Human Rights Activist, Charity Demand Leonardo DiCaprio Return “Ill-Gotten” Donations

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Getty Images. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jho Low. Pic drawn from The Hollywood Reporter.

Save Rivers, which is active in Malaysia, and Ambiga Sreenevasan, recipient of the U.S. International Women of Courage Award, are the latest to speak out about money linked to a corruption scandal.

Leonardo DiCaprio dropped by the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday to present the world premiere of his latest environmental doc Before the Flood, directed by Fisher Stevens, to a packed audience at the Princess of Wales theater.

The film, which follows the Oscar-winning U.N. Messenger for Peace around the world as he sees the devastating effects of climate change firsthand, was warmly received, The Hollywood Reporter‘s John DeFore describing it as “well-intentioned,” noting the special access available to its star, who speaks to John Kerry, Barack Obama and Pope Francis.

But the very same day Before the Flood bowed at TIFF, another charity added its voice to a growing list of organizations and activists criticizing DiCaprio’s association with individuals connected to a major corruption scandal and called on him to return millions of dollars in donations made to his environmental charity.

DiCaprio has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the past two months after he appeared as “Hollywood Actor 1” in a major Justice Department filing relating to a billion-dollar money-laundering scandal involving controversial businessman Jho Low and Riza Aziz, stepson of the Malaysian prime minister and co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, which produced The Wolf of Wall Street, allegedly with money diverted from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

The actor is also alleged to have accepted donations originating from 1MDB to his environmental charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the focus of an exposé in THR questioning its ties to the scandal and lack of transparency. Read more

Problem to issue certificate if Bar AGM needs 4,000 quorum

Source: FMT News

Amendments to Legal Profession Act can affect Bar Council's ability to function, and members will not be able to obtain practising certificate, says Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

Amendments to Legal Profession Act can affect Bar Council’s ability to function, and members will not be able to obtain practising certificate, says Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Some 17,000 lawyers in the peninsular risk not being able to go to the courts if a government proposal to compel at least 25 per cent of its members attend its annual general meeting (AGM) becomes law.

Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru said a quorum of about 4,000 members was impossible to achieve in order to start the AGM and have the Bar Council to take office.

“If there is no Bar Council, no annual certificate can be issued and members cannot obtain the practising certificate” he said in a recent interview with the National Human Rights Society.

The council has to first issue an annual certificate to lawyers, who then obtain their practising certificates from the Registrar of the High Court of Malaya to represent clients in courts.

At present, the quorum required for the Malaysian Bar AGM to proceed is only 500 members.

Steven said the AGM would have to be held in an outdoor venue if the 4,000 quorum is imposed but “that is going to be a near impossible number to achieve”.

He said a quorum was merely a comfortable number for organisers to start their meetings.

“Currently, as the AGM progresses, we see between 1,500 and 2,000 members eventually attend the meeting,” he said, adding that the proposal to have a higher number was a sort of “punishment”.

The Government is scheduled to table several amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976, including the quorum requirement, in Parliament next month.

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