Parliament sitting Monday, to focus on redelineations

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Parliament sitting — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The first meeting, the sixth term and 13th parliament sitting, will begin on Monday with the election issue expected to dominate the Dewan Rakyat scheduled for 20 days until April 5.

The conference which will be opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V will attract the general public as it is said to be the last session before Parliament is dissolved to make way for the 14th General Elections (GE14), which many predicted would be held very soon.

This conference is also remarkable because the session was sitting until the sixth term, compared to the usual fifth term, before being dissolved for GE14.

However, it does not violate any regulation as the session of the 13th Parliament is not over and it will only be dissolved automatically when the five-year mandate of the Barisan Nasional-led government expires on June 24, 2018.

As highlighted, the “Review of the Boundaries of Parliamentary and State Election Divisions for Peninsular and Sabah” is expected to be among the key agenda that will warm up this session. Read more

Sustain supremacy of constitution, urge legal eagles

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The three arms of the government — the executive, legislature and judiciary — must uphold the supremacy of the 60-year-old constitution, following a recent landmark ruling, a retired judge and lawyers said.

They also said judicial power and judicial independence were sacrosanct in the Malaysian constitutional framework to keep every organ and institution of the state within its legal boundary.

The legal minds said ministers, elected or appointed members to the legislature and judges must give effect to their oath of office to protect, preserve and defend the constitution — the supreme law of Malaysia.

Read more

Professor: Only Parliament can limit freedom of expression

Source: FMT News

Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Freedom of expression, one of the fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution, can only be limited by laws passed in Parliament, says law academic Azmi Sharom.

He described the ban on the Bahasa Malaysia version of Allah, Liberty and Love by Irshad Manji, Azmi as frightening, arguing that the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) had used the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 to ban the book.

He explained Article 10 of the Federal Constitution was extremely clear in that it guaranteed Malaysian citizens the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

This freedom, however, was not absolute, he said, as Parliament had the power to impose limits, if necessary, in the interests of national security, public order and morality.

“Here’s the clincher. This ban was done under state shariah law.

“Freedom of expression can only be limited by laws made by Parliament — not the Selangor state assembly. That is not Parliament. Read more

Parliament probe missed the mark, says lawyer

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Meera was recently barred from entering the Parliament building as her skirt was deemed too short. ― Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.

Meera was recently barred from entering the Parliament building as her skirt was deemed too short. ― Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.

PETALING JAYA, April 14 — How can an investigation be complete without speaking to the complainant?

That was the question raised by Women’s Aid Organisation assistant treasurer Meera Samanther, who was recently barred from entering the Parliament building as her skirt was deemed too short.

Unhappy with the investigation, she said the findings were “incomplete and disingenuous” and pointed out no one from Parliament had contacted her for her statement.

Parliament’s corporate communications division head Tengku Nasaruddin Tengku Mohamed had said in a statement on Wednesday Meera was denied entry because of safety reasons as they did not have prior information of her attendance.

He said the results of the investigation contradicted Meera’s claims.

Meera, a lawyer, said the report focused on her encounter with the security office at the entrance, which was a non-issue.  Read more