The Puan Sri who is fighting for our forests

Source: Star2

This filepic shows Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil at the Hulu Teranum Forest Reserve in Raub which was believed to have been affected by illegal logging. Photo: Bernama, taken from Star2

This filepic shows Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil at the Hulu Teranum Forest Reserve in Raub which was believed to have been affected by illegal logging. Photo: Bernama, taken from Star2

When a massive landslide hit the Karak Highway in Peninsular Malaysia in November 2015, she declared that this was due to the clearing of a nearby forest (something that the authorities denied).

When locals complained that waters near Taman Negara, Pahang, were getting silted up, she led a media expedition up the Tembeling river to expose the logging going on there.

She has spoken out against deforestation not only in Pahang, but also elsewhere.

I first met Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil during a press conference highlighting logging at the Sungai Gapoi Forest in Karak. She seemed a bit like a city slicker slightly out of a place in a remote kampung, but she delivered a fiery speech about something she was clearly passionate about – saving the forests. And this is why we are featuring her as one of the remarkable women in Malaysia who have made a mark in their fields, in this case, the environment.

Ever since her youth, Sabrina has been a nature lover and an outdoor person.

Born and raised in Penang, one of her frequent “playgrounds” was Penang Hill where she often went trekking. She has also scaled, among others, Mount Kinabalu and Gunung Nuang in Selangor.

Thus, it was only natural that in 2010, Sabrina founded the environmental group Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka). Read more

At AGM, lawyers to push for charging dishonest cops who cover up custodial deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru - Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru – Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

Also calling for an IPCMC to be set up is Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru, who in his proposed motion noted that questionable deaths in police custody, unlawful fatal police shooting and police brutality on detainees continue to occur.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Police officers who dishonestly seek to hide their colleagues’ torture and murder of detainees should be prosecuted instead of being protected or disciplined internally, lawyers have proposed.

In a proposed motion for the Malaysian Bar’s 71st annual general meeting (AGM) to be held  tomorrow, the lawyers said prosecuting these alleged “bad” officers was necessary to both protect the police’s integrity and to serve as deterrent to other police officers, enforcement officers and prosecutors.

They noted that those involved in the country’s administration of justice — such as the police, enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges — are expected to have “honesty and integrity”.

“As such, when the police has been found to be wrongly and dishonestly tampering with evidence and records, and/or involved in actions of ‘cover-ups’, these actions cannot be tolerated.

“The failure of police officers to report wrongdoings and/or crimes of their fellow police officers also cannot be tolerated,” the March 10 motion proposed jointly by Malaysian Bar members Charles Hector Fernandez, Francis Pereira, Shanmugam Ramasamy.

“There is a need to weed out such ‘bad’ and/or dishonest police officers, and it is also important that such police officers not be ‘protected’, but be charged and tried in a court of law,” they added. Read more

‘To marry girl to rapist is to disregard statutory rape law’

Source: FMT News

Society should not underplay the enormity of the crime of statutory rape by allowing or encouraging marriage to the perpetrator, says Joint Action Group for Gender Equality.

Image taken from FMT News

Image taken from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: To say it is in the best interests of an underage girl who is pregnant out of wedlock to marry the person who impregnated her is to disregard the law on statutory rape, says Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

Statutory rape in the Penal Code in Malaysia is defined as sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 as she is unable to understand the nature and consequence of giving consent.

JAG said society should not underplay the enormity of the crime of statutory rape by allowing or encouraging marriage to the perpetrator.

“This is a grave abuse of the law, which was put in place to protect children,” it said in a statement today.

JAG was responding to shariah lawyer Faiz Fadzil, who had in a recent article said it would be best for a minor who had become pregnant as a result of illicit sex to marry, as long as she and the person who impregnated her were agreeable to marriage.

JAG protested that the statement was damaging as it misrepresented the term “consent”, disregarded the law on statutory rape and dismissed the reality of the power imbalance that existed in cases of underage marriage. Read more

Skandal PKFZ tiada bukti kukuh, semua tertuduh dibebas

Sumber: The Malay Mail Online

File picture showing the entrance to Port Klang Free Zone. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

File picture showing the entrance to Port Klang Free Zone. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

SHAH ALAM, 17 Mac — Mahkamah Sesyen di sini hari ini melepas dan membebaskan tiga individu, yang dituduh menipu dalam projek Zon Bebas Pelabuhan Klang (PKFZ), tanpa dipanggil membela diri.

Mereka ialah bekas pengurus projek Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, Law Jenn Dong, 59; arkitek BTA Architect, Bernard Tan Seng Swee, 56, dan ketua pegawai operasi Kuala Dimensi, Stephen Abok, 59.

Hakim Asmadi Hussin membuat keputusan itu selepas berpuas hati pihak pendakwaan gagal membuktikan kes prima facie terhadap kesemua pertuduhan.

