Ex-judge: Malanjum can assume top post only if CJ declines

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The current Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum can only be elevated if Chief Justice Raus Sharif declines to remain in office from Aug 3, a retired judge said.

Gopal Sri Ram said the Judicial Appointments Commission could propose to the Conference of Rulersto then appoint Malanjum to the top judicial post.

“It is a simple process,” he said, adding that Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin could be acting chief justice until Sept 27 for Malanjum’s elevation to be finalised.

The other option, he said, was for the court to declare Raus’ appointment as unconstitutional, in which case a fresh appointment has to be made. Read more

STATEMENT: On Lack of Diversity in Appointments to High Office in the Judiciary

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 24 Jul 2017

LACK OF DIVERSITY IN APPOINTMENTS
TO HIGH OFFICE IN THE JUDICIARY

1.  The appointment of the present Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal to continue in their posts after the mandatory retirement age of 66 years plus a further 6 months allowed by the Constitution – has understandably generated a great deal of controversy in legal circles as well as the public. Many question the constitutionality of these appointments.

2.  It is unfortunate that we have the highest levels of our judiciary embroiled in a constitutional crisis when it is the apex Federal Court that routinely deals with constitutional matters.

3.  Is it not apparent that the time is long overdue to appoint the most qualified judge from East Malaysia to fill the post of Chief Justice? Read more

Amendment seeks unlimited term for Poca board members

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: The first reading of the amendment to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) was tabled at the Dewan Rakyat today.

It seeks to include the re-appointment of board members without conditions for any period of time.

Before this, members of the board could only be reappointed once, for another period of three years.

Previous media reports stated that the board would comprise of five members and function as an independent body that would appoint inquiry officers and set its own rules and standard operating procedures.

The amendment also imposes penalties for damaged or lost electronic monitoring devices and empowers the courts to impose jail terms on those who default on payments for the damage or loss of an electronic monitoring device.

The new Section 10A will also look into the release of a remanded person.

It gives express power to the board to revoke, suspend or extend detention orders.

In 2014, it was reported that the Prevention of Crime(Amendment and Extension) Act 2013, passed by Parliament last October, allowed suspected criminals to be detained without trial for up to two years.

Investigate threats against Siti Kasim under Penal Code, says NGO

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty has called on the authorities to take immediate action against perpetrators behind a threat to inflict violence on lawyer and civil rights activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, saying the matter can be investigated under the Penal Code.

Its legal and campaign coordinator Melissa Sasidaran said the NGO was appalled by news reports that Siti had received online threats to rape, behead and attack her with acid, apparently over her alleged views on Islam and LGBT issues.

“It is unacceptable and shocking why the authorities are not taking such threatening and bullying behaviour against women with the seriousness it deserves,” Melissa said. Read more

Deputy education minister: No bully-related deaths in school since 2012

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — There has been no cases of death due to bullying in the school compound from 2012 until now, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.

Deputy Minister of Education Datuk Chong Sin Woon said records of the Disciplinary and Education Management  System shows that bullying in school is under control.

“I would like to emphasise that the cases have been dealt with accordingly, whether at school level or by the courts via the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM),” he said told Ram Karpal Singh  (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) during question and answer session today.

Ram Karpal wants to know the number of bullying cases recorded in schools since 2002 and whether the cases involved death or serious injury. Read more

Arrests and detentions: Follow your SOP, LFL tells police

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) says the police must be fully transparent and held accountable for every arrest and detention, following reports that 10 men are being held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

The NGO said while it did not dispute the duty of the police to prevent crime and uphold law and order, it was “extremely concerned” over the manner in which the arrests were made.

“What is the standard operating procedure (SOP) to inform detainees and family members when affecting arrest?

“Shouldn’t family members have a right to be informed of basic details like the grounds of arrests, place of detention, the police station and investigating officer in charge, and his or her contact number?” LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement today. Read more

A cautionary plea — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily 

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

‘My fear is that instead of sailing out into the sunset upon retirement at the zenith of their distinguished careers, as they richly deserve – they may henceforth suffer the opprobrium of those who hold them in high esteem.’ – Gurdial Singh Nijar

ONCE again, a grey cloud is hovering over the judicial arm of government. It relates to the recent announcements by the Prime Minister’s Office of the appointment of the sitting chief justice (CJ) and president of the Court of Appeal (PCA) as additional judges; and then their appointment to continue in their posts for three and two years respectively.

Step 1: Their appointment as “additional judges” was made by the former CJ on the eve of his retirement on March 30, 2017. They are both sitting judges. And the appointments are to take effect upon (and beyond) their mandatory retirement age (66 years plus six months).

Step 2: After their additional appointment, the PM has already announced their appointment as CJ and PCA respectively. And this will take effect on different dates upon their retirement. This “extension” of their high office was by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister, which advice the king is obliged to follow under Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution. The Conference of Rulers need only be consulted – meaning that their position on the matter is not binding. And on existing authority, even if they have not given their views, which may (or may not) be the case, the PM can proceed regardless. Read more