Address discrimination back home before championing Rohingya rights, Putrajaya told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — A United Nations (UN) representative today lauded Malaysia’s efforts to fight for the marginalised Rohingya community, but said that the country should also address human rights issues back home.

“I am really happy to see Malaysian government take up Rohingya issues. That is a great thing to do, but it should also take up issues in own countries.

“Have the same concern for discrimination in Malaysia. For election reforms in Malaysia,” the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai said today.

“But we should also ask them to have the same amount of concern for issues domestic and international. Not just about Rohingyas. We want Rohingyas to exercise their right, but we also want Malaysians to exercise their right,” he added. Read more

[Cancelled] UndiMsiaChats #3: Electoral Reforms

Update on 28 Nov: We have received advice from the organiser that this event scheduled for tonight had been cancelled.


In mid-September, the Election Commission issued a notice that they would propose recommendations for a redelineation of constituency boundaries. How would the implementation of those recommendations influence Malaysia?

By organizing a series of #UndiMsia! chats, we want to find answers and unpack the issues of gerrymandering (Session 1), constituent delineation (Session 2) and discuss electoral reforms (Session 3).

Session 3 is on 28th November. More details will be announced shortly.

If you want to know more about the topic of electoral reforms, keep your calendars free.

Admission is free and open to everyone.

G70 raises concern over political funding

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The G70 Coalition has commended some of the proposals outlined by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, but has identified three areas of concern.

Among the contentions of the coalition – led by G25, the group of influential Malays rich with experience in various fields – is the proposal to not have limits on donations to and expenditure by parties.

“While we acknowledge that individuals and companies have the right to support political parties, this right cannot be to the detriment of the fundamental principle of creating a level playing field during elections,” they said in a statement yesterday. Read more

Past rallies focused more on urban issues, admits Maria

Source: FMT

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0’s steering committee has realised that its previous rallies focused more on issues affecting urban folks generally.

This may explain why most participants of last year’s Bersih rally comprised Malaysian Chinese, with only a small group from the rural areas showing up.

Hence, Bersih will embark on a nationwide tour to ensure the fifth instalment of its rally represents the whole make-up of multiracial Malaysia.

The electoral watchdog’s chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah, said the Bersih convoy will begin on Oct 1 and will focus on educating the public, especially those from the rural areas, on the purpose of the Bersih 5 rally. Read more

Bersih 5 on November 19

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah holding a press conference on September 14, 2016 to announce the date of the electoral watchdog’s Bersih 5 street rally. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah holding a press conference on September 14, 2016 to announce the date of the electoral watchdog’s Bersih 5 street rally. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah today announced that the fifth edition of the electoral watchdog’s street rally will be held on November 19.

She also announced that the group will conduct a roadshow across the country a month before the protest.

“Bersih 2.0 will launch a nationwide Bersih convoy on Saturday, 1 October 2016, which will culminate towards a Bersih 5 rally on Saturday, 19 November 2016,” she told reporters during a press conference today.

The convoy would be throughout the country including Sabah and Sarawak and would aim to “start a nationwide conversation” on the crises that Malaysia is facing.

“On Oct 1, Bersih will launch the Bersih convoy across the nation. The flag off will simulate would take place in 6 region and they are as follows Northern Peninsular (Kangar Perlis), Southern Peninsular (Johor Bahru, Johor), East Coast (Kota Bharu, Kelantan), West Coast (Lumut, Perak), Sabah (Sandakan) and Sarawak (Miri),” Maria said.

The convoy will feature “Bersih torches” that will be passed throughout the 246 stops planned. Read more

Time for electoral reforms – Ramon Navaratnam

Source: The Star Online

BY RAMON NAVARATNAM

I WOULD like to congratulate Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah on his recent promotion to the prestigious but onerous post of Election Commission chairman.

I am sure voters will also laud him loudly for giving his fresh and independent insights on how we can modernise the electoral commission and the electoral process. We need radical reforms to our somewhat stale electoral system.

Indeed, Mohd Hashim has started on the right foot by stating publicly that he might be introducing some electoral changes to put us on par with systems enjoyed by more mature developed countries!

And why not? After all, we are on the threshold of becoming a developed nation – if we achieve our target date of 2020! Thus, we have to reform our election system accordingly. Read more

Apex court missed chance to rule on voters’ rights in redelineation, says Ambiga

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Ambiga Seenevasan says voters must be given adequate details before they could participate in an inquiry conducted by the Election Commission. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 15, 2015.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan says voters must be given adequate details before they could participate in an inquiry conducted by the Election Commission. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 15, 2015.

The Federal Court has missed an opportunity to address the rights of voters when the Election Commission conducts its delineation exercise for state and parliamentary seats, said Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The former chairman of electoral reforms coalition Bersih 2.0 said it was expected that the court would have given leave to appeal to discuss constitutional issues under Article 113 and 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

“We are disappointed that the apex court chose not to allow leave so that the merits of the appeal could have been argued,” said Ambiga.

The lawyer and activist expressed hope that the EC would do the “right thing” in its delineation exercises for Sabah and the peninsula. Read more

Federal Court rules Sarawak redelineation exercise valid

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court has ruled that the Election Commission’s constituency redelineation exercise in Sarawak is valid. – Reuters pic, October 15, 2015.

The Federal Court today refused a Sarawak assemblyman and a voter leave to challenge the Election Commission’s constituency redelineation exercise on the grounds that the matter was now academic.

A ‎three-member panel chaired by Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, in ‎upholding the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the EC’s notice of its redelineation of Sarawak’s electoral boundaries was valid, said even if leave was allowed on some of the 15 questions, there was no prospect of success.

“The applicants also failed to pass threshold of Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 even though they raised constitutional issues,” he said.

On August 7, the Court of Appeal overturned the Kuching High Court’s ruling on May 15 that the EC had to republish its notice as it lacked details. Read more