EC: Federal Court’s decision proves redelineation exercise constitutional

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 21 — The Federal Court’s decision on Monday on the redelineation of electoral boundaries is proof that the exercise had fulfilled all the principles and requirements as contained in the Federal Constitution, says Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah.

“The decision is a judicial recognition of the division of powers between the executive, legislative and judiciary in line with the doctrine of separation of powers which is the practice in this country,” he said in a statement here today. Read more

Train lawyers as polling agents to fight fraud, Ambiga tells opposition

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks during a public forum on examining issues relating to malapportionment, gerrymandering and electoral fraud in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Farhan Nazmi, February 20, 2018.

OPPOSITION parties should train lawyers to be their polling agents as they are well-versed with the law and could be “tough enough” to stand up for their candidates, said Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) chairperson spoke of her experience running an election watchdog in the 2013 general election, and said lawyers as polling agents would be able to detect fraud.

“I strongly urge all candidates to get good, tough election agents because they are the ones who make a difference,” she told a forum in Kuala Lumpur today.

She said the opposition lost a lot of ground in GE13 because the polling agents, counting agents and election agents were not tough enough or did not know enough.

“Some of the seats were lost because they were not asserting the rights of their candidates,” said Ambiga, who was former co-chairperson of Bersih, a civil society group advocating for free and fair elections. Read more

In Geneva, UN committee tells Malaysia to eliminate FGM

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) committee has urged Putrajaya to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Representatives from Muslim-majority countries criticised Malaysia yesterday for allowing the practice of FGM, even when it is no longer considered to be in line with Islamic teachings. Read more

Why choose fatwa over civil laws? UN committee asks Putrajaya

Source: Malaysia Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The Malaysian government should state the legality of Islamic edicts or fatwas and why they take precedence over civil laws despite not being legally binding, a United Nations (UN) committee has said.

The question was posed by Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, the vice-chair of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) committee in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday during a review of Malaysia’s progress on women’s rights which was broadcast live.

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At UN women’s rights review, Putrajaya claims LGBT treated ‘equally’ in Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The committee also expressed concern over protection of LGBT students in schools, especially against rape, stalking, harassment, and intimidation, since Malaysia does not recognise their existence. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Putrajaya representatives claimed yesterday that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is being treated “equally”, when queried by a United Nations (UN) committee on women’s rights in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) committee in its 39th session had asked the Malaysian delegate about how its laws can protect the LGBT when it is criminalised, and many resources are spent on anti-LGBT measures.

The committee was also concerned about attacks on women’s and LGBT human rights defenders.

“The LGBT are treated equally as per other genders, and we are open to dialogue and suggestions,” replied Datuk Suriani Ahmad, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, who leads Malaysia’s 24-member delegation.

The dialogue was broadcasted live through internet streaming on UN’s website. Read more