Kit Siang: Make first day of 14th Parliament a watershed with voting reforms

Source: Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Lim Kit Siang pressed the country’s federal lawmakers to make history in the first parliamentary session of this term by lowering the voting age to open up the ballot to greater swathes of society.

Seizing on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks supporting the call to open voting to Malaysians aged 18 and over, the DAP parliamentary leader said he has pushed for such reforms for nearly five decades.

He also noted that Malaysia was part of only a handful of holdouts including Singapore that still insist on retaining a voting age of 21 and over.

“Youths at 18 ought to have the right to vote and to have a say about the way in which their lives are governed and the country is being run, as society expects them to assume adult social responsibilities whether conscription when there is war or national emergency, even to die in the defence of the country,” he said. Read more

After triumph of ‘people power’, Dr M suggests lowering voting age to 18

Source: Malay Mail

Legal Ages infographic by Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, June 21 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government may lower the voting age from 21 to 18, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested today.

In an exclusive interview with Malay Mail, the prime minister said the suggestion would be an acknowledgement of the strong political awareness shown by young voters in the 14th general election last month that saw Barisan Nasional (BN) ousted after six decades.

“I think it is worthwhile to consider that,” he said, referring to lowering the voting age.

“We follow the practice in other parts of the world. It’s a big jump from 21 to 18, but it is a manifestation of our belief that people are better educated and they can make a judgment.”

Many countries around the world have adopted 18 as the legal qualifying age to vote, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, India and Iran. In South-east Asia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have all followed suit.

In Malaysia, the age of maturity is 18 years old, meaning one can drive, get married, sign contracts and be tried in court as an adult. But Article 119(1) of the Federal Constitution states eligibility for voting is a citizen who has reached 21 years of age. Read more

Parliament to commence on July 16

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has announced that the first Parliament meeting of the 14th Dewan Rakyat will commence on July 16 to carry out the Government’s promise of repealing several laws.

Dr Mahathir said that the Dewan Rakyat will sit for 20 days.

“In that time, we will discuss several papers and work on the repealing several laws as we promised,” said Dr Mahathir after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be abolished. The Anti-Fake News Act will also be abolished, as well as the other laws we promised,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that the swearing in and the speech from the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong will be held on July 16.

Special committee set up to study security laws

Source: Borneo Post

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has set up a special committee to review existing laws, especially those in relation to national security which are allegedly contrary to human rights, its Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin said the committee, which was set up last week, is chaired by the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

“We will look at and review the laws that come under the Home Ministry. Among those raised are the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

“Our goal is to determine in implementing domestic laws the people do not feel that they are being used  for political purposes, to punish certain parties due to differences in ideology and so on,” he said. Read more

Muhyiddin: Home ministry to review seven ‘unsuitable’ national security laws

Source: The Malay Mail

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Department of Home Affairs in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The Home Ministry will review seven laws relating to national security which are no longer suitable in today’s landscape, said the new Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said these laws were the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,  Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), and mandatory death sentence.

Muhyiddin said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), non-governmental organisations and social activists would be asked to give their views on these laws.

“These laws will be reviewed and, if necessary, replaced. It will need a bit of time, but not up to five years until the next general election,” he told reporters when asked for the time needed to complete the review.

Muhyiddin was speaking at his first press conference as the new Home Minister after attending a briefing given by heads of departments and agencies under the ministry. — Bernama

Majlis Peguam gesa percepat pindaan akta tukar agama anak

Sumber: FMT News

Steven Thiru berkata, kerajaan juga perlu menyeragamkan undang-undang Islam di semua negeri yang memperuntukkan kedudukan bertentangan.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

PUTRAJAYA: Majlis Peguam Malaysia mengalu-alukan pembentangan pindaan terhadap Akta Membaharui Undang-undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 1976, November lalu, bagi menangani isu penukaran agama kanak-kanak kepada Islam secara sebelah pihak atau unilateral.

Justeru, majlis itu menggesa kerajaan mempercepatkan cadangan pindaan tersebut.

Presidennya, Steven Thiru berkata, cadangan pindaan itu akan memastikan kanak-kanak berkenaan kekal dalam agama ibu bapanya pada waktu perkahwinan mereka, sebelum salah seorang pasangan itu memeluk Islam.

