Students, activists believe Dr M will unshackle universities

Source: Malay Mail

Placards promoting academic freedom line the road heading into Universiti Malaya on December 12, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — Students and activists affected by laws curbing academic freedom — a legacy of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s previous administration — expressed faith today that the prime minister will honour his word and free universities from decades of political interference.

Two student leaders who were punished by their universities for dissidence told a forum on academic freedom here that they expect nothing less than total autonomy for universities, and they were optimistic that the man blamed for the laws that fettered academia will respond accordingly.

“He had said he would honour his word,” Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi, one of the leaders that led the Tangkap M01 movement, told a forum organised by Fortify Rights, an advocacy group that documents human rights violations in Malaysian campuses.

“And one of the pledges made by Pakatan Harapan in their manifesto is to amend AUKU,” he added.

AUKU, or the University and Colleges Act, was introduced in 1971 in what critics said was aimed at curbing the rise of student activists critical of the ruling Barisan Nasional government at the time. Read more

PSM wants SOP change to help stateless people become Malaysians

Source: Malay Mail

Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devraj speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) urged the National Registration Department today to amend its standard operating procedure (SOP) to confer citizenship on stateless people.

PSM central committee member Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj today brought some 20 stateless persons, born and bred in Malaysia but denied their right to an identification card, to meet the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC).

“We are asking the government enact a new SOP to approve citizenship for any children born in Malaysia, to a Malaysian father who can be identified through records like a birth certificate or DNA test.

“On top of that, the SOP needs to be amended so that all children who have been adopted for more than five years by a Malaysian family can also get citizenships,” he told reporters at Ilham Tower today. Read more

Suhakam to probe inmate’s death at Bentong prison

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has opened investigations into the death of Mariappan Manivannan at the Bentong prison in Pahang.

Suhakam commissioner Gerald Joseph said the commission began its investigation a day after he died on June 6.

“From what I heard from the family, there was no indication of abuse but the issue here is negligence.

“There are serious issues at stake. Why must someone die in our penal system?

“In Malaysia, no one should die for any reason except natural causes. I think, in this case, the death could have been prevented,” he said today after meeting Mariappan’s family members, led by the stepfather, Ayyakanu Sinnasamy, 45. Read more

Muhyiddin orders IGP to submit report on Siti Kasim’s case

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin – Bernama file photo

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has directed the Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun to submit a comprehensive report on the arrest of lawyer and activist Siti Kasim who was accused of kidnapping her client and preventing police officers from discharging their duties.

Muhyiddin said he had asked for the report to be submitted before any action is taken on the matter.

He said he had taken cognisance of the public outcry over the matter but as the home minister, he had to balance public interest with the private interests of those directly affected without impeding police investigations.

“I have also noted lawyer Siti Kasim’s response that she was at all times acting as legal counsel for the victim.

“I am fully aware of the right of the individual to legal counsel, and the right of counsel to act without being subjected to threats and harrassment by any parties,” he said in a statement. Read more

Arrest of Siti Kasim draws flak from all quarters

Source: The Star Online

KAJANG: The arrest of lawyer activist Siti Kasim and the police application of remand for her have drawn much outrage from lawyers and activists in the country.

They criticised the actions of the men in blue, saying that the matter could have been resolved amicably.

A number of lawyers and social activists showed up in solidarity with Siti at the Kajang magistrate’s court where the police attempted to obtain a remand order.

They included lawyer and National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah. Read more

Dozens join vigil in Dataran Merdeka for Pastor Koh, Amri

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

A banner by activist group CAGED showing the four people who have disappeared under mysterious circumstance, (from left) social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Raymond Koh, and Pastor Joshua Hilmi and wife, Ruth. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 10, 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 60 people gathered at Dataran Merdeka tonight in solidarity with the families of missing activists Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.

Susanna Liew and Norhayati Ariffin, the wives of Koh and Amri, stood hand in hand consoling each other, as they pleaded for their husbands’ return.

“Return our husbands to us!” they cried out, standing in one corner of the iconic square. “Give our children their fathers back!” said Norhayati.

Liew thanked those who came, and repeated her plea for information on her husband’s mysterious abduction in broad daylight early last year. Read more

Abu Talib: Probe on 1MDB almost complete

Source: Malay Mail

Former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman arrives at Ilham Tower, Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman arrives at Ilham Tower, Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) special committee chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman said the multiple investigations into the troubled state-owned investment fund are almost complete.

He told reporters, after meeting Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull and his predecessor Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, that the 1MDB taskforce had briefed him on the latest developments.

“Investigations are progressing well and almost ready to be submitted to the Attorney General Chambers for its attention,” he said as he was leaving Ilham Tower here, where the meeting took place. Read more

Give us back our NCR lands, Sarawak natives tell state

Source: Malay Mail

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, June 22 — A group of indigenous Sarawakians today handed their demand to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah’s office, asking the state government to revoke provisional leases (PL) issued to plantation and logging companies involving their native customary rights (NCR) lands.

Sarawak Society for the Protection of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (SCRIPTS) chairman Michael Jok said all of the leases were issued to companies linked to current Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud when he was chief minister for 33 years.

“For example, virtually the whole of Baram interior has been issued with PLs when Taib was the chief minister,” Jok told reporters after handing the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to Uggah’s office.

“Based on the submissions from 54 communities in Baram interior which we have received thus far, about 2.8 million hectares of their NCR lands have been leased out by the state government to logging and oil palm companies,” Jok said. Read more

AGC won’t represent EC in election petitions

Source: Malay Mail

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) said today it will not represent the Election Commission (EC) or any parties in election petitions to avoid a conflict of interest.

Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas told the EC to recruit its own lawyers instead from the Malaysian Bar.

“As a neutral arbiter in the running of elections, SPR should not be represented by officers from the Chambers because there is a possibility of conflict of interest and the perception that justice must be seen to be done,” Thomas said in a statement, using the Malay initials for the EC. Read more

Kit Siang: Make first day of 14th Parliament a watershed with voting reforms

Source: Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Lim Kit Siang pressed the country’s federal lawmakers to make history in the first parliamentary session of this term by lowering the voting age to open up the ballot to greater swathes of society.

Seizing on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks supporting the call to open voting to Malaysians aged 18 and over, the DAP parliamentary leader said he has pushed for such reforms for nearly five decades.

He also noted that Malaysia was part of only a handful of holdouts including Singapore that still insist on retaining a voting age of 21 and over.

“Youths at 18 ought to have the right to vote and to have a say about the way in which their lives are governed and the country is being run, as society expects them to assume adult social responsibilities whether conscription when there is war or national emergency, even to die in the defence of the country,” he said. Read more