World Health Day: Lessons from Malaysia on universal health coverage — Jacqueline Lo and Pascale A. Allotey

Source: The Malay Mail Online

By Dr Jacqueline Lo Ying-Ru and Professor Pascale A. Allotey

APRIL 6 — The right to health is fundamental, universal and irrevocable. Individuals, their families and their communities should not have to die or face extreme poverty due to health care costs.

World Health Day is celebrated on April 7, and 2018 marks the 70th birthday of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year’s theme is universal health coverage (UHC) — the belief that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality health services where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship.

It includes the full spectrum of services needed throughout life—from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care—and is best based on a strong primary health care system.

Universal health coverage

Malaysia has achieved universal health coverage. It has made remarkable progress in improving health outcomes over the past seven decades. Read more

Redelineation Proposals are Fundamentally Flawed, Inherently Unfair, and Unconstitutional — Malaysian Bar

Source:  Malaysian Bar

Press Release

Redelineation Proposals are Fundamentally Flawed, Inherently Unfair, and Unconstitutional

The Malaysian Bar is deeply disturbed by the overall manner in which the redelineation exercise was conducted by the Election Commission (“EC”), leading up to and including the indecent haste in which the EC’s redelineation proposals were tabled and passed by the Dewan Rakyat on 28 March 2018.

The redelineation exercise was dogged by procedural issues from the very beginning, starting from the redelineation exercise for the state of Sarawak, the proposals for which were presented for public review in January 2015.  In the High Court case of See Chee How & Anor v Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia, the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak at Kuching ruled that the preliminary information provided in the EC’s public notice was insufficient, although this finding was reversed by the Court of Appeal.  The Federal Court in turn refused to grant leave to appeal, on the ground that the proposals had, by then, already been submitted to the Prime Minister. Read more

Sempadan baru PRU tidak adil — Bersih 2.0

Sumber: The Malay Mail Online

30 MAC — Pada 28 Mac 2018, parlimen Malaysia telah meluluskan laporan persempadanan semula yang telah dikeluarkan oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) walaupun protes diadakan untuk menarik balik laporan tersebut dari perbicaraan yang belum selesai oleh 107 plaintif yang mewakili lebih daripada 10,000 pengundi terhadap penukaran semula tidak adil oleh SPR.

Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih Dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) menyifatkan bahawa parlimen telah menghina dan melanggar prinsip pemisahan kuasa.

Keputusan speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin untuk membentangkan laporan tersebut walapun kes mahkamah masih belum selesai adalah melangkaui kuasa autoriti.

Tindakan beliau seolah-olah langsung tidak menghormati badan kehakiman. Read more

Not in the public interest — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

A CRYPTICALLY-TITLED Anti-Fake News law is about to be enacted shortly if passed by Parliament. The outcry against it stems from its overbroad scope.

First, it goes beyond “news”. Its coverage is extraordinarily overreaching. It covers everything spoken, written, drawn, audio and visual – and the catch-all: “in any other form”. It covers words and ideas, too. It extends to publications and reproductions; and anything in digital or electronic form and replications of these. Every information is roped in – regardless of its scientific, literary or artistic value. Nothing is left out. Read more

Born and bred in Malaysia: Stateless persons — Jamie Chai Yun Liew

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAMIE CHAI YUN LIEW

MARCH 28 — Malaysia has a statelessness problem but not in the way that many expect. Stateless persons in Malaysia are not foreigners, migrants or even “illegals”. They are born and bred in Malaysia.

Between January and April 2018, I conducted research in Malaysia interviewing stateless persons, lawyers, paralegals, NGOs, and academics. Over the course of examining legal cases, reading news articles, and talking to Malaysian experts working in the field, I discovered there are six categories of stateless persons in Malaysia. These six categories include: (1) persons who were citizens before Malaysian independence (including those persons who came to work in plantations); (2) persons who have lost important documentation such as birth certificates or marriage licenses; (3) abandoned children (foundlings) and adopted children born in Malaysia; (4) children of mixed marriages or children born before a marriage was registered; (5) Indigenous persons; (6) some refugees and migrants. Read more

