Forced migration still a big problem in Asia — Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin

Source: NST Online

BY PUTERI NOR ARIANE YASMIN

This week, there are two significant global meetings that aim to address forced migration — the first-ever United Nations Summit or High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants starting yesterday, and Leaders’ Summit on Refugees today. These events underscore the fact that forced migration has transitioned from a recognised but overlooked global challenge to one that demands urgent action.

Indeed, a survey by the World Economic Forum released in January notes that large-scale forced migration is one of the top risks facing the global economy. The number of people forcibly displaced has hit a post-World War 2 high at 65.3 million, of which 21.3 million are refugees (over half of whom are below 18) and 10 million are stateless. Approximately 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day, largely due to conflict and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. Read more

MPs get another avenue to quiz ministers in Parliament

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Parliamentary sitting - Pic from The Star Online

Malaysian Parliamentary sitting – Pic from The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The Ministers’ Question Time (MQT) is set to take up half an hour of every Tuesday and Thursday during Parliament meetings to allow MPs to pose questions to the government on any issue.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, after the simulation exercise of the MQT yesterday, told the press that the MQT will be held before the Question and Answer Session of a sitting.

“To be implemented at the sitting on October 17, Ministers’ Question Time will be from 10am to 10.30am,” he was quoted saying by English language daily The Star.

According to the report, questions during the MQT will be limited to one minute to be asked by an MP, while the minister concerned will be given three minutes to answer, which is followed by an additional 30 seconds for additional question, which the minister must answer within two minutes and 30 seconds.

Pandikar said questions for the MQT only need to be submitted a day before the sitting, compared to the Question and Answer Session which requires questions to be submitted 10 days in advance. Read more

Malaysia to ratify global climate change pact this year

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― Malaysia will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before December, a minister said.

Local daily The Star quoted Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar saying that he would be attending a United Nations (UN) programme in New York tomorrow, to renew Malaysia’s pledge to combat climate change.

“Malaysia is saying that when we ratify, we are going to give some kind of assurance to the UN that we can perform it.

“But we are now in position to ratify the Paris agreement. I believe we will be one of the 55 countries. Not this trip, but the Prime Minister has already agreed and we can commit before December 2016,” Wan Junaidi reportedly told the daily.

Malaysia is one of the 195 countries that adopted The Paris Agreement, an international legally binding treaty for post-2020 climate action. Read more

Kit Siang: Why is EC chair abandoning predecessor’s redelineation plans?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Map of redelineated constituencies on display at the Selangor EC office September 15, 2016. Voters have one month to file complaints, if any. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

Map of redelineated constituencies on display at the Selangor EC office September 15, 2016. Voters have one month to file complaints, if any. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― DAP’s Lim Kit Siang questioned Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah today on why he was not following his predecessor’s electoral redelineation plans for smaller constituencies.

Lim cited former EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, who was reported as saying in a November 2, 2014 report by national newswire Bernama that “a constituency with a large number of voters, more than 100,000, has to be divided into two, for example, so that there are reasonable numbers of voters in both”.

“Can Mohd Hashim explain why he had jettisoned his predecessor, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s redelineation plan to abide by the Constitution and the democratic principle of ‘one man, one vote’ by ensuring that there will be no super-size parliamentary constituencies exceeding 100,000 votes?” Lim said in a statement.

Abdul Aziz had reportedly said in 2014 that a redelineation exercise was not meant to benefit any particular political party, but to facilitate voters and to enable constituents to get good service from their elected representatives. He had highlighted Batu and Segambut as federal constituencies in Kuala Lumpur that are small in size, but have a large number of voters.

Lim has previously urged the EC to redraw 13 “super” parliamentary constituencies that have more than 100,000 registered voters under the current redelineation exercise, seven of which are in Pakatan-held Selangor. Read more

Malaysia joins international community in adopting New York Declaration

Source: NST Online

NEW YORK: Malaysia has joined the international community in adopting the New York Declaration that will pave the way for greater efforts to assist 65 million displaced people around the world.

In assuring its continued commitment towards providing assistance to bona fide refugees and addressing conflict-induced migration, Malaysia gave its support for the declaration in the ongoing 71st United Nations General Assembly.

In the declaration during the High Level Meeting on Large Movement of Refugees and Migrants, member countries agreed to share responsibilities on the need for coordinated and complementary action on population movements and displacements.

In his speech during the summit, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the initiative by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon was commendable.

Ban mooted the idea last year for the summit to discuss, for the first time, with the 193 member states of the UN on what can be done with over 65 million displaced people around the world.

“I strongly give my assurance that Malaysia would not neglect its international obligations and commitments in addressing conflict-induced migration caused by war, natural calamities, political unrest and armed conflicts,” he stressed.

Zahid told the floor that a reflection of the country’s devotion to the evolving issue was the arrival of 79 Syrian migrants in two batches in May, and 421 more before the end of the year.

This was part of the Malaysian pledge by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – in the 70th United Nations General Assembly last year – to receive 3,000 Syrian migrants over three years due to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Read more

EC: No favouritism in EC redelineation

Source: FMT

Election Commission chairman says the authority to approve the EC recommendations rests with Dewan Rakyat and MPs can debate the matter in the august house.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) today dismissed allegations that the redelineation of electoral boundaries in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah favoured certain quarters.

EC Chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah said today the EC discharged its duties and responsibilities as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

The authority to approve the EC recommendations rested with the Dewan Rakyat and the MPs could debate the matter in the august house, he said in a statement.

Mohd Hashim said the EC would not respond to the allegations on its recommendations because they were just that – recommendations.

The recommendations, which were being displayed to obtain feedback from the public, were not final as they were subject to local inquiry to evaluate objections and representations and they must have the approval of the Dewan Rakyat, he said.

The EC had conducted a redelineation of parliamentary and state electoral boundaries in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah beginning Sept 15. Read more