Lawyer: Home Ministry may decide to lift ban on Zunar book

Source: The Malay Mail

Ed. The Home Affairs Ministry is contemplating whether to withdraw the ban issued on Zunar’s Sapuman: Man of Steal. This was revealed by the senior federal counsel defending the Ministry and the Malaysian government in a judicial review of the ban filed by Zunar at the High Court.

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque had pledged to continue drawing despite the government banning some of his books, saying it was impossible for the authorities to ban his ideas. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The Attorney General’s Chambers is awaiting further instructions from the Home Ministry (KDN) on whether to withdraw the ban issued on a book by cartoonist Zunar entitled Sapuman: Man of Steal.

Counsel N. Surendran who is representing Zunar whose real name is Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque said the information was revealed by senior federal counsel Muzila Mohd Arshad who appeared on behalf of the Home Ministry and Malaysian government as respondents during case management in the chambers of High Court Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi today. Read more

Carpenter awarded RM310,000 in damages for assault and unlawful detention

Source: The Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, June 7 — A carpenter was awarded a sum of RM310,000 in damages by the Federal Court today for unlawful detention and for assault while he was being remanded by police in 2008.

The five-man bench comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Datuk Seri Balia Yusof Wahi, Tan Sri Aziah Ali and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha ruled in favour of Mohd Hady Ya’akop after dismissing the appeal by four police officers and the government.

Justice Balia, who delivered the court’s judgment, had increased the exemplary damages for unlawful detention from RM50,000 to RM100,000.

He also maintained the appellate court’s decision to award Mohd Hady RM50,000 for false imprisonment and RM160,000 in damages for assault.

In the landmark judgment, Balia said Mohd Hady was entitled to bring a collateral proceeding and file a civil action against the police to challenge his remand order.

Balia said the courts were entrusted to oversee that the detention of prisoners and detainees were proper and the High Court has the power to correct any error, adding that assault in police custody was a clear violation. Read more

Rights lawyer urges IGP to halt investigation against Kadir

Source: The Malay Mail

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, June 7 — Police should not investigate Datuk A. Kadir Jasin for sedition and other “oppressive” laws that the government has said will be repealed, said lawyer Latheefa Koya.

Responding to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun’s disclosure that investigations against Kadir were initiated under the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, and the Penal Code, she said the police must act consistently with the government’s reform agenda.

“The IGP must realise that Malaysia is no longer governed by the oppressive BN regime which had previously persecuted the people for merely exercising their right to free speech.

“Whoever is affected by Kadir’s article should respond in a civilised manner and not resort to lodging police reports. It is also possible for these parties to file civil defamation suits but there is certainly nothing criminal in what he had written,” she said.

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months.

He wrote another entry today defending his earlier post, telling critics he only meant to show how royals need no assurances beyond what the Federal Constitution provides.

Gender inequality, discrimination against minorities still rife, Comango reports

Source: The Malay Mail

(From left) Executive director of EMPOWER, Angela M. Kuga Thas, Advocacy and Capacity-building officer EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, executive director of Suaram, Sevan Doraisamy, and Migration Working Group (MWG) coordinator, Bina Ramanand, hold copies of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — In its report to the United Nations (UN) launched today, a coalition of local NGOs highlighted the continued rampancy of gender inequality and discriminations over religion, race, sexual orientation and gender identity, rights of the Orang Asli, and disabilities here.The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), specifically highlighted the country’s dismal performance at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) review earlier this year.

“The Cedaw Committee’s questions on matters that violate Muslim women’s rights were attacked by government-linked, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (Macsa) and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), both of which adhere to the Islamic human rights framework of the Cairo Declaration and therefore, reject gender equality.

“They and government officials claimed that female genital mutilation or cutting, whipping, polygamy, and women’s and girls’ unequal inheritance are non-issues in Malaysia,” said the report launched today. Read more

Comango: Previous administration backed attacks against human rights defenders

Source: The Malay Mail

Advocacy and Capacity-building officer of EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, speaks at the launch of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report in Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Human rights defenders (HRDs) had been attacked by state-sanctioned and private groups under the previous government, a coalition of Malaysian NGOs asserted in a report to the United Nations (UN) launched today.

The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), pointed out that the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration’s stance on some issues had resulted in violence, harassment, and hate speech against HRDs.

“The government failed to uphold the principles and values of The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and has tried to politicise the human rights situation on the ground and demonise HRDs,” it said.

“Comango’s involvement in Malaysia’s previous UPR resulted in the Home Ministry declaring Comango ‘illegal’, while Muslim-based groups in The Coalition of Muslim Organisations in the UPR Process (MuslimUPRo) organised hate and smear campaigns against Comango.” Read more

Khalid Samad freed of sedition charge from Mais remarks

Source: The Malay Mail

In 2014, MP Khalid Samad suggested that state laws be amended to remove Mais’ power over enforcement, after it refused to return hundred of bibles seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The Sessions Court here today acquitted Shah Alam member of parliament Khalid Abdul Samad of sedition against the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais).

Judge Rohatul Akmar Abdullah ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Khalid, 61, at the conclusion of its case.

She said the court found the words and paragraph in Khalid’s statement in question to be a suggestion to review Mais’ authority.

“The suggestion and views were reasonable. Hence it is not safe to order the accused to enter his defence. Therefore the court discharges and acquit him of the charge,” ruled the judge. Read more

AG’s appointment: Lessons learnt — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

AS THE saying goes, the greater the storm, the brighter the rainbow. Smiling colours beamed when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong finally consented to the appointment of lawyer Tommy Thomas as the 10th attorney-general of Malaysia/Federation of Malaya. After a cliffhanger thriller to the finish – as royalty prevaricated in the face of the prime minister’s insistence that the government’s choice was not negotiable.

The short announcement on behalf of His Majesty alluded to the King’s “disappointment and worry about inaccurate and negative media reports of late which could threaten peace and harmony in the country”. The country – barely over the euphoria of a change of government – heaved a welcome sigh of relief. A potential constitutional crisis saved from the brink.

Are there lessons to be drawn from this episode? Several, I believe.

Read more