PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR 2015/2016 – Ambiga Sreenevasan


PresidentIt has been 28 years since HAKAM’s inception. Since then, HAKAM has been committed to promoting, defending and preserving human rights. In a climate of corruption and abuse of power, the deterioration of human rights continues unabated. HAKAM’s work has thus become more critical.

In October last year, Human Rights Watch produced a report titled “Climate of Fear”. The report details all the measures being taken by the present regime to silence critics including the countless arrests and detentions under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and of course the bizarre case of Zunar, a cartoonist facing 9 charges of sedition. We have had 206 investigations for sedition in 2015 alone. The government has indeed been effective in creating a climate of fear.

The last one year has been disastrous for human rights. We have seen the continuing introduction of repressive laws, threats to press freedom, environmental degradation, misuse of enforcement powers, last minute ‘secret’ executions, the suspension of The Edge, closure of The Malaysian Insider and the investigation, arrest and the unlawful detention of journalists including foreign journalists. Read more

Businesses more corrupt, survey shows one in three Malaysians say will face bribes in next two years

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A survey has found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations. — Reuters pic

A survey has found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 ― Bribery and corruption may be unacceptable practices for Malaysian companies, yet there has been a sharp increase in reported incidences for the past two years.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations, compared to just 19 per cent in 2014 even as 98 per cent of those polled made it clear to their staff that bribery and corruption are “unacceptable practices.”

“On paper they don’t believe it should be tolerated but on the ground it’s very different.

“The fact that almost all the Malaysian respondents feel that their top management are sending a clear message that they don’t condone such crimes indicates a disconnect between the tone at the top and the reality on the ground,” Sridharan Nair, managing partner of PwC Malaysia told a news conference today. Read more

A precedent but no blanket pass — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star


Article 66 (4A) permits the King to be bypassed but cannot apply to other institutions and agencies with constitutional role in law-making.

FOR the first time in the history of our Constitution, a Bill became law without the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This was when the National Security Council Act 2016 (NSC Act), passed by the two Houses last December, was gazetted on June 7 without royal assent.

This draws attention to the complex constitutional procedures for enacting laws and specifically to Article 66 (4A), which permits the Government to bypass the King.

Bypassing the King: Under Article, 44 Parliament consists of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara. In normal circumstances, royal assent is needed for a Bill to become law.

However, in the event that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong refuses or delays assent, Article 66 (4A) provides that the Bill shall become law 30 days after it is presented to the King.

Chequered history: The Merdeka Constitution imposed no time limit for signifying royal assent but in August 1983, a Constitution Amendment Bill sought to insert a new Clause to provide that “if for any reason whatsoever the Bill is not assented to within 15 days of the Bill being presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he shall be deemed to have assented to the Bill and the Bill shall accordingly become law”. Read more

Major shake-up in MACC, top two men to leave

Source: Malaysiakini

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 10, 2015.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 10, 2015.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed is to be replaced soon and his replacement is believed to be a senior officer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Sources familiar with the matter indicate that Abu Kassim had been pressured by the Prime Minister’s Office to vacate his post. He will step down on Aug 1.

To make matters worse, deputy chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull is also said to be retiring next month, while three key MACC panels have been left in limbo.

The Operations Review Panel (ORP) and the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel (CCPP) have been left vacant since Feb 24, while the Special Committee in the Prevention of Corruption became vacant last month. Read more

Abu Kassim to step down as MACC chief Aug 1

Source: The Star

Abu Kassim Mohamed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Abu Kassim Mohamed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PUTRAJAYA: Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pic) will step down as the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Aug 1, says Government Chief Secretary Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

Ali said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as per sub-section 5(3) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (Act 694), had consented to the application by Abu Kassim, 55, to end his service in that capacity by serving his one month’s notice.

In a statement issued Thursday, Ali said Abu Kassim would continue to serve as an anti-corruption service officer until his mandatory retirement on Dec 6, 2020.

Abu Kassim was appointed MACC chief commissioner on Jan 1, 2010.

“The Government expresses its gratitude to Tan Sri Abu Kassim who has served the country well in his capacity as the MACC chief commissioner,” Ali said.

He said that with Abu Kassim at its helm, the MACC had discharged its functions with excellence in line with its vision to create a Malaysian society free of corruption based on spiritual values and high morals. – Bernama

Know your rights: What to do when a policeman stops you?

Malaysia Polis - AFP pic

Malaysia Polis – AFP pic

Many Malaysians do not know their rights when they have to deal with police in Malaysia. It is important that we know what these rights are to better protect ourselves. Below are your legal rights when you are stopped and questioned by the police as provided by the Malaysian Bar Redbook pamphlet.


1.1 Not in uniform, ask for identification

Say: “Please, show me your Police authority card“.

1.2 Police authority card

Red : Suspended Police Officer. He has no authority to do anything to you. Walk away.

Other colours:

• Blue : Rank of Inspector and above

• Yellow : Below the rank of Inspector

• White : Reserve police

Note his name and Police authority card number.

1.3 In uniform

Note his name and ID number on his uniform.

Note the number plate of the patrol car or motorcycle.


2.1 Your identification

Only give your name, ID card number and address.

2.2 The police ask other questions

Politely ask, “Am I under arrest?”

2.3 When you are under arrest

You are arrested if the Police:

• tell you “yes”;

• do not allow you to leave/want to take you to the Police Station; or

• handcuff you.

If you are not under arrest, you may walk away/refuse to follow him back to the Police Station or anywhere else, if asked.

2.4 When you cannot be arrested

The Police cannot arrest you just because you are a potential witness and they want to take a statement from you (Witness/112 Statement). Read more