Time to step out of the closet — Fa Abdul

Source: FMT



Pic taken from FMT News

I would like to tell you a story about my friend, Adri. I met Adri for the first time at the theatre. I found him gentle, intelligent, sensitive and amazingly friendly. We clicked so well on our first meeting that we decided to keep in touch.

Within the first six months of our acquaintance, we went out often, visited each other’s homes and even cooked for each other. Our friendship blossomed within a short span of time.

However, in the weeks that followed, Adri seemed a little preoccupied and kept his distance – as if there was something on his mind, something troubling him. I tried to coax it out of him – but he remained clamped up.

Finally, after a couple of weeks, Adri had a change of heart. He called one night from out of the blue – it was past midnight and I was getting ready for bed. I heard his voice breaking on the other side and sniffles soon followed. Read more

Maximum jail for insult of Johor prince ‘excessive’, says lawyer

Source: The Malay Mail Online


Labourer Muhammad Amirul Azwan Mohd Shakri (centre), 19, was sentenced to a total of 14 years’ jail for posting insulting comments against the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — The Sessions Court erred in imposing a maximum one-year imprisonment sentence on a youth for insulting the Johor crown prince on Facebook, a lawyer said, claiming it appeared the court had not taken several mitigating factors into consideration.

Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan said 19-year-old labourer Muhammad Amirul Azwan Mohd Shakri, who was unrepresented, should have been entitled to a discount in the sentence as the young man had pleaded guilty to charges under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 on the improper use of network facilities or network service.

“Instead of taking into account his guilty plea, the learned Sessions Court judge imposed the maximum sentence for the offence,” Syahredzan wrote on his Facebook page.

“This is clearly an error on the part of the Sessions Court judge. To say the sentence is excessive is an understatement. I am not sure if this is his first offence, but if it is, it should also be taken into account by the learned Sessions Court judge.

“Other mitigating factors such as his age and the fact that there is no ‘victim’ in this crime appear to not have been taken into account by the Sessions Court judge,” the lawyer added. Read more

Preserve, Respect and Uphold the Supremacy of the Federal Constitution — Malaysian Bar

Press Release

Preserve, Respect and Uphold the Supremacy of the Federal Constitution

The Malaysian Bar is extremely concerned over recent attempts by certain parties to ignore or reject entrenched principles in our supreme law, namely the Federal Constitution.[1]

It was reported that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (“Minister”) said that “the laws to ban unilateral conversion contravenes [sic] Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution which states the religion of a minor under the age of 18 can be determined by their respective mother or father”.[2]

The Minister’s remarks are erroneous.  Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution provides: “For the purposes of Clause (3), the religion of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be decided by his parent or guardian” (emphasis added).[3]  Article 12(4) must be read with the interpretation provisions in the Federal Constitution — Article 160 and the Eleventh Schedule — that provide that all words in the singular also include the plural.  Hence, the religion of children under the age of 18 is to be decided by both parents, where both parents are alive.

The Minister apparently relied on the Federal Court’s decision in the case of Subashini Rajasingam v Saravanan Thangathoray [2008] 2 CLJ 1, but regrettably his understanding of the case is flawed.  There was no binding judicial pronouncement in that case on the meaning of the word “parent” in Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution.[4]  It is pertinent that the Federal Court recently granted leave to appeal (by consent of all parties) in the Indira Gandhi case on the issue of whether both parents (if both are still surviving) of a child of a civil marriage must consent before a certificate of conversion to Islam can be issued in respect of that child. Read more