Malaysian Bar vs the AG — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The SunDaily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

AN extraordinary and unprecedented case is before our courts: the Malaysian Bar is challenging the decision of the attorney-general not to prosecute a high official in respect of huge sums of monies found in his personal bank account; and for directing the anti-corruption body, the MACC, to close all investigations into a large scandal.

Under our court rules, the Bar must first get the permission (or “leave”) of the court before it can proceed to the next stage – where the court will hear arguments on whether or not the AG acted lawfully. All that the Bar has to show to get this permission is that it has a “sufficient interest” to bring this action; that its case is not frivolous; and that the matter is amenable to be reviewed by the court.

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Time for Malaysia’s Najib to Step Aside

Source: The Diplomat

The premier needs to give his country a much-needed respite.

Prime Minister Najib Razak insists he will cooperate with international authorities charged with investigating a massive misappropriation of funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying he is equally concerned about good governance.

But if he was serious – and believed his own sermons about the strength of Malaysia’s governance – then he would listen to pro-democracy advocates, like Bersih, and live up to the best of democratic traditions by standing aside until investigations are completed.

“We are equally concerned about good governance in Malaysia and the rule of law,” the prime minister recently told journalists. “So within the bounds of good governance and the rule of law, Malaysia will do its best to cooperate and to do whatever is necessary.”

Rarely has any regional leader come under attack for such a sustained period amid a raft of controversies linked to stolen money, murder, international finance, and military contracts. Read more

UN appoints Vitit to protect LGBT rights worldwide

Source: The Star Online

LONDON: The UN Human Rights Council appointed Vitit Muntar­bhorn (pic) as its first independent investigator to safeguard the rights of homosexual and transgender community across the world amid strong objections by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.

The first independent investigator’s main job will be to help protect homosexual and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination.

The UN expert Vitit will have a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBT) people.

Vitit is an international law professor at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and has served on several UN bodies, including inquiries on Syria and as a special rapporteur on North Korea. Read more

NGOs want autonomy for NRD Sarawak

Source: FMT

NGOs say many have no personal documents because Putrajaya has been non-compliant on the Native Court Ordinance 1992.

KUCHING: Two NGOs have called for the National Registration Department (NRD) in Sarawak to have autonomy. This is expected to help bring down the number of people having no personal documents as a result of non-compliance on Adat.

The Federal Government is either ignorant on Adat or attempting to block its implementation, they said. “Sabah and Sarawak must have the right to determine its own citizens and to deal with them.”

The NRD at present ignores the peculiar situation on the ground in Sarawak, added Sarawak 4 Sarawakians (S4S) and the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) in a statement.

NRD also does not comply with the International Convention on Human Rights, continued the two NGOs in the statement signed by S4S Chief Peter John Jaban.

The NGOs were taking their cue from a statement by Sarawak Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Fatimah Abdullah on “disorderly marriages”.

As a result, many children of local fathers and mothers from across the border in Kalimantan, for example, are left stateless. Read more

Gandhi: Walking with us today — Gurdial Singh Nijar

GANDHI: WALKING WITH US TODAY
Address at the 6th Gandhi Memorial Lecture Held by the Gandhi Memorial Trust
2 October 2016 – Kuala Lumpur

By Gurdial Singh Nijar

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This an exciting age – technological advances have liberated us in ways unimaginable. Communicating with others, transferring money, even the mundane paying of bills; and most significantly of all – accessing any information from anywhere in the world. All accomplished with a swift press of a button. Like the waving of a magician’s wand!

Then there’s a step up from biotechnology to modern biotechnology – where life-forms can be engineered and owned by big corporations – to nanotechnology – where life forms can be reduced to one–billionth of a metre. Indeed, even the creation of life not in the way the Almighty ordained – but through artificial asexual reproduction seems attainable, if we believe specialised scientific journals.

But to quote Charles Dickens in the famous opening paragraph of his novel, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, 

For, we are hit by scourges of gigantic proportions that spell dire consequences – for communities, countries and the world at large. Emanating from identifiable causes: the environment – including climate change; and wars – including the threat of nuclear wars. And the subversion of established institutions – from on-high like the UN-Security Council to domestic institutions. The initiation of illegal wars in defiance of established internationally agreed processes; on the basis of bald-faced lies. Leaving in its wake a litany of wasted lives – mainly women and children – murdered through unparalleled sophisticated weaponry. War crimes committed with impunity.

What, you may ask, has this to do with Gandhi Ji – in whose memory this lecture is being rendered?

Loads. Just listen to him. Read more