Use TPPA as global launching pad, urges liberal thinktank

Source: Malaysiakini

Local companies should capitalise on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) as a platform to grow their business globally instead of seeing it as a threat, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) said.

Its chief executive officer, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, said business owners should not lose confidence in doing business abroad and should view the TPPA agreement from an economic point of view, not politics.

“Malaysia used to take over international companies and turned them into local companies, but now it had lost that sort of confidence,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a TPPA forum entitled ‘TPPA: Will the US bully us’, in Kuala Lumpur today. Read more

ASEAN should aim to be haze free by 2018: Wan Junaidi

Source: The NST Online

Reuter photo published on The NST Online

KUCHING: Malaysia hopes ASEAN should aim to be a haze free region by 2018, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said here today.

He said he had attended the 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution held in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday and Friday where the haze problem was the main issue.

“Although this is not an official declaration yet Malaysia expresses the hope that the ASEAN region should aim to be haze free by then,” he told the media after launching the state annual Environmental Week celebration here today.

Wan Junaidi said ASEAN countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Northern Thailand also suffered from the haze because of their forest fires. Read more

As haze lifts, Terengganu braces for floods

Source: The NST Online

KUALA TERENGGANU: It has begun raining non-stop in the east coast of the peninsula, and every millimeter of rainfall recorded poses a danger to lives and to property here.

Nevertheless, the rain has brought welcome relief after months of choking and hazardous haze.

But the arrival of the monsoon thunderstorms offers a different safety perspective.

Realising this, the Terengganu state government has established a coordinated plan with the various agencies to mitigate the annual monsoon flash -floods which are imminent.

Even the Army has been roped in along with the police, firemen, civil defence, Rela, paramedics and non-governmental organisations to ensure no effort is spared to safeguard the lives of the locals here. Read more

Move to blend shariah, common law a political ploy, says lawyer

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Moderator Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin (second left) seen with panellists Nizam Bashir (left), Aston Paiva (second right) and Lim Heng Seng (right) during the forum “Maqasid Syariah in a Constitutional Democracy” in Bayan Baru,Penang, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain,October 31, 2015.

The move to harmonise shariah and common laws in the country is just a ploy to dupe the people into believing that those with no religious credentials represent Islam, a constitutional and human rights lawyer said.

Harmonising the two sets of laws would involve amending the constitution, said Aston Paiva.

“Brandishing it as if you represent Islam is going to dupe people into thinking that you have some credentials when you have none.

“When you have a failing government accused of corruption, the only thing you can do is to seem holier than thou,” he said at the forum, “Maqasid Shariah in a Constitutional Democracy”, in Penang organised by G25 and think tank Penang Institute today. Read more

EAIC says Johor man’s 2014 death in custody was murder

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Laporan-EAIC-SyedAzlanKUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The use of physical violence by police during arrest and questioning was the cause of Syed Mohd Azlan Syed Mohamed Nur’s 2014 death in custody, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) said today.

According to the enforcement watchdog, its investigations also found attempts to obscure evidence from the 25-year-old’s interrogation that resulted in 61 separate injuries on various parts of his body.

The police officers involved also engaged in a “serious breach” of standard operating procedures concerning the handling of detainees, material seizure, and the integrity of statements.

“There was an element of crime in the attacks involving common intent or abetment by PDRM officers, including the arresting team, to intentionally use physical violence on the deceased to cause death or injury,” the EAIC said in a statement today. Read more

Suaram wants charge against Bersih chief dropped

Source: Malaysiakini

Human rights group Suaram has condemned the planned prosecution of Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Maria is set to be charged next Tuesday under Section 9(5) for failing to provide notice for the August 30 and 31 protest which saw more than 100,000 people hitting the streets to call for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation.

Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy called the prosecution “illogical” and “unjustifiable”.

“In light of the fact that the required notice is given to the Royal Malaysian Police, there is no legitimate justification for Maria Chin to be charged under Section 9(5) of the Act. Read more

Strip AG of prosecutorial powers, says G25

Source: Malaysiakini

The prosecutorial powers of the attorney-general should be transferred to an independent office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the G25 Group of Eminent Malays recommends.

It said the office of the attorney-general should not combine the roles of adviser to the government and public prosecutor.

“There is a fundamental conflict of interest in the functions and powers of the AG, which enables him to take action against national interests.

“It is poor governance that the AG is the legal adviser for the government of Malaysia and also the final arbiter on decisions to prosecute,” G25 said in a statement today. Read more

Court overturns ban on pro-Sarawak rights group

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SAPA president Lina Soo says the people of Sarawak have every right to speak if they feel that MA63 conditions have been violated on October 30, 2015. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Oct 30 ― The High Court today reversed the home ministry’s decision to ban a local civil society group, nearly a year after the pro-Sarawak rights movement was declared illegal by Putrajaya.

Datuk Rhodzarian Bujang ruled that the ministry’s decision to ban the Sarawak Association of Peoples’ Aspirations (SAPA) was irrational, illegal, unconstitutional and without basis.

“As of today, SAPA is no longer an illegal society,” the group’s counsel Dominique Ng Kim Ho told reporters after the judge made her ruling in chambers.

Ng said the judge agreed with his arguments that SAPA was not given the chance to respond to allegations made against them before the ministry declared that it was illegal on November 14 last year.

He added that five out of the nine police reports lodged against the group had nothing to do with a public forum organised by SAPA, where a panel speaker had allegedly made seditious remarks. Read more

Why are some refugees more equal than others? – Syerleena Abdul Rashid

Source: The Malaysian Insider

A few weeks ago on the night of Maal Hijrah, the Immigration Department raided a village in Bagan Dalam, mainland Penang and rounded up about 80 “illegal immigrants”. Sixty of them were refugees and asylum seekers which included women and children. A majority of refugees living in this community were Rohingya Muslims who, as we know, are regarded as the most persecuted and most vulnerable communities in the world.

Just last month, the government surprised the entire nation by saying that our country would “open its doors to 3,000 Syrian migrants over the next three years to help alleviate the refugee crisis”. Read more

Pelan selaraskan sivil-syariah bakal undang bencana, pengkritik jawab Putrajaya

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Pengkritik menyelar cadangan ‘mengharmonikan’ undang-undang sivil dan syariah, kerana undang-undang syariah semasa di Malaysia tidak menyerlahkan keindahan Islam. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 30 Oktober, 2015.

Kenyataan Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yang Malaysia kini dalam proses “mengharmonikan” undang-undang sivil dan syariah menyebabkan pengkritik menggesa Putrajaya mempertimbangkan semula keutamaannya, di sebalik keadaan semasa undang-undang Islam di negara ini.

Seorang aktivis Islam menyifatkan kenyataan timbalan perdana menteri itu langkah menarik pengundi Melayu-Islam, manakala seorang peguam berkata, Putrajaya sepatutnya memberi tumpuan menyelesaikan konflik di antara undang-undang syariah dan sivil.

Pengasas Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) Datuk Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa berkata, kerajaan gagal melaksanakan intipati sebenar undang-undang syariah di Malaysia, dan mengharmonikannya sekarang dengan undang-undang sivil boleh mencetuskan “bencana”. Read more