Seramai 31 saksi pendakwaan memberi keterangan sepanjang perbicaraan. Read more

Tackle stateless people issue now, lawyers’ group tells govt

Source: FMT News

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen says applications for citizenship hampered by administration obstacles and burdensome requirements. Pic taken from FMT News.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen says applications for citizenship hampered by administration obstacles and burdensome requirements. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) says the government must re-look its citizenship policies to address the issue of statelessness, especially among children.

Saying some policies had rendered thousands of rightful Malaysians stateless, the human rights group hit out at what it called “a serious lack of concern by the government and its agencies on these issues”.

“There is no genuine effort to register the affected communities, nor is there any special procedure to facilitate their registration despite knowing the context of the individual cases,” LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement today.

He added that applications were usually hampered by administrative obstacles, burdensome requirements and long delays. The people in question were also required to make repeat visits, eventually leading to rejection.

The group’s statement follows a Court of Appeal decision yesterday, dismissing separate bids for citizenship by two boys born in Malaysia. Read more

Include child marriage in proposed Bill — Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow

Source: The Star Online

DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW

Image taken from The Star Online.

Image taken from The Star Online.

THE initiative taken by the Government to table a child sexual crimes Bill in Parliament is a good step in protecting our children from these heinous crimes that have become so rampant in Malaysia. Cases of child sexual crimes are on the rise here, judging from the number of police reports lodged. At the same time, the number of cases charged in court is comparably smaller. As such, the proposal to table the Bill is very welcomed as it will further strengthen our laws protecting children from sexual predators.

The proposed Bill will address new offences against children, namely child grooming and child pornography. It will also give paramount consideration to the evidence of children and the establishment of a special court to deal with child sexual offenders.

However, the Government should also seriously consider including the matter of child marriage in the Bill. Under our law, the marriageable age for Muslim women is lower than for men. Read more

Serangan dalam penjara, kerajaan dan 8 yang lain disaman

Sumber: FMT News

Seorang pemandu berusia 36 tahun mendakwa saraf tunjangnya rosak selepas diserang dalam penjara Sungai Buloh dan lewat diberi bantuan oleh warden bertugas.

KUALA LUMPUR: Seorang lelaki menyaman kerajaan dan 8 yang lain atas tuduhan cuai sehingga membawa kepada serangan terhadapnya ketika berada dalam tahanan di penjara Sungai Buloh.

Shashitheran Valan, 36, mendakwa akibat serangan yang berlaku di dalam sel penjara itu, saraf tunjangnya dan fungsi air kencingnya rosak.

Beliau menyaman kerajaan, 5 warden penjara, pengarah penjara Sungai Buloh, pesuruhjaya Jabatan Penjara dan menteri dalam negeri, mendakwa mereka cuai dan gagal dalam tugas untuk memastikan keselamatan dan kebajikannya ketika dalam tahanan.

Tuntutan saman itu difailkan hari ini di pejabat pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi.

Shashitheran, yang sebelum ini bekerja sebagai pemandu memohon ganti rugi dan pengisytiharan yang penahanannya melanggar Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan undang-undang penjara kerana dia ditempatkan dalam satu sel bersama 100 yang lain. Read more

Don’t hide behind flimsy excuses, Bersih tells EC

Source: FMT News

Electoral watchdog hits out at Election Commission over the issue of automatic voter registration, telling it to get its act together. Image drawn from FMT News.

Electoral watchdog hits out at Election Commission over the issue of automatic voter registration, telling it to get its act together. Image drawn from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 says the Election Commission’s (EC) reasons for not implementing automatic voter registration are “flimsy” and “embarrassing” and only prove the commission’s incompetence.

The coalition also criticised the current system, which has led to almost four million eligible voters still not registered as voters.

It said the commission’s “appalling effort” in voter registration left much room for improvement.

Bersih’s statement today followed news of the EC’s decision not to implement automatic voter registration.

EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah was reported to have said yesterday that the commission did not want to be blamed for any problems arising from changes related to voter registration. Read more

Election Commission should stop making excuses and take their job seriously — Bersih Statement

Press Statement

17 March 2017

imagesThe Election Commission (EC) has yet again proved their incompetence by giving non-answers to block the implementation of automatic voter registration.

Automatic voter registration means that a Malaysian citizen will be automatically registered as a voter when they reach the age of 21. This hastens the registration process and removes unnecessary barriers to exercising one’s basic democratic right to vote. Voter registration will be electronically linked to the National Registration Department (NRD), which will eliminate the lack of addresses, duplicate entries, and remove deceased persons and dubious entries from the electoral roll. Automatic voter registration is a cleaning process to correct a flawed electoral roll and incompetence.

The EC chairman, Mohd Hashim Abdullah, can only provide a flimsy excuse that “many issues” will arise if automatic voter registration is put into effect, failing to elaborate further. What’s more, he fears that the election body will be blamed for problems from changing the system. This is a truly embarrassing excuse as tackling such matters is something that the EC has to handle as it is part of what they are tasked to do. If the EC were held back by a fear of repercussions, then nothing will change. Read more