Man who threatened to behead Siti Kasim arrested

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Police say they have caught the man who made an online threat to behead lawyer Siti Kasim.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Amar Singh, in a text message, said a male suspect had been arrested on Tuesday night regarding the case.

“Yes, we can confirm that a male suspect was arrested last night,” The Star quoted Amar as saying.

News of the arrest was also shared by Siti on her Facebook page on Wednesday. She said the suspect had been remanded for three days. Read more

POCA amendments will deny detainees chance to be heard, group says

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Those arrested under the controversial Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) could find themselves detained without trial without even a chance to be heard under Putrajaya’s proposed law changes, a legal group cautioned.

Human rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said the federal government’s proposed amendments to POCA will make the law — which enables detention without trial — even worse.

“In effect, after the amendments, the detainee will be gagged, with no opportunity to explain his side of the story, completely helpless and left at the mercy of the detention authorities.

“We therefore call on all parliamentarians to oppose these amendments as they would aggravate the already poor human rights record of Malaysia,” LFL’s executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement today. Read more

‘CJ’s tenure extension proof of discrimination against Sabah, Sarawak’

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a glass ceiling stopping Sabah and Sarawak judges from holding the nation’s top judiciary post, said Pakatan Harapan parliamentary leaders, who all appeared to share the same observation.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said they came to this conclusion as the chief justice post had, for the past five decades, gone only to West Malaysian judges.

“The element of discrimination against Sabah and Sarawak was made more obvious in the case of denying Richard Malanjum the (chief justice) post, with the unconstitutional extension of Md Raus Sharif.”

Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, was speaking during a roundtable discussion on the extension of Raus’ chief justice tenure in the Parliament complex here today. Read more

Removal of judicial power: Don’t blame me, says Dr Mahathir

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today insisted he was not behind the removal of the judicial power of the courts.

Instead, Dr Mahathir said, the complaint came from higher up.

“I’ve explained this. But of course people still insist that it was because of me that the Lord President and judges were removed. It was not me,” he said at a press conference at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) headquarters today.

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on a recent allegation by retired judge Gopal Sri Ram that he and former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman were behind the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1988, which removed the judicial power of the courts. Read more

More than 150,000 refugees, asylum seekers in Malaysia

Source: Astro Awani 

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 150, 204 refugees and asylum seekers from 59 countries are registered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were recorded in this country since last May 31.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said, 94,361 from the total are refugees whereas the balance 55, 843 are asylum seekers.

He said Myanmar has the largest number with 133, 725 people. The other countries involved are Pakistan (3,548), Sri Lanka (2,328), Yemen (2,095), Somalia (2,062), Syria (1,980), Iraq (1,461), Afghanistan (1,082), Palestine (698) and Iran (440). Read more

FT Mufti: Public caning detractors hostile to Islamic laws

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The Federal Territories mufti has defended Kelantan’s move to implement Shariah caning in public, claiming the punishment was beneficial especially when performed in the open.

In a brief statement, mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad also accused critics of Shariah caning as prejudiced against the Islamic criminal justice system, encouraging them to first gain full understanding from authoritative Islamic sources.

“We urge for parties who do not agree with the implementation of Shariah caning punishment to research and verify first with an authoritative Islamic body before releasing statements that are unfair and causing division,” he said.

“We regret that some who criticise are from the intelligentsia, but have failed to get the real picture on implementation of Shariah caning, and are being prejudiced against anything linked to the Islamic criminal justice system.” Read more

Former DPM’s son warns Malay Rulers of crisis arising from Shariah Bill

Source: The Malay Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — The son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman has written to the Conference of Malay Rulers to highlight the Speaker of Parliament’s alleged disregard of their authority over religious matters.

In a letter to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to convey the contents of his earlier writings to the royals, Mohamed Tawfik Ismail reiterated his insistence that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s so-called Shariah Bill must be approved by the Malay Rulers before it may be tabled in Parliament.

Tawfik told Pandikar that he notified the Conference that the Speaker refused to acknowledge this, which was among reasons he was suing to block the progress of the private member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355. Read more

No-nonsense Malanjum may complicate matters for Putrajaya, says Warisan

Source: FMT News 

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah opposition leader said Richard Malanjum’s reputation as an impartial judge could land Putrajaya in trouble over issues of compliance with the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), and this could play a part in the government’s sidelining of the senior judge for the post of chief justice.

Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Darell Leiking said there was a possibility that issues on the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under MA63 would be brought to the Federal Court following the Sarawak government’s fact-finding mission to London.

“It is likely that the Sarawak legal team may discover that the true spirit and letter of the formation of Malaysia vis-a-vis MA63 and its annexes have not been adhered to and a breach has occurred,” Leiking told FMT.

“Obviously, the only action that may be legally available is to consider a declaration of the validity and performance of the MA63. This kind of legal redress may likely have to be dealt with by the Federal Court.”

There have been calls recently to appoint Malanjum, who has been the Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak since 2006.

It comes amid criticism of Putrajaya’s decision to extend the tenure of the current chief justice, Raus Sharif, with many describing the move as unconstitutional.

Leiking said the controversy surrounding Raus’ extension could complicate matters.

“I am concerned that a possible unconstitutional chief justice may not be able to fairly dispense justice when there could be a huge conflict between the Federal Government and the people of Sabah and Sarawak who seek justice for the Borneo states,” he said.

He said Malanjum fits the bill as the “most senior and most qualified” judge for the position of chief justice.

MPs from Sabah and Sarawak will convene a roundtable meeting in Parliament today to discuss their proposal for Malanjum to be made the next chief justice.

Leiking said that any controversial appointee to the post might be reluctant to go against the powers that had a hand in his appointment.

“Such a possible bias may trickle down to all judges and may eventually lead to justice not being done to all citizens of the federation,” he added.

He warned that Barisan Nasional (BN) might lose votes in Sabah and Sarawak for the government’s failure to choose Malanjum for the post.

He added that BN was again clearly ignoring the expectations of the people at large, which was a gift for the opposition.

Domestic abuse: Public caning not the answer

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer-activist Nik Elin Nik Rashid has rejected public caning as a form of punishment for abusive husbands, calling it a form of torture.

Speaking to FMT, she said it was more important to educate society and men to be civilised and to respect their wives.

“Teach men that violence shows a lack of power and self-control. Especially towards their wives.

“Whipping them publicly is not the answer,” she said. Read more

Ex-AG: Not true that I ran to PM after losing cases

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: A former attorney-general has dismissed a suggestion by a retired judge that he made complaints to then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad when the courts ruled against the government.

“How did he (retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram) come to know of that? He must be dreaming,” Abu Talib Othman said.

Abu Talib said Sri Ram was not telling the truth and “it is typical of him wanting to have recognition of his standing”.

“I did not complain to the prime minister each and every time the government lost a case,” he told FMT. Read more