Malaysia was never meant to be an Islamic country, says former IGP

Source: FMT News

Saying Sabah and Sarawak would not have agreed to form the federation if the country was meant to be Islamic, Rahim Noor warns religious conflicts will become too hot to handle if the Federal Government continues to succumb to pressure and become too Islamic. Image taken from FMT News.

KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Malaysia was never meant to be an Islamic country because if it was, Sabah and Sarawak would never have agreed to it, according to former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor.

Speaking at the Malaysia in the Future forum at a hotel in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, Rahim said when the idea of Malaysia was mooted, religion was the main issue addressed by the Cobbold Commission.

“The people in the Bornean states, all of them, regardless of race and religion, did not want an official religion for the new federation. The demand was reasonable. After all, there are many Muslim-majority countries in the world that do not have Islam as their official religion, for example Egypt and Indonesia, a country with the highest number of Muslim’s in the world,” he said.

However, he pointed out, the situation was different in West Malaysia at the time and even to this day. Read more

Apex court to decide if voters’ can challenge gazetted electoral roll

Source: FMT News 

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will decide whether aggrieved voters’ legal challenge against the Election Commission (EC) begins from the time of a gazette notification or communication by letter.

This question came up after a three-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop allowed the EC’s leave application to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling.

“We feel the legal questions need further argument as they are of public importance,” Ahmad said.

The Federal Court will also determine whether voters could challenge the electoral roll once it has been gazetted.

On July 3, the Court of Appeal kept alive the hopes of three voters who applied for a judicial review of the EC’s decision to alter the boundaries of the Kuala Kubu Baru and Batang Kali constituencies in Selangor. Read more

Ambiga fails in bid to challenge her ban to enter Sabah

Source: FMT News

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today dismissed an application by former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan to challenge her ban to enter Sabah, ruling the state authorities of Sabah and Sarawak have absolute power over immigration.

“The decision in the case of Sugumar Balakrishnan v Pihak Berkuasa Negeri Sabah in 2002 is still good law,” said Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop who chaired a 3-man bench.

The other judges were Justices Abu Samah Nordin and Azahar Mohamed.

Ambiga was refused entry into Sabah in 2014.

Lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar, who appeared for Ambiga, told reporters the court’s decision affirmed that both states had absolute and unfettered discretion to determine who could enter their territories. Read more

How the govt, NGOs and public can act against human trafficking

Source: FMT News 

Legislation regarding the rights of migrant workers should be enforced, NGOs should advocate the rights of trafficked victims, and the general public should practise simple human decency. Image drawn from FMT News.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) recently released its annual report on human trafficking, which aims to educate the public on the issue as well as highlight successful case studies.

The organisation also made a number of recommendations for governments, NGOs and the general public in hopes that they will lead to positive change for victims of human trafficking.

WAO recommends that first and foremost, the Malaysian government ratifies the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; The ILO Domestic Workers Convention 2011; the UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees; and the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

The government is also urged to ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to domestic workers, and either amend the Employment Act 1955 to cover migrant workers or create separate legislation to protect migrant workers’ rights. Read more

Suhakam to probe reclaimed land project

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LUMUT, Sept 20 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will be probing into reclamation works in Teluk Muroh, about 10km from here.

The reclamation project, which began last year, drew the ire of fishermen who claimed that it would destroy the environment and their source of income.

Gabungan Selamatkan Pantai Warisan Teluk Muroh, led by its pro-tem chairman Zulkifli Hamid, claimed that the fishermen were not consulted before the reclamation project began.

They also said the reclamation project has dramatically reduced the supply of shellfish in the area for about 117 Teluk Muroh fishermen.

After visiting the fishermen in the area yesterday, Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the commission would be launching an investigation. Read more