Student groups plan protest rally over suspension of UKM activist

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof says the suspension will make it impossible for final-year law student to sit his exam.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof (third from left) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi (fourth from left) at a joint press conference. Image from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of student groups, called Kesatuan, has threatened to hold a protest rally against Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) over its decision to reinstate a suspension order on final-year law student Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof gave UKM a week to respond and explain why the suspension has been reinstated.

She said the student groups will hold the rally outside UKM.

On November 2016, Asheeq was suspended for one semester by UKM and fined RM200 for his involvement in the #TangkapMO1 rally.

Asheeq, at that time, had argued that he was never charged in court for any offences.

The rally was organised by a coalition of students and youth groups calling for the arrest of the person named “MO1” in the United States’ Department of Justice’s civil suit related to state investment fund 1MDB. Read more

Judiciary’s independence affected if Chief Justice’s appointment upheld, court told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Ambiga said it was not a ‘happy task’ for those involved in the lawsuit and for the Federal Court panel hearing it, but said upholding the Federal Constitution is a burden that the judges have to shoulder. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, March 14 — The judiciary’s independence will be affected if the Federal Court decides that the appointment of the country’s two top judges beyond their mandatory retirement age is valid and constitutional, the Malaysian Bar’s lawyer said today.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, a lawyer for the Malaysian Bar in the legal body’s lawsuit challenging the top two judges’ appointments, told the Federal Court to consider the impact if the apex court were to uphold last year’s appointment of the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal president.

She summed up the “far-reaching” consequences expected, including the mandatory retirement age in the Federal Constitution becoming “meaningless” and the promotion of judges being affected.

“And it affects the independence of the judiciary because it affects security of tenure,” she told the Federal Court.

Ambiga was referring to the Malaysian Bar’s argument that the appointment of Tun Md Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as “additional judges” of the Federal Court for three years and two years respectively would affect judicial independence, as such appointments are for varying and unfixed periods. Read more

Groups welcome review of Printing Presses and Publications Act

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Several groups have welcomed the Government’s move to review the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).

This comes after Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pledged on Tuesday (March 13) to review the controversial PPPA, a law that is seen to curtail freedom of speech, in particular, freedom of the press.

Under the PPPA, all printing presses need to obtain a license that can be revoked or suspended for any period.

A media lecturer at University of Nottingham Malaysia, Gayathry Venkiteswaran, lauds the Government’s move to review the Act.

“I hope that there will be a review towards repealing the Act entirely,” she said.

“It is an anachronistic Act. It doesn’t serve any purpose apart from being used arbitrarily against the media and to control (news) content.” Read more