IDEAS: Decentralise IGP powers to gain more public support

Source: FMT News

Think-tank chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan reveals study suggesting people are worried over too much power being in the hands of one man. Pic taken from FMT News.

Think-tank chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan reveals study suggesting people are worried over too much power being in the hands of one man. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Is there too much power in the hands of one man in the Royal Malaysian Police?

That is the question that the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) posits in a new study on the powers held by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

“The Royal Malaysia Police has been criticised by various sections of society and at times these criticisms are unfair.

“A decentralisation of powers can help reduce these criticisms,” IDEAS Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said about the report called Strengthening the Royal Malaysia Police by Enhancing Accountability.

In the study, IDEAS describes how the IGP has been given various powers, either by law or institutional design.

“So, we have recommended how the police force can ensure the public continues to support the IGP in the exercise of his powers through decentralising some of those powers. Read more

Address problem of stateless people in Sabah – Suhakam

Source: The Borneo Post Online

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans and the government of Sabah need to find the wisdom to address the vast number of people without status as well as stateless people residing within Sabah.

According to Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail, this must not be against the interest of the people of Sabah.

“I believe it is possible to give the people of Sabah their rights in every sense, and also provide for a lot of stateless people in Sabah,” he said in his talk on human rights in Malaysia at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) yesterday.

Razali who was answering a question on the rights of the stateless people to education and healthcare by a student at UMS during his talk on understanding human rights in Malaysia, reminded that the responsibility of Sabahans is the generosity to accept.

“You cannot close the door to everyone. There are already many people without status in Sabah,” he said. Read more

Set up Charities Commission to ​regulate NGO funding — IDEAS

Source: IDEAS

IDEAS MEDIA STATEMENT

Set up Charities Commission to regulate NGO funding

Kuala Lumpur, 4 November 2016 – Commenting on calls by Minister Datuk Paul Low and Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to ban foreign funding and for greater scrutiny over ‘political’ non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Wan Saiful Wan Jan said, “A ban on foreign funding is unnecessary but I fully support the spirit behind these suggestions – that is to promote and enhance transparency and accountability among NGOs”.

“If NGOs call for greater transparency and accountability in government, then they should also apply those principles to themselves and lead by example. I am particularly pleased that Azalina suggested for the proposed Political Donations and Expenditure Act (PDEA) to be the basis for regulating NGO funding. This law does not yet exist as it was proposed as part of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing’s recommendations. I was a member of that Committee chaired by Datuk Paul Low and I am elated that another Cabinet member has now shown open support for the Committee’s ideas.”

“Many of the Committee’s recommendations can also be used to regulate funding for civil society as the principles of transparency and accountability envisioned by the Committee’s proposal should be applicable to everyone. However, I wonder what is meant by the term ‘politically-interested’ NGOs. Does this mean that any organisation interested in pursuing matters such as transparency and good governance is also deemed politically inclined? What about local chapters of international bodies like Transparency International or Amnesty International? Will they no longer be able to receive foreign funds from their headquarters?”, asked Wan Saiful. Read more

Wan Saiful: Malaysian voters still favour communal politics

Source: The Star Online

Wan Saiful Wan Jan. Pic by Tan Kim Bock.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan. Pic by Tan Kim Bock.

KUALA LUMPUR: Communal political parties are what Malaysian voters seem to want and what voters have continuously voted for, said Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan (pix).

Since independence, Malaysia has seen a rise of many communal parties like Umno, MCA and MIC, he said.

“There are some parties that try to change this situation. But the reality is that when it comes to deciding electoral strategy, they have to be communal too,” he said at a forum organised by Centre for Global Affairs Malaysia (Icon) titled “Revisiting Democracy: Global and Domestic Trends” on Thursday.

He said that political parties have to consider the ethnic distribution of constituency and who they want to fill the spot.

“Even the non-communal parties need to play the communal game. That is what our democracy demand of those who want to contest in the game,” said Wan Saiful.

Wan Saiful said that democracy is about what is popular, not about what is good. Read more

‘Duty of cops to protect rights of Bersih, Red Shirts’

Source: FMT News

Suhakam Commissioner Jerald Joseph says police should allow peaceful demonstrations, even if they are held at Dataran Merdeka. Pic taken from FMT News.

Suhakam Commissioner Jerald Joseph says police should allow peaceful demonstrations, even if they are held at Dataran Merdeka. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A Suhakam commissioner has reminded the police that it is their duty as custodians of the law to protect the public’s rights, including the right to assemble at a public place such as Dataran Merdeka.

“The authorities should not find provisions in the law to disable any right,” said Commissioner Jerald Joseph in response to Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s criticism of Suhakam’s decision to defend the rights of Bersih and the Red Shirts movement to hold the demonstrations they have planned for this month.

Khalid, citing the Peaceful Assembly Act, had said the two groups’ chosen venue, Dataran Merdeka, could not be used since Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had refused to give its permission.

However, Jerald said any group of citizens wanting to use public spaces as venues for peaceful demonstrations should be allowed to do so.

“Public spaces are managed by public institutions as custodians,” he said. “Those institutions are not the private owners of these public properties.”

Nevertheless, he added, he believed Bersih would respect the decision to declare Dataran Merdeka off limits.

Read more

Rohani: Ministry to hold discussions to formulate gender equality act

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) will hold discussions with various parties to enact specific legislations to tackle discrimination against women in all sectors of employment in the country.

Its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said discussions will go through various stages before the law is enacted successfully.

“Now the ministry, together with women members of Parliament, are in discussion to formulate a Gender Equality Act, which would give women equal rights with men.

“The discussion will also involve non-governmental bodies and the opposition because this act is for everyone,” she told reporters after opening the UM-JCorp Carnival 2016: Building a Culture of Dynamics and Entrepreneurship at University of Malaya here, yesterday.

Rohani said the ministry was also open to and welcomed views and opinions from the public regarding the draft of the bill and hoped it can be implemented immediately to put an end to discrimination against women. ― Bernama

Ban on foreign funding sparks fear of Putrajaya’s meddling among NGOs

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The bi-partisan panel on political funding says cash donations from foreign sources to a political party or politician should be banned. — AFP pic

Will Putrajaya meddle in funding for NGOs? — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― A ban on foreign funding for civil society groups deemed “political” will eventually lead to direct interference by the government in their daily operations, several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have claimed.

The civil society groups polled by Malay Mail Online also explained they have no problems with revealing the sources of their funding, pointing out that the information is publicly available as they are officially registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

“My fear is that, does this mean the government from now onwards is going to interfere in the operation and independent of NGOs, including those who are non-political?” local HIV and Aids advocacy group PT Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Raymond Tai told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

“It’s not a secret, it’s all in our audited report, we have been practising transparency for a long time, so anyone is welcome to look at our account which is published on our website,” Tai added. Read more