Malaysian police to step up social media scrutiny this year

Source: Asian Correspondent

Pic: AP.

Pic: AP.

15th January 2016 — AMID concern from a number of Malaysian NGOs, Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar announced this week that “police have no choice but to beef up efforts to monitor social media as many internet users in the country abuse the platform by issuing insensitive comments”.

This comes at a time where reporters and opposition politicians are prosecuted on sedition charges, and arrest warrants sought through Interpol for the editor of the Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle-Brown.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom is currently on trial because of a legal opinion he gave over the Perak constitutional crisis, and activist Khalid Ismath faces 14 charges under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Sedition Act 1948 for statements he made on social media. Mary Ann Jolley was deported from Malaysia for her report on the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. She is also under investigation under section 505(b) of the Penal Code related to “statements with the intent to cause, or is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public”.

It appears that any criticism about government politicians and issues of corruption have been defined as threats to national security by the recently appointed Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali, who replaced Abdul Gani Patail only amid the fallout from the 1MDB issue.

Freedom of expression in Malaysia is rapidly declining, where any dissent is now considered a threat to public order and national security. Read more

Moratorium on bauxite activities in Kuantan kicks in without a hitch

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Excavators and lorries scramble to clear the ore stockpile at Kuantan Port before the moratorium is implemented. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Excavators and lorries scramble to clear the ore stockpile at Kuantan Port before the moratorium is implemented. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUANTAN, Jan 16 — The three-month moratorium for bauxite activities went into effect as planned at midnight with enforcement personnel keeping a close watch for anyone who did not adhere to it.

Checks by Malay Mail at several checkpoints, including at Bukit Pengorak, Kampung Padang and the Sirim building in Gebeng, found the roads devoid of traffic.

Among the personnel stationed were police, Road and Transport Department officers and Rela members.

“We didn’t expect trouble as the miners know we mean business,” said a policeman with a submachine gun slung on his shoulder. Read more

Public Prosecutor accountable to public in exercising prosecutorial power — Lim Chee Wee

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY LIM CHEE WEE

JANUARY 15 — The Attorney General (AG), the Public Prosecutor, promised that he will study recent high profile cases according to the law, acting without fear or favour, and acknowledged that public trust and confidence in the justice system depends on a certain amount of transparency and openness in the prosecution of cases.

These declarations beg three questions — what does the law say as to how the AG should exercise his prosecutorial powers, what are the limits on such powers and what is the extent of his accountability to the public.

Article 145 of our Federal Constitution merely states that the AG shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings of an offence. However, AG has yet to disclose his policies and principles of prosecution. Read more