Wang Kelian case a test of police integrity, says Paul Low

Source: the Malaysian Insight

POLICE must start an internal investigation into the alleged cover-up of mass killings and human trafficking along the Perlis-Thai border in 2015 to restore public confidence, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low.

Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity and human rights, told The Malaysian Insight the cabinet discussed it in its weekly meeting yesterday and will get to the bottom of it.

“Such incidents shouldn’t have had happened. They undermine public trust and confidence in the police as an institution responsible for the protection of citizens and non-citizens in the country.

“The police themselves must launch their own investigation. Who is involved? Were the officers and syndicates working together? Why are there discrepancies in (the police’s internal reports)?” he said. Read more

Minister: Anti-evangelism laws ‘myopic’, violate human rights

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — A Cabinet minister today slammed the so-called Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy’s (Centhra) demand for the formulation of anti-evangelism laws, saying such a proposal is narrow-minded, and violates basic human rights on religious freedom.

Labelling the proposal as ignorant, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said the group must first understand that Malaysia is a multi-cultural society which recognises diversity, and the rights of religious beliefs and cultural practices.

“The Federal Constitution was made to protect the rights of various groups, including (the) rights of those who are in the minority groups,” Low who is in charge of governance, integrity and human rights, told Malay Mail Online.

“So, the call by this Centhra — note that they ironically call themselves a human rights centre—to prohibit the evangelical Christians, would violate the spirit of our Constitution with regards to freedom of worship, and most importantly, basic human rights.” Read more

Why We Need and Independent Police Commission

Podcast link: BFM

S.Balamurugan bled at the mouth and vomited in court when he was brought before a magistrate for his remand hearing. It was ordered that he be released and sent to the hospital immediately. But instead, he was taken back to the police station where he died shortly after. This direct defiance of the court order caused a man his life. And yet, no one is to answer for it. The call for an independent commission to monitor our police for better transparency and to uphold integrity, is needed now more than ever. We discuss with lawyer Gurdial Singh to see if we’re getting any closer to making this happen.

Speak out to stay relevant, minister tells Christians

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Christians make up 9.2 per cent of the country’s population according to the last census in 2010, the third largest religious group after Muslims and Buddhists. — Bernama pic

Christians make up 9.2 per cent of the country’s population according to the last census in 2010, the third largest religious group after Muslims and Buddhists. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Christians should be politically active in order to have their opinion heard by Putrajaya, a minister reminded followers of the faith today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said Christians do not necessarily need to enter politics but must raise their concerns on issues in order to avoid seeing their rights impinged.

“The Christian community, you must be politically relevant. I’m not saying you must form a political party.

“You must be united and your voice must be heard in the corridors of the government,” he said during his speech at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas High Tea today.

Low added that the Christian community should raise its concerns to Putrajaya in order to continue being an important religious community in Malaysia.

“Unless until you are politically relevant, you will not be relevant. I’m not talking about engaging in politics but you should be able to influence policy in a way that reflects the ways of the God Almighty,” he said. Read more

No race should seem superior to others, says minister Paul Low

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Malaysians should avoid ethnic nationalism which will divide the fragile state of multiculturalism here, Datuk Paul Low said today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said one race should not be made to seem better than other races as it goes against the nation’s constitution.

“We must never put the country in a state where we have ethnic nationalism, where one ethnic group says it is superior than the other.

“We should not allow ethnic nationalism to rise in this country. Such ethnic nationalism will basically expound a philosophy of supremacy, a philosophy of exclusiveness,” Low said during his speech at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas High Tea. Read more

We are not ‘traitors’, NGOs tell Putrajaya

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Over 40 civil society groups submitted a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the Malay Mail Online

Over 40 civil society groups submitted a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 ― Over 40 civil society groups urged Putrajaya today to cease harassing them over foreign funding, saying they had the same right as businesses and governments to receive such monies.

The 44 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) submitted a memorandum today to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights, and to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

“We wish to state categorically that as members of civil society, which may from time to time voice our concerns about public affairs, we are not ‘traitors’ to the nation,” the NGOs said in the memorandum.

“Dissenters ought not be treated as enemies of the state. For a true parliamentary democracy to exist, we must be free to voice our concerns.

“As civil society groups which advocate for transparency and accountability, we remind the government that our accounts are made available through the filing of yearly returns,” they added. Read more

Low: More space needed for civil societies to express ‘frustrations’

Source: The Star Online

Datuk Paul Low, pic from the Star Online.

Datuk Paul Low, pic from the Star Online.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government needs to do more for civil liberties and societies, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low.

He said more space should be given to civil societies to “express their frustrations” and for the Government to hear them out and have constructive engagements.

Low, however, said civil liberties and human rights come with responsibilities.

“You cannot be ideal, there are borders and limits.

