Conversion of Indira’s children invalid as state Islamic law requirements not met, court told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Today is the hearing of M. Indira Gandhi’s appeal against Muhammad Riduan’s covert conversion in 2009 of their three children without their knowledge and without Indira’s consent. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Today is the hearing of M. Indira Gandhi’s appeal against Muhammad Riduan’s covert conversion in 2009 of their three children without their knowledge and without Indira’s consent. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 15 — Muslim convert Muhammad Riduan Abdullah’s unilateral conversion of his three children from a Hindu marriage to Islam did not fulfil the requirements of a Perak state Islamic law, the Federal Court heard today.

Lawyer Aston Paiva, who is representing Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi, said there are three requirements that must first be fulfilled before a child can be validly registered as a Muslim convert — namely the conversion application to be made by the child, the child to utter the Muslim affirmation of faith and with written consent of a parent.

Aston highlighted the requirements of the Section 96(1) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Perak) Enactment 2004, which he said had not been followed in Muhammad Riduan’s conversion of the three Hindu children.

“It is not in dispute that all of these have not been complied with,” he told the court.

Under Section 96(1) of the Perak law, a conversion to Islam is only considered valid if a person utters the Muslim affirmation of faith in Arabic and utters it of their own free will, besides also understanding the meaning of the affirmation of faith. Read more

Malaysian Bar to appeal against dismissal of judicial review bid on AG’s powers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bar Council president Steven Thiru say the Bar has decided to appeal against the High Court ruling because it is a ‘significant case’. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Bar Council president Steven Thiru say the Bar has decided to appeal against the High Court ruling because it is a ‘significant case’. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Malaysian Bar will appeal the High Court’s decision to dismiss the Bar’s judicial review bid on the Attorney-General’s powers, its president Steven Thiru said today.

In a statement, Steven said that Bar has decided to appeal against the High Court ruling because it is a “significant case”, and also because no instrumentality of the government should be above the law.

On November 11, the High Court refused to grant leave for the judicial review proceedings on grounds that the AG’s actions, covered by Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, was “not justiciable” and thus cannot be reviewed by a court of law.

The Malaysian Bar had sought for the judicial review along with former de-facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, regarding A-G Tan Sri Apandi Ali’s decision on January 26 this year to close investigation on the RM 2.6 billion donation into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts and also not to prosecute Najib in the case. Read more

Malaysia must protect children from sexual exploitation, abuse — Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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

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

NOVEMBER 15 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is troubled that the protection mechanisms in the country for children are falling short in protecting them from sexual violence and abuse, to the extent that complaints do not necessarily lead to successful prosecutions, mainly due to weaknesses in the current laws.

Although child sexual abuse is largely a hidden crime, according to media reports, there were 2,987 cases reported to the police between January 2012 and July 2016, and charges were filed in 2,189 cases.

Shockingly, there were only 140 successful convictions.

Suhakam is appalled that the Official Secrets Act has been cited by the police as the reason for not publishing data in relation to child sexual abuse in the country.

While Suhakam fully supports the Government s intention to enact a Child Sexual Crimes Act to protect children from sexual abuse, it cautions that such efforts will fail unless protection mechanisms are properly implemented and the justice system is reformed to ensure that sexual abuse cases are effectively reported and thoroughly prosecuted. Read more

OSA on child sex cases dismays Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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

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

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today it is appalled that police were citing the Official Secrets Act (OSA) as a reason not to publish information on sexual violence and abuse cases against children in the country.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail told the authorities that accurate reports were required if the government hoped its proposed  Child’s Sexual Crimes Act will take off.

“Suhakam is appalled that the Official Secrets Act has been cited by the police as the reason for not publishing data in relation to child sexual abuse in the country.

“Suhakam cautions that such efforts will fail unless protection mechanisms are properly implemented and the justice system is reformed to ensure that sexual abuse cases are effectively reported and thoroughly prosecuted,” he said in statement. Read more

MP: Ensure immunity on issues raised in Parliament

Source: FMT News

Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin says lawmakers' voices may be curtailed if police start questioning MPs over issues debated in the Dewan Rakyat. Pic from FMT News.

Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin says lawmakers’ voices may be curtailed if police start questioning MPs over issues debated in the Dewan Rakyat. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Amanah’s Hanipa Maidin reiterated today that lawmakers should have parliamentary immunity.

They should not have to fear the possibility of police questioning them when they raise matters of public interest in Parliament, he added.

The Sepang MP told the Dewan Rakyat that Article 63 (2) and 63 (3) of the Federal Constitution stated that lawmakers rights should be protected.

“But I have heard that Pagoh lawmaker (Muhyiddin Yassin) is being questioned (by police) today. Has he gone against the Sedition Act?

“I am concerned that MPs voices may be curtailed and there could be an impact on their rights. But under Article 63 (2) and 63 (3), lawmakers enjoy immunity, which should be protected.” Read more

Teo: Sex education should begin in pre-school

Source: FMT News

The MP said sex can no longer remain a taboo subject given the number of stories behind the shocking statistics. Pic from FMT News.

The Kulai MP said sex can no longer remain a taboo subject given the number of stories behind the shocking statistics. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The shocking stories behind statistics were proof enough that Malaysia needs to introduce comprehensive sex education without delay, said Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching in a statement.

“Sex education should begin in pre-school,” she added.

The MP was commenting on the government’s efforts to battle sex crimes against children.

Teo cautioned against sex remaining a taboo subject.

“The children need to be protected,” she stressed.

She pointed out that many countries, especially the developed ones, have introduced sex education. Read more

In Malaysia, wholesale decline in Net freedom

Source: The Malay Mail Online

reedom House singled out the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) as the main culprit for the regression. — AFP pic

Freedom House singled out the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) as the main culprit for the regression. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Online freedom in Malaysia worsened in nearly all categories measured in a global report on Internet censorship, putting the country among those with the most marked increases of government restrictions.

According to Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net 2016” report, Malaysia rose two points on its Internet Freedom Index since 2015, with the current score of 45 indicating a “Partly Free” environment with continued and growing restrictions on local users.

The index rates a country’s overall freedom from 0 to 100, with 0 meaning no restrictions whatsoever and 100, the complete opposite.

The watchdog group that advocates freedom and democracy credited this to Malaysia’s first overt violations of its previous guarantee not to filter content online, which the country made when it began its embrace of the Internet. Read more