Putrajaya tables new law to protect children from sex predators

Source: The Malay Mail Online

If passed by Parliament, the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 will introduce a range of new offences with harsh penalties that can go up to maximum 30 years’ jail, a minimum whipping of six strokes, or a maximum RM20,000 fine. Pic from AFP.

If passed by Parliament, the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 will introduce a range of new offences with harsh penalties that can go up to maximum 30 years’ jail, a minimum whipping of six strokes, or a maximum RM20,000 fine. Pic from AFP.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — The federal government presented today its draft of a new law that aims to cast a wider net on sexual predators targeting children.

If passed by Parliament, the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 will introduce a range of new offences with harsh penalties that can go up to maximum 30 years’ jail, a minimum whipping of six strokes, or a maximum RM20,000 fine.

New specific offences against child porn

The proposed law that seeks to beef up protection of children from sexual offences and provide effective deterrence focuses heavily on banning all forms of action related to child pornography. This will be the first law in Malaysia to deal specifically with child pornographic material.

Lawyers had in the past told Malay Mail Online that Malaysian laws do not  differentiate between pornographic materials depicting adults or children, with the same penalties applicable to possession or distribution of both types of materials. Read more

Death penalty should be abolished, says Baru

Source: Borneo Post

Baru Bian, Pic from Borneo Post.

Baru Bian, Pic from Borneo Post.

KUCHING: State PKR chairman Baru Bian wholeheartedly agrees with the call by human rights advocates that capital punishment be removed for all crimes currently punishable by death.

According to him, imposing of the death penalty was believed to act as a deterrent against crime but there is no conclusive evidence that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

“Those who are about to commit crimes do not stop and sit down to weigh the consequences if they are caught, especially those who commit murder.

“I believe most people do not even know what the penalties are for various crimes except for drug trafficking as that is well-publicised, but even that does not have any deterrent effect, judging from the unabating illegal drug activities in this country,” Baru said in a press statement yesterday.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said while capital punishment does not give the offender the chance to be rehabilitated, he believed that people can change, and there are many offenders who do change.

“Whether it is through spiritual input, professional counselling or even the ageing process, many former criminals have changed their attitudes towards crime and emerged as reformed individuals. Read more

Activists’ convictions for rioting and illegal assembly upheld

Source: FMT News Malaysia

High Court says lower court was right in finding 15 people guilty of illegal assembly outside Parliament, during a protest calling for the resignation of the Election Commission chairman, in June 2013. Pic from FMT News.

High Court says lower court was right in finding 15 people guilty of illegal assembly outside Parliament, during a protest calling for the resignation of the Election Commission chairman, in June 2013. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Fifteen activists, including Adam Adli and Safwan Anang, lost their appeals at the High Court here today over illegal assembly and rioting convictions related to a gathering held outside Parliament four years ago.

Justice Azman Abdullah held that the Sessions Court was correct in finding them guilty under Section 143 of the Penal Code for being a member of an illegal assembly, as well as Section 147 of the same Act for rioting.

“The Sessions Court was right in ruling the assembly had turned illegal when the rally-goers refused to disperse when ordered by police,” he said in a brief judgment, adding that all of them had insisted on storming the police barricade.

Azman also ruled that the fines of RM2,000 for participating in the illegal assembly, and RM4,000 for rioting were not excessive.

“The lenient fines were imposed because the assembly did not turn violent and no damage was done to public properties,” he said. Read more

Review of labour laws to protect pregnant women

Source: FMT News

Human resources ministry says employers who fire pregnant employees who are on maternity leave could be fined RM10,000. Pic from FMT News.

Human resources ministry says employers who fire pregnant employees who are on maternity leave could be fined RM10,000. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The human resources ministry says it is reviewing labour laws to protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace.

In a report in The Star today, Deputy Human Resources Minister Ismail Abd Muttalib said the Employment Act as well as 21 other labour laws would be reassessed.

“We are conducting a review to update labour laws.

“There is no law which states that it is wrong for an employer not to hire a pregnant woman. It is left to the discretion of the employer… but there must not be any discrimination,” he was quoted as saying.

Ismail was responding to Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang), who had asked if the government planned to introduce a Pregnancy Discrimination Act to safeguard the interests of women employees. Read more