The independence of the Malaysian Bar must not be curtailed — Steven Thiru

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY STEVEN THIRU

SEPTEMBER 7 — The Malaysian Bar refers to the comments made by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz (“Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz”) in The Star Online on September 3, 2016,   and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan in Malaysiakini on September 6, 2016, [ii] concerning the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”).

The views expressed by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz — a senior member of the Cabinet and formerly the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs — and Wan Saiful Wan Jan are consistent with the stand taken by the Malaysian Bar in opposing the proposals. The Malaysian Bar appreciates their support.

There can be no doubt that, contrary to the stated purpose, the proposed amendments are explicitly designed to curtail the independence of the Malaysian Bar and interfere with the internal management of the Malaysian Bar. Read more

PwC survey shows KL behind on social security, urban sustainability

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia's capital could improve on health, safety and security issues as well as the ability to deal with natural disasters. ― Malay Mail pic

Malaysia’s capital could improve on health, safety and security issues as well as the ability to deal with natural disasters. ― Malay Mail pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — While ranking in the world top 10 on affordability and business opportunities, Malaysia’s capital could improve on health, safety and security issues as well as the ability to deal with natural disasters to be on par with Singapore and Hong Kong.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Cities of Opportunity Index — a benchmarking study of 30 leading global cities — placed Kuala Lumpur in 25th spot out of 30 cities in two categories: “health, safety and security” as well as “sustainability and natural environment”.

In the first category, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney topped the list while Mumbai, Bogota and Laos occupied the last three spots.

Variables used to measure the health, safety and security indicator include road safety, health system performance, end-of-life care, crime, political environment and security and disease risks.

“The new security and disease risk variable measures the potential effect of nine possible threats — terrorism, cyber attack, market crash, nuclear accident, sovereign default, power outage, oil price shock, human pandemic, and plant pandemic—on a city’s economic output,” the report said. Read more

Court of Appeal strikes out Bersih chief’s illegal assembly charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Last November, Chin was charged with failing to comply with the requisite 10-day notice to the police before the two-day Bersih 4 rally in August the same year. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Last November, Chin was charged with failing to comply with the requisite 10-day notice to the police before the two-day Bersih 4 rally in August the same year. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 7 — The Court of Appeal today struck out the charge against Maria Chin Abdullah for organising last year’s Bersih 4 rally without giving authorities 10 days’ notice.

The three-member panel led by judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said in its unanimous judgement that at the time of the Bersih 4 assembly last August, the verdict in the case of Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, which ruled as unconstitutional the requirement for a 10-day notice under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, was valid. Thus, it was legal for Chin to organise a rally without giving notice.

“Our considered view is that the same principle applies to judicial pronouncement while it can take effect retrospectively, it must be in line with Article 7(1),” she said.

“We find merits in the appeal, it is allowed and the order of High Court is set aside,” she added.

Article 7(1) of the Federal Constitution provides “protection against retrospective criminal laws” and states that “no person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made.” Read more

Malaysia: Group confirms Bersih 5 mass rally in November

Source: Asian Correspondent

Malaysian protestors unfold a banner reading 'BERSIH 4' while marching through the city streets during last year's gathering. Pic: AP, taken from Asian Correspondent.

Malaysian protestors unfold a banner reading ‘BERSIH 4’ while marching through the city streets during last year’s gathering. Pic: AP, taken from Asian Correspondent.

PRO-DEMOCRACY group Bersih 2.0, also known as the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, confirmed today that it will stage its next mass rally this November.

The group’s chairman, civil rights activist Maria Chin Abdullah, said the plan is “definite” and that further details will be provided during a media conference next week.

“We are definitely having Bersih 5. It’ll be in November. We are having [a] press conference on 14th September,” she was quoted by Malay Mail Online as telling reporters when approached in court today.

The leader did not, however, share the exact date and venue for the event.

Plans for the rally comes amid demands in Malaysia for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down over his alleged involvement in the multi-billion dollar 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

The case has earned international attention and is the subject of a civil suit by the U.S Department of Justice as well as investigations by enforcement agencies in numerous countries. Read more