Malaysia moves up to 29th spot in Global Peace Index

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

JERANTUT, Aug 27 — Malaysia has moved up to 29th spot among 163 countries in the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI), from the 30th spot last year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the move was capable of giving the country a good image.

“”The country’s achievement is proven in a study published by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) meant to measure peace at a global level.

“This shows that the country’s economy is still good with drop in criminal cases, or violence, that can undermine peace and harmony among the people,” he told a media conference after launching the state-level Merdeka Month and Unity Week here today. Read more

Prisons department to offer counselling to discipline students

Source: The Malay Mail Online

TAIPING, Aug 27 — The Prisons Department is ready to assist the education ministry in providing counselling to discipline students with a view to exposing them to the consequences of involvement in crime.

Prisons Director-General, Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar said: “We are indeed, ready to give early exposure to the students so that they will not be involved in crime and drugs.

“The United Kingdom-based counselling education model can be used to increase a sense of awareness in them.”

He was speaking to reporters after a passing-out parade of the Prisons Department’s Correctional Undergraduate Voluntary Corps (Siskor) here today.

Recently, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said any student with serious disciplinary issue would be sent to undergo rehabilitation programme at a prison or police station.

At the ceremony, Inspector Nur Syameza Saharin, 22, from Universiti Malaysia Perlis was adjudged ‘Best Overall Cadet’ while Inspector Ziyan Farah Zainodin, 19, of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin bagged the ‘Best Cadet Leader’ award.

Sarawak needs special courts to handle child sexual crimes

Source: FMT News 

KUCHING: There is an urgent need to establish a special court in Sarawak to handle sexual crimes against children, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said this following a recent spate of sexual crimes in the state involving minors, which she described as shocking.

“At a recent cabinet meeting, I suggested the idea of setting up a special court to handle sexual crimes against children in Sarawak, at least by next year.

“However, with the recent cases in Sarawak, I really hope we don’t have to wait until next year as I will push to accelerate it (setting up of the court), if possible by this year. Read more

Intolerance rising in Malaysia, says report

Source: FMT News

Rising intolerance is believed to be largely due to the influence of Malaysians who study in Saudi Arabia and, upon their return, introduce Salafist ideas into the nation’s administration. Image taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has shifted towards a more rigid, political Islam, resulting in greater intolerance in the country, according to a report in The Diplomat.

The report quoted researchers and Muslims as saying that intolerance was becoming a part of Malaysian life.

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US, was quoted by The Diplomat as saying: “Malaysia has become steadily more intolerant, and this has been a top down government policy.”

Abuza, who focuses on Southeast Asian politics and security issues, described Malaysian Islamic religious leaders as state-sponsored and who used vetted sermons.

“The people most at risk are clearly the ethnic minorities, atheists, and Christian Malays, which is actually unconstitutional.

“I was just in Malaysia, and the intolerance displayed by Malays is growing. I don’t know one Chinese Malaysian or Indian that is not alarmed at where this is headed.” Read more

Time women speak out on national issues, says activist

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah has urged women to speak out on political and human rights issues, many of which appear to have no resolution in sight.

Speaking to FMT, Maria said now was the time for women to make their voices heard as their exposure to current issues had gained much traction as of late.

“Women account for about 50% of Malaysia’s population and 40%-50% of the total voters in the country.

“So we should have a say on the issues in the country, and it should carry some weight with policymakers,” she said.

According to Maria, many of these issues had not been resolved or had been kept under wraps as policymakers continued delaying discussions on the matters. Read more

Women to march against ‘toxic’ and sexist politics on Sept 10

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Several of Malaysia’s most prominent women personalities are planning a city march on September 10 demanding an end to what they call a “rising tide” of toxic, violent and sexist politics in the country.

The walk is scheduled to start from Maju Junction to the Sogo shopping centre 350m away on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in the national capital from 5pm.

“We as the women of Malaysia are dismayed at the erosion of democracy in Malaysia, through acts of violence perpetrated at political events, media or online. As the authorities have failed to address the problem, we as the women of Malaysia are taking a stand against this harmful rise of toxic politics.

“What is more worrying is when a woman’s dignity and well-being can be sacrificed for the sake of politics and propaganda,” Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, representing the women, told a news conference here at the launch of the event called “Women Against Toxic Politics”. Read more

MACC must conduct probes discreetly, say former AG, lawyer

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A former attorney-general and an ex-Malaysian Bar president said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must conduct their investigations discreetly to avoid the naming and shaming of suspects and witnesses.

However, both acknowledged the anti-graft agency has wide investigation powers that include the power to arrest and seize documents.

Arrest and seizure of items for investigation must be done discreetly, says former AG Abu Talib- Pic from FMT News

Ex-AG Abu Talib Othman said the MACC should act based on reliable information and reports made to them.

“However, any arrest and seizure of items for investigation must be done discreetly,” he told FMT.

Abu Talib, who was AG between 1980 and 1993, said it took time before suspects were prosecuted as the decision was up to the public prosecutor.

“The job of the MACC is to investigate and collect evidence and it is for the public prosecutor or his deputy to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to frame charges,” he said. Read more

Teen sues school, govt for failure to provide special needs education

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: A teenager, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has filed a suit against his school and government for failing to provide good-quality special education for him.

The 19-year-old boy also claimed the school had failed to protect him from being bullied by other students.

“The school does not have the facilities and system to categorise disabled students based on their learning disabilities.

“For instance, autistic students are generally labelled as students with learning difficulties, without focusing on their needs,” he said.

He pointed out that he was placed in a classroom (5DTP2), based on the school’s discretion without checking what his learning difficulties were.

The boy is a disabled (OKU) card holder and cannot be named for legal purposes.

He claimed the school and government had the responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable environment for his learning and were tasked to ensure the teachers and support staff were trained in handling special education classes. Read more

Rafizi’s OSA conviction, a ‘step backward’ says C4

Source FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) today criticised the High Court’s decision to dismiss Rafizi Ramli’s appeal against his conviction under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said the decision was a “step backward” which seriously undermined the importance of safeguarding the right to freedom of information.

In a statement, she added that the OSA had been “arbitrarily” used to mask corrupt practices and obstruct the public from accessing information related to matters of public interest.

“C4 emphasises that using the OSA to criminalise whistleblowers who expose corruption and mismanagement to the public promotes an environment that breeds corruption primarily because secrecy allows for cases to be squashed without an explanation.

“Over the 45 years the OSA has been in force, we have witnessed how the law has been used as an effective means of ensuring that information on government is kept secret,” she said.

Last November, Rafizi was sentenced to a total of 36 months in jail over two charges of possessing page 98 of the 1MDB audit report and for revealing the contents of the report at the press conference. Read more

Rafizi fails to set aside OSA conviction over 1MDB audit expose

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s appeal to set aside his conviction under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Justice Azman Abdullah, in a brief oral judgment, ruled in favour of the conviction by the Sessions Court last November, for leaking the 1MDB report at a press conference at the Parliament building in March last year.

However, Justice Azman allowed Rafizi’s appeal against his conviction on the charge of possessing page 98 of the audit report, which had been classified under the OSA by the government.

He also granted the Pandan MP’s application for a stay of execution on the 18-month jail sentence, pending his final appeal.

On Nov 14, the Sessions Court sentenced Rafizi Ramli to a total 36 months in jail over the two charges of possessing page 98 of the 1MDB audit report and for revealing the contents of the report at the press conference.

The court ordered him to serve the two 18-month sentences concurrently. Read more