Five stateless persons’ case postponed as AGC seeks Home Ministry’s instructions

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously. Read more

Malaysian elections: Next government must prioritize human rights — Amnesty International

Source: Amnesty International

Malaysia’s next government must put human rights at the heart of its policies and avoid repressive tactics like those that have marked the general election build-up, Amnesty International said ahead of polling day on 9 May.

“As Malaysians head to the polls, they will do so in a country where the space for freedom of expression has shrunk alarmingly in recent years. Regardless of who wins the vote this Wednesday, the next government must usher in a new era of respect for human rights,” said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Malaysia Researcher.

“Predictably, the authorities have placed arbitrary restrictions on the opposition, media and rights defenders leading up to the vote. Malaysians deserve a country where their rights are defended and upheld, not increasingly restricted at every turn.” Read more

Suhakam is committed to protect press freedom — Razali Ismail

Source: Malaysiakini

By Razali Ismail, SUHAKAM

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) renews its commitment to protect and promote press freedom in Malaysia and reiterates that freedom of the press is a fundamental component of democratic governance.

Suhakam values the important role of the media and recognises the influence of the media in shaping public opinion. In the context 14th general election, there is an expectation that the media will play the role of fair arbiter, provide an open platform for broader public deliberation, represent a plurality of opinions; and accordingly provide election coverage that gives voters comprehensive, balanced and accurate information.This is critical in enabling the public to make informed choices. Read more

Press freedom in Malaysia – whither rule of law? — Anusha Arumugam

Source: Malaysiakini

By Anusha Arumugam

Today, World Press Freedom Day, was declared to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.

What follows is a snapshot glance at the treatment of the press in Malaysia over the past few four years. Read more

NHRAP should be totally rewritten — Proham

Source: Malaysiakini

By Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari & Denison Jayasooria,
The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham)

The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) calls for a total rewrite of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) to ensure that it is consistent with global human rights standards.

Further, Proham calls on political parties in GE14 to declare their commitment to human rights.

Proham is greatly disappointed with the Malaysian government for its lacklustre commitment to human rights as reflected in its formulation of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) as mandated by the Vienna Convention and subsequently suggested by Suhakam in 2001 and also recommended by the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) in 2009 and 2013. Read more

The election money game — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE election money game is on! Promises of goodies if a party is voted in, such as a long overdue road or a kampung bridge or the abolition of tolls, which are often accompanied by open threats that all this will be denied if the votes do not materialise.

This in flagrant concealment of the stark truth that, in any event, the money and development will come from the public taxpayer – not the personal coffers of the party or its leader.

There is a law called the Election Offences Act. It prescribes what can or cannot be done. The Election Commission (EC) oversees the election to make sure that all is fair and legal. No undue advantage. No bribery. No undue influence. No use of government machinery. No money spent beyond the permitted amount – RM100,000 for a state seat; and RM200,000 for a parliamentary seat.

Read more

Our rights deserve a broader perspective — Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star Online

BY AZMI SHAROM

Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher.

THE anti-fake news law has already been much criticised for its vagueness and broadness and, due to that, its potential to be a potent threat to free speech and the freedom of the press.

I won’t therefore add to that line of argument.

Neither would I dwell on the disingenuous argument that anyone who does not support the new Act supports fake news. That is too facile to dignify with a response.

I would like, however, to state that I find it difficult to justify the law from a legal perspective. The Constitution states that Parliament may make laws that restrict free speech if the purpose is to protect national security, public order and morals. Read more

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