Civil society groups to rally for Land Code amendment

Source: The Malaysian Insight

A SLEW of civil society groups will hold a rally in Kuching on November 13 to pressure the Sarawak government to speed up an amendment to the state’s Land Code.

The rally, to coincide with the sitting of the state legislative assembly, follows two major court decisions that had gone against Sarawak’s Dayak landowners’ interests.

One of the rally leaders, Nicholas Mujah, who is secretary of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), said the proposed site of the Perhimpunan Aman Solidarity Orang Asal (the indigenous people’s solidarity and peaceful gathering) was the waterfront, on the side of the Sarawak River opposite the state legislative assembly.

Mujah said a memorandum would be submitted to the legislature during the gathering. Read more

Police could have acted faster in missing pastor’s case, says ex-IGP Khalid

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

POLICE could have acted quicker in investigating the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, the public inquiry heard today.

Former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar, the fifth witness who was called to testify in the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry, was asked if the police took long to respond to the abduction.

Lawyers representing Koh’s family had asked Khalid if there was a delay in taking the statement of the first witness Roeshan Gomez.

“Gomez was the witness who saw the abduction made a report on the first day at 11.30am. He was then told at 12.30pm that the investigating officer was not in and was asked to come back at 1.30pm. Read more

EC wins appeal to set aside injunction preventing submission of redelineation report to PM

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 30 — The Election Commission (EC) today won in its appeal to set aside an injunction order obtained by the Selangor Government to stop the commission from submitting its redelineation report to the prime minister.

A Court of Appeal three-man bench, comprising Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi and Datuk Suraya Othman, unanimously allowed the appeal by the EC, its chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, with no costs.

Justice Umi Kalthum, who chaired the panel, however, did not state the grounds for allowing the EC’s appeal.

Nevertheless, the Selangor government still has a stay order against the EC from conducting local inquiries in the state pending a High Court decision on the states’s judicial review application , which has been fixed on Dec 7. Read more

Ex-IGP Khalid suggests pastor’s captors learnt from ‘movies’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The well-executed abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh may have been inspired by “movies”, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today.

Testifying before the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) about Koh and other missing activists, the former inspector-general of police was asked about the video of the incident.

“Can see in the movies every day. Can learn from the movies,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

When asked if the incident appeared to be a professional operation, Khalid said it was possible.

Koh was abducted in broad daylight on a public road in Petaling Jaya on February 13 by a group of masked people, with his kidnapping captured by surveillance cameras. Read more

Washing dirty linen – an unqualified right?– Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

AS has become vogue of late in Malaysia, a simple event can become ugly and hotly contested. As in the case of a lone “Muslim-only” launderette in my home town of Muar.

Former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad (and my former university mate) wrote in the official PAS publication that Muslim-only launderettes should be permitted. He knew of no law in Malaysia that says it is illegal to operate them. He fortified his contention thus:

“A launderette owner is an individual and not a government entity, and Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on equality cannot apply to an individual. It only applies to the government … as a private businessman, a launderette owner had the freedom to choose who he wanted to do business with.

“All businesses want to earn profits. If the owner thinks that his business would do better by targeting Muslims, he should be free to do so … “

Well and good. But, with respect, this is way off the point. The sting lies in the justification for the move. It is not really about equality under the constitution. The sign at the launderette said it was closed off to non-Muslims on the ground of “kesucian” – meaning purity. So, first, it is based on religion. Second, it implies that non-Muslims are impure. Read more