“Even in the area of expression, you cannot simply say something without understanding the consequences of what you are saying,” he told reporters on the sidelines at a dinner hosted by the German Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Holger Michael here on Tuesday.   Read more

‘Political funding laws good for Malaysia’

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: Having a set of laws to regulate political funding will have a positive impact on Malaysia as it will improve the country’s image in terms of integrity and accountability, says Senator Datuk Paul Low.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the recommendations by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing could be an effective tool to improve governance because if political parties were transparent in their financial activities, the Government would also be seen as having high integrity.

Low said parties which had reservations on the recommendations should look at the proposal “in total”.

“It depends on what they are not happy about but generally, the recommendations can be effective as disclosures will have to be made so that they must be accountable on the expenditure and source of the funds.

“If we want to see an improvement of governance in the country, we have to deal with the issue of political funding. This is what I told the committee which made the proposal,” he told reporters after opening the Corporate Integrity Pledge Conference 2016.

On reservations voiced by several opposition lawmakers, Low said he could not fathom their concerns, saying that the proposed laws would be good for the country. Read more

Do we want to promote more money politics? — Ramon Navaratnam

Source: Malaysiakini

BY RAMON NAVARATNAM

Most Malaysians are wondering why the chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing (NCCPF), YB Paul Low, and his able committee members have casually recommended the removal of the cap on funding and spending during future election campaigns?

Is it their purpose to promote and expand money politics, instead of controlling this somewhat callous and corrupting bad electoral practice?

Does this new election recommendation help to promote ‘state capture’, where the rich and powerful will be able to provide limitless political funding, that is even tax free, to elect favoured candidates of the rich and to keep them in power ad infinitum or, forever and ever, as the old song goes?

YB Paul Low succeeded me as the former president of Transparency International-Malaysia and so he would definitely know that we were all opposed to likely and real abuses that usually occur in election campaign financing.

The election abuses and the resultant rot get to be excessive and intolerable, particularly when there are no limits whatsoever on election funding and expenditures. This is where we could go wild in our financing elections if there is a no cap policy on election campaign expenditures.

Presently, there are clear cut limits on campaign spending of RM200,000 for federal elections and RM100,000 for state elections, for each election candidate.

Now YB Paul Low and his merry Committee have happily recommended that the sky is the limit for campaign election fund raising and spending. Furthermore, contributors to political funding can also enjoy tax exemption. Good grief, now please explain to us simple voters – what has happened to the well-tried principles of good governance? Read more

MEMORANDUM: Masyarakat Sivil menuntut ketelusan dan akauntabiliti mengenai 1MDB

Ahli-ahli Kabinet
Pejabat Perdana Menteri
Putrajaya, Malaysia

4 Ogos 2016

>>Versi Inggeris

MEMORANDUM

Masyarakat Sivil menuntut
ketelusan dan akauntabiliti mengenai 1MDB

 

1. Kami, anggota NGO (badan bukan kerajaan seperti yang disenaraikan di bawah), berasa amat bimbang akan perkembangan terkini mengenai isu 1 Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB).

2. Permohonan untuk menyita aset yang dilakukan oleh Jabatan Kehakiman Amerika Syarikat (US DoJ) dan rampasan aset oleh pihak berkuasa di Switzerland dan Singapura telah mendedahkan magnitud dan skala penyelewengan berperingkat antarabangsa terhadap rakyat Malaysia akibat kemunculan isu 1MDB. Oleh sebab ini, kedudukan, reputasi dan ekonomi Malaysia terjejas teruk. Dengan itu, keyakinan pelabur-pelabur Malaysia dijangka akan semakin berkurangan. Profil Malaysia di persada antarabangsa sekarang dijejas oleh gara-gara sifat tamak beberapa pegawai Malaysia yang telah membawa kepada penyitaan asset yang terbesar dilakukan dibawah Inisiatif Pemulihan Aset Kleptokrasi (“Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative“) Amerika Syarikat.

3. Rakyat Malaysia amat terkejut dengan tindakan DoJ apabila pegawai tertinggi yang terlibat dalam kemelut ini tidak dinamakan, tatapi hanya diberikan kod “Malaysian Official 1”. Hal ini lebih menghairankan memandangkan kerajaan Malaysia bersifat bisu walaupun isu ini terbongkar diseluruh dunia. Menteri-menteri yang bertutur mengenai isu ini hanya berniat untuk mempertahankan 1MDB dan individu yang tersabit yang hanya dikenali sebagai “Malaysian Official 1”. Selain itu, sebarang perbincangan berkenaan penyelewengan terbesar dana rakyat tidak dilakukan.

4. Keadaan ini jelas tidak memuaskan dan mesti ditangani dengan segara. Isu kronik ini patut diberi kepentingan dan harus ditangani secara adil, telus dan bertanggungjawab. Skandal 1MDB yang berpanjangan ini telah dan akan terus menjejaskan kebajikan rakyat Malaysia dan mendatangkan ketidakstabilan politik dan ekonomi di Malaysia. Read more