MACC sends SRC, RM2.6 billion probe papers to A-G

Source: The Malaysian Insider

graphic-alleged-money-trail-kamarul-04082015The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today handed the attorney-general (A-G) an investigation paper on SRC International and another on the RM2.6 billion transferred to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts.

MACC said it was satisfied with the testimony of more than 100 witnesses, including the individual who allegedly gave RM2.6 billion to Najib.

“The investigations involving witnesses in the country are complete. A statement from the party alleged to be the donor was also taken down,” said Datuk Sri Mohd Shukri Abdull, MACC’s deputy director of operations.

However, Shukri said the RM2.6 billion probe was still incomplete.

“MACC still needs to complete investigations regarding documents and statements involving several overseas financial institutions.

“These documents and statements can only be taken through mutual legal assistance (MLA) as this is tied to the banking laws of the countries involved,” Shukri said in a statement today. Read more

Our duty to speak up, and we can because we know the law, G25 tells critics

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — A year older now, G25 asserted today its obligation to speak up for Malaysians whose rights are at risk of being violated and added that its members are well-versed enough on the law to do so.

The group of Malay retired top civil servants also said it consults with scholars before issuing statements on Islamic issues, amid controversy surrounding the pro-moderation group’s proposal to review Shariah laws that prohibit khalwat (close proximity).

“As denial of citizen rights and poor governance will have impact on national unity, peace and stability and consequently the economy, G25 considers that it is our duty to speak up on behalf of the people when we see failures and omissions in the delivery of justice,” G25 said in its New Year message. Read more

Putrajaya announces new agency to deal with disasters

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The National Disaster Management Agency is in charge of managing natural disasters in the country. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 31, 2015.

The National Disaster Management Agency is in charge of managing natural disasters in the country. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 31, 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today announced the setting up of the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to coordinate government agencies in tackling disasters.

Zahid said Nadma, which was operating for the first time in the current flood season, was not taking over the roles of the agencies, but was set up to ensure all assistance to flood victims were channelled more effectively and orderly.

“Nadma is set up not to take over the functions of the other agencies, such as the Malaysian Armed Forces, police, Malaysian Civil Defence Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Rela, Social Welfare Department, but to manage and coordinate efforts against disasters in the country.

“So, other agencies need not be stingy in lending boats or other assets because all that are being done is for the welfare of the people who are affected by disasters including floods,” he said.

He said this to reporters after an official visit to the flood relief centres at the Seberang Tayor, Air Puteh Felda Multi-purpose Hall in Kemaman, Terengganu. Read more

2015 tempoh gelap bagi penentang Najib, 2016 bakal bertambah teruk ‎

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Suaram merekodkan peningkatan 5 kali ganda individu disiasat, ditahan atau didakwa mengikut Akta Hasutan berbanding tahun lalu walaupun Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak pernah berjanji memansuhkannya. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 31 Disember, 2015.

Tahun 2015 menyaksikan tekanan terbesar diterima penentang atau mereka yang berbeza pendapat dengan pentadbiran Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan satu daripada kumpulan hak asasi manusia terkemuka negara memberi amaran ia boleh menjadi lebih buruk pada 2016.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) berkata, amaran keras itu muncul ketika perdana menteri berdepan tekanan supaya meletak jawatan susulan salah urus tadbir 1Malaysia Development Berhad 1MDB (1MDB) dan wang RM2.6 bilion yang disalurkan ke dalam akaun peribadinya. Read more

Pahang residents see red as blue waters vanish

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Mohd Suhaimi Arman Zulkifli, 11, dips his hands into Sungai Balok to look for shells yesterday, oblivious to the possibilities of danger from bauxite contamination. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Mohd Suhaimi Arman Zulkifli, 11, dips his hands into Sungai Balok to look for shells yesterday, oblivious to the possibilities of danger from bauxite contamination. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUANTAN, Dec 31 — Residents are in a daze over bauxite contamination that turned the sea here a shocking red on Tuesday.

Teacher Peh Chuen Keong, who has been living here for the last 20 years, is reeling from the shock of seeing the beach at nearby Pantai Batu Hitam a sickly brown yesterday.

He was also upset that students like his young son who accompanied him to the beach could not swim in what had previously been placid blue waters.

“What a terrible thing to happen. I thought I could come here with my son and swim in the water but now we can’t. It was a sad and scary thing to see,” said the 35-year-old who had brought his family to the beach.

He said although the sea off the village had been becoming murkier over the past few months, he never thought that it would deteriorate to such an  extent. Read more

How will non-Muslims get justice if they can’t be in the Shariah Court? Interfaith panel asks

Source: The Malay Mail Online

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Today’s Court of Appeal deferment to the Shariah Court in M. Indira Gandhi’s case effectively means non-Muslims are left in legal limbo when challenging unilateral conversions of their children to Islam, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said today.

