Sarawak govt to table comprehensive Land Code changes next May

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUCHING, Nov 17 ― A comprehensive amendments to the Sarawak Land Code relating to territorial domain and communal forest reserves will be ready for tabling in the May 2018 sitting of the State Legislative Assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today.

He urged the indigenous communities, Dayak non-governmental organisations and interested individuals should let the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land task force look at the issues holistically and thereafter work out proposals to amend the Land Code to resolve the current problems.

“In the meantime, I would like to appeal for patience from all parties,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state legislative assembly meeting.

Uggah said the state government is committed to resolving all issues relating to NCR and will table the Bill to amend the Land Code. Read more

Suhakam calls for protection against workplace discrimination after tudung controversy

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― The freedom for workers to express their religions must be protected, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today.

“(The commission) counsels strongly that the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief without discrimination must be protected in the workplace,” Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement.

“While employment contracts can stipulate specific employment conditions, these shall not imply whether directly or indirectly discriminatory practices which may amount to a waiver of the right to freedom of religion and expression,” he added.

Suhakam was responding to ongoing debate on the purported practice by certain international hotel chains here barring Muslim female frontline staff from wearing tudung or headscarves while at work. Read more

Be flexible for child marriages under local customs, Sabah lawmaker tells NRD

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― The National Registration Department (NRD) should be flexible when it comes to an underage girl who marries according to the customs in Sabah, a state lawmaker has said.

Liawan assemblyman Datuk Sairin Karno, who is also an assistant state minister, noted that underage marriages are permitted under customs in Sabah for girls.

“For me, those who are under the age of 18 cannot marry according to the law, but in Sabah a custom allows a girl between 14 and 18 to wed with the consent of the family,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Borneo Post. Read more

Minister: Children should be entitled to legal representation

Source: Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 17 — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is in discussions to ensure legal counsel for children.

Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the legal counsel would act in the best interests of children, especially in divorce proceedings and custody battles.

“Parents in the midst of a divorce usually appoint their own lawyers but the children caught in between don’t get a say,” Rohani said at the “Lawyers for Children: Their Right To Be Represented” forum yesterday.

Over 100 people from the legal fraternity, children’s rights groups and the Social Welfare Department (JKM) attended the forum. Read more