia’s Global Corruption Barometer survey saying they are corrupt.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) President Datuk Akhbar Satar — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) President Datuk Akhbar Satar — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR: The police force is yet again perceived as the most corrupt institution in the country.

About 57% of the 1,009 Malaysian participants of Transparency-International Malaysia’s (TI-M) Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) survey felt the police department was the most corrupt.

The survey results also showed that 13% of respondents who had encountered the police in the past had paid a bribe to the men and women in blue.

But even this number is doubtful. According to TI-M president Akhbar Satar: “The problem is that some Malaysians are scared to say they have either bribed or attempted to bribe an officer of the government.

“They want to show that they have integrity.”

Akhbar was speaking at the release of the survey results here. Read more

EAIC probes latest death in custody

Source: The Malay Mail Online

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam today proposed that it should be notified of disciplinary action taken by enforcement agencies. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam says the commission has opened investigations on the death of M. Thanaseelan at a police station in Hulu Selangor. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 ― The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) announced today that it has opened investigations on the death of M. Thanaseelan at a police station in Hulu Selangor.

The commission said the case on the 43-year-old man’s death would be investigated if there was misconduct or criminal behaviour by police officers while handling the detainee.

“The EAIC views this incident seriously, which happened following two deaths in police custody: Soh Kai Chiok at IPD Bera, Pahang, on January 18 2017 and S. Balamurugan at IPD Klang Utara on February 8 2017,” EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam said in a statement.

The EAIC said its investigators have recorded statements by 53 witnesses in Soh’s case and 47 witnesses in Balamurugan’s case.

“Together with this statement, I call upon and urge all PDRM officers and officials to pay attention, take guidance from and obey the PDRM Lock-Up Management SOP issued by PDRM Bukit Aman on April 21 2014 that comprehensively details the management of detainees at PDRM lock-ups,” said Yaacob, referring to the Royal Malaysia Police with its Bahasa Malaysia initials. Read more

Malaysia will not interfere in Singapore death row cases

Source: The Star Online

File pic

Death Penalty – File pic

SINGAPORE: Malaysia will not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, including a court case involving a Malaysian death row inmate in Singapore.

“We are aware that there is an effort to put pressure to bring a particular court case here to a higher profile,” Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Ilango Karuppannan told Bernama.

It was reported that a Malaysian death row inmate S. Prabagaran, aged 30, was making a judicial review application to direct the Government to start proceedings against Singapore in the International Court of Justice over his conviction for drug trafficking.

The Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian Government were named as respondents in the application which was filed at the Malaysian High Court registry in January this year. Read more