‘Political funding laws good for Malaysia’

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: Having a set of laws to regulate political funding will have a positive impact on Malaysia as it will improve the country’s image in terms of integrity and accountability, says Senator Datuk Paul Low.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the recommendations by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing could be an effective tool to improve governance because if political parties were transparent in their financial activities, the Government would also be seen as having high integrity.

Low said parties which had reservations on the recommendations should look at the proposal “in total”.

“It depends on what they are not happy about but generally, the recommendations can be effective as disclosures will have to be made so that they must be accountable on the expenditure and source of the funds.

“If we want to see an improvement of governance in the country, we have to deal with the issue of political funding. This is what I told the committee which made the proposal,” he told reporters after opening the Corporate Integrity Pledge Conference 2016.

On reservations voiced by several opposition lawmakers, Low said he could not fathom their concerns, saying that the proposed laws would be good for the country. Read more

MP hands in 200 objections to redelineation exercise

Source: FMT

Election Commission’s redelineation exercise breaks “local ties” and goes against the concept of a multiracial Malaysia, says Klang MP Charles Santiago.

SHAH ALAM: The Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation proposal gives the lie to the 1Malaysia slogan, Klang MP Charles Santiago said Friday.

Saying state constituencies in Klang were fairly multiracial, the MP noted that under the new redelineation exercise, several areas would be predominantly of one race.

This, he said, was going against what Malaysia was trying to portray itself as – “a multiracial and multicultural country.”

Saying the redelineation was going against the Federal Constitution, he added it also broke up “local ties” in several constituencies.

He cited the state constituencies of Kota Alam Shah and Pandamaran as an example of how local ties would be broken if the two areas were joined as one under the new redelineation. Read more

Mahathir: I failed to convince Agong on Citizens’ Declaration

Source: FMT News

Former prime minister says people's movement would appeal again to the King and all the Rulers as the signatories to the Citizens' Declaration are their subjects. Pic taken from FMT News

Former prime minister says people’s movement would appeal again to the King and all the Rulers as the signatories to the Citizens’ Declaration are their subjects. Pic taken from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today admitted that he had failed to convince the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, on the Citizens’ Declaration during an audience with the King recently.

Speaking at a press conference, his first following the meeting at the Istana Anak Bukit in Kedah last month, Mahathir said he spoke to the King on the demands made by the Citizens’ Declaration, which carried more than 1.4 million signatures.

“Unfortunately, we could not get a positive answer,” he said about the meeting, which lasted an hour and 10 minutes. Read more

Malaysia: Drop Charges for ‘Street Protests’

Source: Human Rights Watch

"Bersih" (Clean) supporters gather along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur on August 29, 2015. © 2015 Reuters

“Bersih” (Clean) supporters gather along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur on August 29, 2015.
© 2015 Reuters

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should drop charges against eight activists and opposition politicians for participating in peaceful “street protests” in Kuala Lumpur in February and March 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. The Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest tribunal, will hear a constitutional challenge to the country’s ban on street protests on October 10, 2016.

“Malaysia’s blanket ban on street marches is legal overreach that betrays government paranoia about organized protests,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “However the Federal Court rules, the government should return to the drawing board and enact a law that respects the right to peaceful assembly.” Read more

Researcher: EC’s public hearing process ‘flawed’, lawyers barred from representing voters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Political researcher, Dr Wong Chin Huat, said the EC is required by the Federal Constitution to hold a ‘local inquiry’ to hear out those eligible to object to its redelineation proposals, including groups of 100 voters from the same constituency. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Political researcher, Dr Wong Chin Huat, said the EC is required by the Federal Constitution to hold a ‘local inquiry’ to hear out those eligible to object to its redelineation proposals, including groups of 100 voters from the same constituency. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, Oct 7 — The Election Commission’s (EC) public hearing process for those objecting to its redelineation exercise is flawed as voters are denied their right to legal representation, researcher Dr Wong Chin Huat has said.

Wong, who is attached to think-tank Penang Institute, said the EC is required by the Federal Constitution to hold a “local inquiry” to hear out those eligible to object to its redelineation proposals, including groups of 100 voters from the same constituency.

He pointed out, however, the opaque nature of such inquiries, which would be heard in a closed-door setting and in a limited timeframe with limited participation opportunities.

“That’s the part that is tricky because the whole idea of having this inquiry is for you to speak your mind for EC to consider. Read more

How to run elections: Rights group points EC to India, New Zealand

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Proham chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman highlighted the public’s perception that the EC lacked independence. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Proham chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman highlighted the public’s perception that the EC lacked independence. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The Election Commission (EC) could be remodelled after its counterparts in India and New Zealand for greater checks and balances in the way it runs elections, the Society of the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham) suggests.

Proham chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman highlighted the public’s perception that the EC lacked independence, noting among other things that the voting regulator is parked under the Prime Minister’s Department and have its members appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan

Agong on the prime minister’s advice.

“So I think we need to learn lessons from different democracies,” he said at a roundtable discussion last night. Read more