Use of Sedition Act unconstitutional ‘as it’s not made by Parliament’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

picture of Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram speaking at the launch of the Selangor Bar’s new auditorium in Section 13, Shah Alam, today. He says if a pre-Merdeka law cannot be brought to accord with the constitution because it violates the doctrine of separation of powers, then the court has ‘no choice, but to strike it down’. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin

THE use of the British-inherited Sedition Act 1948 to prosecute individuals is unconstitutional as it is a pre-Merdeka law, said a former Federal Court judge.

Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Anwar Ibrahim in the opposition leader’s second sodomy trial in 2014, said only Parliament had the power to impose restrictions on freedom of speech.

“The Sedition Act is an existing law. All right. It is good. You can frame it up on your wall. But, you cannot prosecute anyone under it because it is not a law made by Parliament.

“So, it is an existing law and a valid law, but it cannot be enforced,” he said during a lecture at the launch of the Selangor Bar’s new auditorium in Section 13, Shah Alam.

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Muslim couples, single parents seek to intervene in ‘Abdullah’ appeal

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Twenty couples and two single parents have filed an intervener application to be made parties in a Federal Court appeal that will decide whether a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock can take his or her father’s surname instead of “Abdullah”.

The applicants, who are from Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Perlis and Pahang, filed their legal papers on Dec 14 but their identities could not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Lawyer Lokman Hakim, who is appearing for the applicants, said they wanted to participate in the case as the court’s outcome would have an effect on their children.

He said a 2003 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Committee that an illegitimate child (“anak tak sah taraf”) should not be given the surname (“tidak boleh dinasabkan”) of the father or the person claiming to be the father was invalid.

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Bilqis appeal: There are real crimes for govt to go after, say activists

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has questioned the government’s decision to appeal the acquittal of a woman who dropped balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife in 2015.

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) executive director Eric Paulsen also questioned the need to secure a conviction for a minor incident, adding that it was a “waste of resources”.

“Surely there are real crimes for the public prosecutor to go after?

“He must not forget that he acts as a guardian for public interest. What public interest is being served by continuously appealing such a petty matter?”

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Custodial deaths: Enforcement needed, not just recommendations — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today

BY P RAMASAMY

The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) might not have the “teeth” to prosecute those who have abused detainees or who caused the deaths of those in custody. However, despite its lack of prosecution powers, the EAIC has done some excellent work in recommending actions to be taken against police officials who have abused their power and those who have engaged in serious misconduct.

Whether the government will act on the recommendations to check or discipline members of the police force guilty of abusing power remains to be seen. However, if the past is any indication of what is to come, the government might have little political interest in disciplining members of the police force.

Given this situation, the setting up of an Independent Police Conduct and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) cannot be delayed any further. The EAIC needs to be complemented by an agency that has independent powers of prosecution.

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Breach of conduct, power abuse by police caused detainee’s death, says group

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BREACH of conduct and power abuse by police are what caused the death of detainee S. Balamurugan last year, said the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

It was reported that EAIC chief A. Aziz A. Rahim said police had failed to heed the magistrates’ court’s order to immediately hospitalise Balamurugan.

“The commission finds that police’s failure to release the deceased after their remand order was rejected by the magistrate is a serious misconduct,” Aziz told reporters in Putrajaya.

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MACC sets up units to watch for corruption, power abuse in govt agencies

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up special monitoring units to watch for misappropriation, corruption and abuse of power at high, medium and low-risk government agencies.

In a statement today, the MACC said its certified integrity officers would be replaced by administrative and diplomatic officers in integrity units of government agencies in line with the government’s decision to set up a Department of National Integrity and Good Governance.

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Islamisation will tear Malaysia apart, says Marina Mahathir

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Illusions of Democracy contains a series of essays on democracy in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, January 18, 2018.

MALAYSIA is on a slippery slope if the nation carries on with its Islamisation agenda, which will not only divide society, but also promote violence, said Marina Mahathir.

Citing a recent example of a man slapping a Muslim woman for not wearing a headscarf in public, the socio-political activist said Islamisation is not going to be positive or healthy for the nation.

“What could possibly have given the man the idea that he is entitled to harangue and slap a Muslim woman for not wearing a tudung as happened recently in Penang,” she said at a book launch at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.

The footage of a man slapping a woman for allegedly not wearing a headscarf some two weeks ago went viral on social media.

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MACC: Removing our officers from government agencies won’t affect anti-corruption drive

Source: Malay Mail Online

Datuk Paul Low had said the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) would not overlap with MACC’s functions. ― File picture by Choo Choy May via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 – The government’s withdrawal of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) integrity officers at government agencies will not affect graft prevention efforts, MACC said today.

The MACC clarified that the reported replacement of its Certified Integrity Officers (CeIOs) with Administration and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officers seconded at the integrity units of government agencies was a move “in line with the government’s decision to set up the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) recently”.

“The MACC wishes to stress that the formation of JITN will not affect at all the MACC’s function and responsibility in efforts to ensure government agencies are free from abuse, bribery and abuse of power,” it said in a statement today. Read more

Group: Special court for human-trafficking cases should not be merely to maintain country’s ranking

Source: Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa via Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Jan 19 — Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen lauded the government’s move to set up a special court to deal with human-trafficking cases but cautioned against using it to merely show a high number of prosecutions to reach some Key Performance Index (KPI).

Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern.

“Our concern is how genuine will the implementation of the court be especially at the prosecution side,” he told Malay Mail.

Paulsen cautioned against giving those fighting human trafficking “false hope” by setting up the court simply to raise the country’s ranking internationally.

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Putrajaya to outlaw ‘any’ form of workplace discrimination

Source: Malay Mail Online

Women working in an office

Female employees are seen working in an office in Putrajaya. — Reuters pic via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The proposed amendment to the Employment Act 1955 prohibits all forms of discrimination at work, the Human Resources Ministry said.

Under the proposed amendment, the Labour director-general may inquire into an employee’s complaint of facing discriminatory treatment from his or her employer in relation to the terms and conditions of employment and issue the employer directives to resolve the matter.

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