Federal Court should have referred to Malaysia Agreement on apostasy case, say Sarawak churches

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Federal Court should have referred to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the constitution before pushing the conversion cases to the shariah court, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) said.

ACS chairman Reverend Justin Wan said the Federal Court should not have interfered because the state is independent as far as MA63 is concern.

“Islam is the official religion of Malaysia but Sabah and Sarawak are free to exercise our religious beliefs. It is one of the points of the 18-point agreement.  

“So as far as Sarawak is concerned this issue should not be decided by the Federal Court.

“All this while the civil court had said they (shariah court) have no jurisdiction on apostasy cases, and now the Federal Court says they have.

“We leave today’s decision to the court, but we still feel that it is not a wise decision. It’s not right in the context of Sarawak,” he told The Malaysian Insight. Read more

Court upholds eight-month jail term against Amanah leader for sedition

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — The High Court here today upheld the eight months jail sentence imposed on former PAS Youth treasurer Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar for uttering seditious words in calling for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s release in a street protest, three years ago.

Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah made the decision after dismissing Mohd Fakhrulrazi’s appeal against his conviction and sentence handed down by the Sessions Court on Aug 25, 2016.

The court also dismissed the cross-appeal by the prosecution against the sentence imposed on Mohd Fakhrulrazi, who is now Parti Amanah Negara Youth vice-chief.

Azman said the decision made by the Sessions Court judge was safe and the sentence was appropriate. Read more

Data breaches: How they compromise your rights and what should be done to stop them — Ellen Hays

BY ELLEN HAYS 

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Recent data breaches in Malaysia have made for dramatic news headlines. But what exactly is a data breach? And how can they affect your life?

Data breaches may seem like a remote, technological issue that is irrelevant to our everyday lives. You may be surprised to learn that data breaches are an important human rights issue that can touch upon the lives of everyone. Read more

High court quashes UM’s conviction of 4 students

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Counsel Lim Wei Jiet (left) speaking to plaintiffs in the case against the Universiti Malaya disciplinary authority, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Farhan Nazmi, February 27, 2018.

THE high court today quashed the Universiti Malaya disciplinary authority’s decision to convict four students who held placards during a 1Malaysia Development Bhd town hall meeting in 2016.

Judge Azizah Nawawi said the reason for the ruling was because the university did not comply with Rule 54 of the Universiti Malaya (Discipline of Students) Rules 1999.

“The disciplinary authority is required to find that there is a case to answer first, before it questions the students or the students are allowed to give evidence,”   counsel Lim Wei Jiet told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

“What has happened here is that the university, before finding a case to answer, had questioned, asked and cross-examined the students to clarify what this video is about, what these photographs are about, which the judge believes is a form of non-compliance with procedures.” Read more

Federal Court defers to Shariah courts in Sarawak apostasy cases

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

KUCHING, Feb 27 — The Federal Court ruled today that the Sarawak Shariah Court has jurisdiction over the bid by four Sarawakians — a Malay-Muslim and three Muslim converts — to embrace Christianity.

Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said the decision was unanimous.

“We have studied written submissions and arguments by from both parties and we found  that there is no merit in the appeals,” he said.

He added that while there is no specific provision in the Sarawak Shariah Court Ordinance 2001 concerning conversions into and out of Islam, there were provisions under the Sarawak Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) concerning such matters.

He said these existed under Sections 68, 69 and 70 of the MAIS Ordinance.

On the applicants’ legal question asking if the Shariah courts have jurisdiction over apostasy applications when there are no specific provisions in the Sarawak Shariah Court Ordnance 2001, Zulkefli said the answer was yes.

Today’s decision means the four applicants — Syarifah Nooraffyzza Wan Hosen and Muslim converts Jenny binti Peter alias Nur Muzdhalifah Abdullah, Mohd Syafiq Abdullah alias Tiong Choo Ting and Salina Jau binti Abdullah — must have their cases heard by the Shariah courts. Read more