UN Human Rights Office condemns secretive executions of two brothers in Malaysia

Source: Independent

The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia condemned the executions of Malaysian brothers, Suthar Batumalai and B. Rames Batumalai, by hanging despite the submission of new evidence in the case.

The UN rights office said the judicial procedures in their case did not fulfill the most stringent guarantees of fair trial and due process.

The two brothers, who were convicted of murder in 2010, were hanged on Wednesday, despite the submission of a clemency petition last month containing new evidence in the case.

The men were granted a temporary stay of execution as a result of the petition.

“We are gravely concerned that executions of Suthar and B. Rames Batumalai went ahead, despite the pending decision by the Pardons Board on their clemency petition and the allegations that their trial did not meet international standards,” said Laurent Meillan, acting regional representative of the UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia. Read more

Hudud tidak mungkin dilaksana di Malaysia waktu terdekat

Sumber: FMT News

Ragunath Kesavan. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Ragunath Kesavan – Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Hudud jika diperkenalkan ia akan berada di bawah bidang kuasa kerajaan persekutuan dan dengan itu akan menceroboh bidang kuasa Raja-raja Melayu sebagai ketua hal ehwal Islam.

KUALA LUMPUR: Di sebalik polemik mengenai rang undang-undang persendirian yang hendak dibawa oleh pemimpin PAS, seorang bekas presiden Majlis Peguam Malaysia percaya undang-undang hudud tidak akan diperkenalkan di Malaysia dalam masa terdekat.

Ragunath Kesavan yang mengepalai majlis itu dari 2009 hingga 2011 berkata, undang-undang hudud jika diperkenalkan ia akan berada di bawah bidang kuasa kerajaan persekutuan dan dengan itu akan menceroboh bidang kuasa Raja-raja Melayu sebagai ketua hal ehwal Islam di negeri masing-masing.

Malah menurut beliau, undang-undang yang mengawal selia kesalahan tertentu di bawah Kanun Keseksaan atau Kanun Tatacara Jenayah tidak boleh dikuatkuasakan oleh kerajaan negeri.

“Jadi, anda boleh mempunyai hudud di Kelantan, tetapi anda tidak boleh mengenakan hukuman kerana mencuri atau rompakan, sebagai contoh.”

Beliau berkata demikian pada forum “Malaysia: Sekular atau Beragama? Apakah Masa Depan Kita? yang diadakan di Gereja Methodist Wesley di sini, semalam. Read more

Be warned, rivers and trees can sue — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE New Zealand Parliament has given its Whanganui river a legal personality. This means it is recognised in law as having the same rights as a natural person; innovative as this may sound, the concept is nothing new.

After all companies are not natural persons. Yet, they have long since been given the rights and obligations of natural persons. And through their directors – the “eyes and ears” of the corporation – they can sue and be sued in court. Indeed, the NZ spokesperson said that the river will be treated “in the same way a company is”.

Read more

Cabinet agrees Judicial and Legal Services be separated

Source: FMT News

Chief Justice Federal Court of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria speaks to reporters at the International Malaysia Law Conference 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, September 21, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Chief Justice Federal Court of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria speaks to reporters at the International Malaysia Law Conference 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, September 21, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA: Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria has received approval from the cabinet to shake up the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, The Star reported today.

The main reason behind this step is to separate the two branches of the commission, namely Judicial Services and Legal Services, and place it under two separate heads.

The commission currently comprises prosecutors as well as subordinate court judges, namely magistrates and sessions court judges.

The Judicial and Legal Service Commission is currently headed by the Attorney-General, hence Arifin calls this arrangement inappropriate as it could create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“The prosecutors are all under the AG, and they appear before a sessions court judge or magistrate who is under the same service where the AG is the head. It doesn’t look good, does it?

“With respect, we disagree with this,” Arifin was quoted as saying by the daily, at a press conference after the launch of his book, Justice Above All: Selected Judgments of Tun Arifin Zakaria With Commentaries, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Read more

In face of censorship, how should the Malaysian arts community act?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A visitor views artwork at the ‘ESCAPE from the SEA’ exhibition, as organised by Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, at National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

A visitor views artwork at the ‘ESCAPE from the SEA’ exhibition, as organised by Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, at National Visual Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur March 15, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The recent removal of Sabah art collective Pangrok Sulap’s artwork from an international exhibition because of an alleged complaint from “high-up” has left the local arts community feeling quite bitter.

While the subsequent comments and criticism by members of the community about how the incident was handled by the different stakeholders was nothing short of admirable, the fact remains that censorship, or even self-censorship, is not new in Malaysia.

So how should curators and artists move on from the incident and tackle censorship in the future? Several practitioners and observers told Malay Mail Online that the arts community must stand by each other and hold institutions accountable. Read more