A bitter Bill to swallow — Philip Koh

Source: The Star Online

BY PHILIP TN KOH

“Serious questions arise as to whether this Bill is constitutional when read with Article 10 of our Federal Constitution which characterises free speech as a fundamental liberty subject to limited restrictions. Whether this Bill will pass the constitutional test will await judicial contestations. This Bill, while intended to rein in proliferation of fake news, will have a chilling effect on free speech and expression, which is the vital blood of deliberative democracy.” – Philip Koh

IN the wake of Facebook’s expression of regrets and the expose of the Cambridge Analytica, nations have moved swiftly to deal with what has been characterised as “fake news”.

Nation states have a legitimate right to defend their sovereignty by recourse to laws. However, there is growing evidence that governments or government sponsored agents have also used fake news to promote and defend its interests, as against the healthy exercise of political discourse and debates.

The Anti-Fake News Bill proposed by the Malaysia government raises many questions.

The definition of “fake news” reads, “includes any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any form capable of suggesting words and ideas”. Read more

Welcome to the Big Brother’s matrix — Jahabar Sadiq

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY JAHABAR SADIQ

Ex-Malaysian Insider editor Jahabar Sadiq is behind the new venture, The Malaysian Insight. Pic taken from ST.

“You have to wonder the reasons for such a confident government to enact such a law. You have to wonder the reasons that only their narrative must be held up as the truth, and everything that is contradictory is fake.” – Jahabar Sadiq

EVERYONE will be affected by the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 when it finally gets approved.

What it does is simply this – it allows the authorities to shape and define what is fact and what is fiction.

It allows the authorities to determine the size of the football pitch, the width and height of the goalposts, as the case may be.

Heck, it can even keep redefining what nasi lemak is depending on the time of day.

In other words, you are living in the Big Brother’s matrix. They define your reality and unreality, no matter what is outside the territories and waters of Malaysia. Read more

Abuse of Domestic Workers is Unacceptable and Must be Punished Accordingly — Malaysian Bar

Source: Malaysian Bar

Press Release

Abuse of Domestic Workers is Unacceptable and Must be Punished Accordingly

The Malaysian Bar supports the Attorney General’s decision to file a notice of appeal against the manifestly inadequate sentence imposed on Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali, who was let off with merely a good behaviour bond for five years with one surety of RM20,000 by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court on 15 March 2018.  She had pled guilty to a charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, under Section 326 of the Penal Code.

Datin Rozita Mohamad Ali had used a kitchen knife, a clothes hanger, a steel mop and an umbrella to cause multiple injuries to migrant domestic worker Suyanti Sutrinso’s head, hands, legs and internal organs.

The blatantly light sentence meted upon the accused is shocking and inappropriate, especially in light of the extreme and appalling nature of the injuries inflicted upon Suyanti Sutrinso. Read more

CJ’s appointment challenged — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

LAST week a larger than normal number of Federal Court judges (seven) heard a case unprecedented in Malaysian legal history. The Malaysian Bar challenging the constitutional validity of the appointment of the chief justice (CJ) and the president of the Court of Appeal (PCA).

The Bar contended as follows. The Constitution explicitly states that the CJ’s term of office is to be 66 years plus six months. After that he must retire. Only a person appointed by the CJ as an additional judge can hold office beyond this prescribed period. Such appointment is expressly provided for in the Constitution. There is no extension allowed for the CJ’s term. So his term ends in accord with the constitutionally-prescribed tenure period.

But, argued the Bar, the CJ’s term was extended through a rather convoluted and unconstitutional process.

Read more

Malaysians, get to know your Constitution — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

A COLLEAGUE requested me to give a guest talk to her students on “Constitution, Law & Society”. I began by pointing out that as with all laws, the relationship between the constitution and society is one of interdependence. They shape each other in innumerable ways.

More than other fields of law, a constitution reflects the dreams, demands, values and vulnerabilities of the body politic.

A constitution is not just a legal document. It is linked with philosophy and politics. It has as its backdrop the panorama of history, geography, economics and culture. A constitution that will endure must not depart too far from the spirit of the people. Read more