Cabinet assigns 3 ministers to study implications of Indira Gandhi case, says report

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The case of religious conversion of M. Indira Gandhi’s children will be studied by three ministers. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 9, 2016.

The Cabinet has assigned three ministers to look into the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment on the conversion of kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi’s children, minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau was quoted as saying in The Star.

Issues concerning the judgment, which held that unilateral conversions to Islam of minors had to be decided by the shariah court, were discussed at the recent Cabinet meeting, the science, technology and innovation minister said.

“The Cabinet has made certain decisions and it involves two or three ministers looking into it,” he said but declined to elaborate, The Star’s report said.

Tangau said the Cabinet recognised that the case had “wide implications” and while the ministries were not questioning the court’s judgment, it must be based on points of law.

“We don’t wish to question the decision of the judges but judgment must be based on the points of law and must not be due to other considerations,” Tangau was reported telling the media in Penampang, Sabah.

Meanwhile the New Straits Times today quoted Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said as saying that the three ministers who were assigned to look into the conversion case were Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom. Read more

Bauxite mining moratorium could land Malaysia in trouble under TPP, says law professor

Source: The Malaysian Insider

If Malaysia has signed the TPPA, foreign companies can take action against intervention of business activities, for example the bauxite mining moratorium. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, January 9, 2016.

The Malaysian government could be sued by foreign corporations if it intervened in their business activities under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a Universiti Malaya law professor said, using as an example the moratorium on bauxite mining in Pahang to make his point.

Law expert, Prof Gurdial Sing Nijar said the Malaysian government would be hampered in taking counter-legal action as the agreement would limit what a government could do in such cases.

This can only happen, however, if the bauxite mines that are causing pollution woes in Kuantan, Pahang, are owned by foreign companies, and if Malaysia joins the trade pact.

“Imagine if the bauxite mines are owned by foreign corporations and the TPPA is signed.

“And look at Lynas, if you want to impose some restrictions, will our government be in the position to tell them that our people’s lives and health are affected and say we want to stop you. That is the question,” Gurdial said at the TPP Summit 2016 organised by groups against the trade deal – Bantah TPPA movement and Kongres Rakyat.

“If (the government) can answer this question by saying yes,… then some of us will be happy to withdraw our opposition.” Read more