Lawyer: ‘Incredible’ that EC did nothing to find addresses lost since 2002

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The Election Commission’s (EC) claim that it did not have some voters’ addresses and its failure to restore others lost during a 2002 data migration were “incredible”, a court was told today.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, a lawyer representing the Selangor government, argued that the EC’s redelineation exercise would not be valid without the addresses of 136,272 voters in Selangor that it said were deleted more than a decade prior.

“The EC claims they destroyed addresses in 2002. That really begs the question, what have they done in 2002 to 2017? Why have they done nothing to update the roll and obtain addresses?” she told the court.

“The main question for the court is: can you delimit without addresses and should you be allowed to delimit without addresses? The best practice, we would say, you must have addresses.

“It’s quite incredible to hear that the EC does not have the addresses of voters. That, to me, is incredible,” she added. Read more

Could sexual minorities join armed forces one day? ‘LGBT not suited to our culture’, says DPM

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SERDANG, Oct 24 — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community are not suited to Malaysia’s culture, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said during a Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) forum here today.

“They are not suited to our culture and customs,” Zahid said when a TN50 participant asked him if sexual minorities would be allowed to join the country’s security forces in the future.

Zahid however did not categorically rule out sexual minorities being part of the security agencies under the government, saying that a certain “underline” has to be drawn on the quality of candidates.

“I leave it to the security agencies to decide,” he added. Read more

Penang hill project: Court to decide if early hearing needed

Source: FMT News

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal will decide on Nov 13 whether to expedite an appeal by a group of residents over a sensitive hillslope development in Penang.

Their lawyer, Gurdial Singh Nijar, said the court deputy registrar fixed the date in view of the latest tragedy on the island and fears that such a landslide may also hit them once the project proceeds.

The residents are seeking to restore the decision of the Penang Appeal Board involving hillslope developments.

On Jan 27 last year, the three-member board set aside the approval given by Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) to the developer, Sunway City (Penang) Sdn Bhd, to build 600 condo units on a hillslope.

This piece of land is situated more than 76.2 metres above sea level, with a slope gradient of more than 25 degrees. Read more

Child sexual cases not classified, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Child sexual crime cases are not protected under the Official Secrets Act, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

However, she said the media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims.

“I cannot answer this as it is not within my jurisdiction but I will inform other relevant ministries. (However), under the courts, no such case has been protected under OSA except for those that fall under Section 15 of the Child’s Act,” Azalina told the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Suhakam demands immediate payout for Penang landslide victims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The Penang government and the developer of a construction site hit by a deadly landslide must directly compensate the families of workers killed, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

The commission also expressed bafflement over Penang authorities’ decision to approve the project despite the rejection by the Department of Environment (DoE) due to its proximity to an active quarry.

Suhakam further noted that such sites were often worked by migrant labourers vulnerable to exploitation, and said the group was also customarily afforded little to no protection despite the hazardous nature of their work. Read more

In Dr M’s lawsuit, court told PM has no legal duty to advise on CJ’s revocation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The prime minister has no legal duty to advise the country’s ruler to cancel the chief justice’s (CJ) appointment, as there was no such duty written in the Federal Constitution, the High Court was told today.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching said she had objected against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s bid to further his lawsuit, also explaining that she had argued that Dr Mahathir cannot seek a mandamus or court order to compel the prime minister to push for the ruler to revoke royal assent for the Chief Justice’s appointment.

“I said it has nothing to do with the government,” she told reporters when met at the Kuala Lumpur court complex today.

“But whether he can ask for mandamus against the prime minister, I said he cannot, because he must show legal duty on the part of the prime minister to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke.”

“Constitution doesn’t provide for legal duty on part of the prime minister to advise the Agong to revoke the appointment or to revoke the assent given to the appointment. The Constitution does not show the prime minister has duty, so for that reason, mandamus cannot arise.

“Mandamus can only arise if there is legal duty in statue on part of the public officer to do something,” she added. Read more

PM: No need law against discrimination for now

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The government has no plan to introduce laws against racism and discrimination yet, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in a statement.

In a written reply to DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng, the prime minister said there has not been any discussion to table such a Bill as the different races were united and national harmony was not in jeopardy at the moment.

“The Government feels that… there is no need for an Anti-Racist and Anti-Discrimination Bill as the country’s unity is in a good and controlled state,” he said.

He said the government has instead given more emphasis to promoting greater inclusiveness through the education system.

Najib also stressed that Putrajaya has taken various efforts to uphold the Federal Constitution, which upholds unity in the country.

293 cases filed at special court for sexual crimes against children, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — A total of  293 cases have been filed at the Special Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children since the court’s establishment on June 22 this year, the Parliament was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department  Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said 84 per cent or 248 of the cases were disposed off over a three month period.

She said the court was equipped with  a Court Recording Transcription (CRT) system, as well as an audio-visual system system and a   children’s witness room, to help expedite proceeding of cases.

“The special infrastructure is very important to facilitate the court proceeding as it can ensure the trial and hearing of cases be done fast and effectively,” she said during the question and answer sessions in the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Should we decentralise PDRM?– Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Source: The Star Online

BY WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN

OVER the years, several organisations and analysts, especially those from civil society, have argued that our Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has too much power with very little check and balance.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan – The Star Online file pic

Some of these comments are simply attempts to politicise the situation. They complain when the police act against them, but are silent when the actions are against those on the opposite side.

For example, when the police take action under the Sedition Act on those who are on their side, then the police are accused of being unfair. But when the same Act is used by the police against those whose views they disagree with, their reaction would be different.

As the body is tasked with implementing the law, these criticisms are unavoidable. The police force is bound to be criticised, or praised, by one side or the other. It is a reality of life that no one can please everyone all the time.

Read more

An urgent call for reform in the post-mortem process in custodial deaths (Part 1) — Eric Paulsen

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY ERIC PAULSEN

OCTOBER 24 — It has long been established at common law that deaths that occur while a person is in the custody of the state are of particular concern as they occur behind closed doors and involve persons who are exceptionally vulnerable. All such cases must be investigated carefully and thoroughly, and the burden is on the detention authorities to account for the treatment of the deceased.

This is an urgent call for reform of the medico-legal death investigative procedure in cases of custodial death, as police lock-ups, prisons, and immigration detention centres must be a safe place for every human being and should not be turned into a potential crime scene. All such deaths are extremely serious and affect families and society. Custodial death strikes at the very heart of the rule of law and is one of the most heinous human rights violation imaginable. Read more