MCCBCHST vice-president Jagir Singh criticised the Court of Appeal’s majority ruling today, where the civil court’s judges said only the Shariah courts can decide on the religious status of a Hindu mother’s children who were unilaterally converted by their Muslim convert parent.

“By pushing conversion cases to the Shariah courts the Court of Appeal appears to have abdicated its duty. It is akin to say, yes, you have a right but have no remedy,” the MCCBCHST immediate past president told Malay Mail Online when contacted for comments.

Jagir, who is also a lawyer, questioned how a Shariah Court, which only has jurisdiction over Muslims, can dispense justice to non-Muslims.

“About 20 years ago, it was the civil court who were hearing all conversion cases. This was correctly so as the Shariah court have no jurisdiction over non-Muslims and non-Muslims cannot appear as witnesses in a Shariah Court.

“Therefore, how is a Shariah court going to administer justice as it will not have the evidence of the non-Muslim parties involved in the case?” he asked.

Jagir said the Court of Appeal’s ruling today will not solve the predicaments faced by the spouse that had not converted to Islam, such as Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi in today’s case. Read more

Sad day for religious minorities, interfaith council rep says after conversion ruling

Source: The Malay Mail Online

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 30 — The appellate court’s ruling today on unilateral conversions in M Indira Gandhi’s case is a major setback for the country’s religious minorities, a representative of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said.

Lawyer Philip Koh, who was holding a watching brief for the council, said the decision meant that the spouse in a civil law marriage could unilaterally convert a child without the permission or knowledge of his estranged partner.

“This is a sad day for minority faith communities,” he told reporters after the appellate court delivered its ruling.

Koh said, however, that it was heartening that at least one judge in the three-man panel had disagreed with the unilateral conversions of Indira’s three children by her ex-husband.

The lawyer also expressed disappointment that although non-Muslims are often assured that their rights under the Federal Constitution would be protected, this was more dependant on how jurisprudence is applied by judges.

“It appears now… that this very protection is rendered meaningless, so that a mother of a child can have her baby being taken away and she’s not given access to the child for seven years,” he added, referring to Indira’s case.

In a 2-1 decision today, the three-judge panel at the Court of Appeal headed by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi overturned an Ipoh High Court’s previous ruling that declared unilateral conversions unconstitutional. Read more

Civil courts have no jurisdiction over conversions, defer to Shariah Court

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Indira Gandhi at the Court of Appeal today. Her former husband abducted one of their three children and earlier, unilaterally converted them to Islam. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, December 30, 2015.

The Court of Appeal, in a majority ruling today, held that the validity of conversion of three children by their Muslim father could only be determined by the Shariah Court.

The appellate court, saying that the Ipoh High Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the conversion, reversed a lower court’s order quashing the unilateral conversion of the three children to Islam.

The three-man bench, headed by judge Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, said taking the subject-matter approach, the conversion has to be decided by the religious court.

Concurring with Balia was Datuk Dr Badariah Sahamid.

Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Bakar in his dissenting judgment said that the conversion was purely an administrative matter.

He said the conversion was done by the Registrar of Conversion but did not comply strictly with the law.

“The law states that the child must make the application and the father must consent,” he said.

Here, he said, the father made the application.

“So the entire exercise was a nullity from the beginning,” Hamid added. Read more

I belong here too – Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

DECEMBER 30 ― As we go about celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is sobering to be reminded of at least 12,000 people in Malaysia who have yet to be recognised as citizens of a country.

Despite more than half a decade since Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia, thousands of people, from infants to adults, have been and continue to be left out of their right to Malaysian citizenship.

For the past week, DHRRA (Development of Rural Resources in Rural Areas) Malaysia and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have held a photo exhibition at Publika White Box highlighting the issue of statelessness in Malaysia and around the world.

Ending today, the exhibition presents a powerful narrative of lost childhoods, missed opportunities, discrimination, endless frustration and a lifetime of despair.  Read more

Special parliamentary meet for TPP on Jan 26, Deputy Speaker confirms

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Trade ministers from a dozen Pacific nations in Trans-Pacific Partnership Ministers meeting post in TPP Ministers ‘Family Photo’ in Atlanta, Georgia October 1, 2015. — Reuters pic

Trade ministers from a dozen Pacific nations in Trans-Pacific Partnership Ministers meeting post in TPP Ministers ‘Family Photo’ in Atlanta, Georgia October 1, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — A special parliamentary session will be convened for the tabling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership next month, Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee confirmed.

Kiandee said Parliament will convene for two days starting January 26, during which the Bill on the TPP will be debated and voted on.

“The way of voting will be decided when the special sitting is held,” he was quoted as saying by Malay daily Berita Harian. Read more