Di samping mempercepatkan pindaan itu, kerajaan juga perlu bergerak ke arah menyeragamkan undang-undang Islam di semua negeri yang memperuntukkan kedudukan bertentangan, katanya pada majlis perasmian istiadat badan kehakiman sempena Tahun Undang-undang 2017 semalam.

Ketika cadangan pindaan akta tersebut belum muktamad, katanya, badan perundangan negeri perlu mengelak mengubal undang-undang yang membenarkan penukaran agama secara sebelah pihak. Read more

Suhakam: Amendments to marriage and divorce law reform to benefit child

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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

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

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today lauded Putrajaya’s move to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 2016, saying that if the proposals were passed, it will be in the best interests of the child.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said Suhakam was in support of the proposal to be applied retrospectively in calling both parents in a civil marriage to give consent for their child to be converted to Islam.

“Suhakam supports the proposal that a child shall keep their religious affiliation, so that he or she can freely decide their faith, according to belief, when they attain the age of majority (18 years).

“Suhakam hopes that the issue of unilateral conversion of children in Malaysia and the many obstacles to the full enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion will be quickly resolved by Parliament through the passing of these amendments,” Razali said in a statement.  Read more

Forum on Creating a Law Reform Commission of Malaysia

The Bar Council Law Reform and Special Areas Committee is holding a forum on “Creating a Law Reform Commission of Malaysia”.

The objectives of the forum are to:

(1) highlight the importance of establishing an independent law reform commission, which would accept suggestions for reform and revision to statutes from interested parties, legislators, members of the legal community and the public, as well as draft legislation for consideration; and

(2) consider the constitution and structure of a permanent law reform commission.


List of panellists:

(1) Dato’ Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, Consultant, Messrs Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill; Judge, Court of Appeal (Rtd);
(2) Dato’ Sri M Ramachelvam, Member, Bar Council; Member, Bar Council Law Reform and Special Areas Committee; and
(3) Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, Legal Advisor, Universiti Teknologi MARA (“UiTM”).


Date & Venue

3 Dec 2016 (Saturday) 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium
Straits Trading Building
Unit 2-02A, 2nd Floor 2
Leboh Pasar Besar
50050 Kuala Lumpur



10:00 am Registration and Breakfast
11:00 am Welcoming Address
11:10 am Panel Discussion
12:10 pm Question-and-Answer Session
12:40 pm Closing Speech by Co-Chairperson of the Bar Council Law Reform and Special Areas Commitee



Admission is free but advance registration is required. Places are limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, kindly download, complete and submit the registration form by 30 Nov 2016 (Wednesday).

Constitution must be amended first, say Shariah lawyers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The issue of unilateral conversions have raised controversy when M. Indira Gandhi faced lengthy court battles to gain custody and reverse the unilateral conversion of her children by her Muslim convert ex-husbands. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The issue of unilateral conversions have raised controversy when M. Indira Gandhi faced lengthy court battles to gain custody and reverse the unilateral conversion of her children by her Muslim convert ex-husbands. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PETALING JAYA, Nov 23 — A proposed amendment of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce Act) must be preceded by an amendment to the Federal Constitution, say Shariah lawyers.

Faisalludin Mohamat Yusuff agreed with the overall proposal but said including Section 88A, a new clause, was unconstitutional.

“Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution states the religion of a child under the age of 18 years shall be decided by one of his or her parents or guardian,” he said.

“The proposed amendment states the consent of both parents is needed to decide on the child’s  religion, but the Constitution states only one parent is needed.”

Faisalludin said an alternative method could be used to decide a minor’s religious status such as mediation or negotiation.

However, he agreed with allowing the converted Muslim party in a marriage to apply for divorce and have other matters resolved in the civil court.

Faisalludin said custodial rights could also be decided by the civil court even if the child had been converted to Islam but was cared for by a non-Muslim parent. Read more

Changes to Act tabled

Source: The Star Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR: Any spouse from a civil marriage who becomes a Muslim will no longer be allowed to unilaterally convert the children to Islam, under amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

A new section will be introduced to make it clear that the children’s faith will remain that of the religion of both parents prior to the conversion.

Any conversion to Islam of children below age 18 will be allowed only if both parents agree to it. Otherwise, the children decide their own faith once they turn 18.

The amendments were tabled for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

It came about after a number of contentious cases, including one where a Hindu wife faced custody battles and a multitude of problems when her husband became a Muslim and converted their children.

These amendments, which will have a retrospective effect once the Bill is passed, will be debated next year as the current meeting will end on Thursday. Read more