Freedom of Speech is not absolute

Source: The Star Online

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak pointed out that even Western countries have laws to regulate matters concerning ‘slander, defamation, degrading, racism, sexism, and so on.’ — Bernama pic

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA: Freedom of speech and the expressing of one’s opinion must be treated as a privilege rather than an absolute right, says Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

“And privileges, if abused, can sometimes be withdrawn. There is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech,” the Communications and Multimedia Minister said in a blog post on Thursday.

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Indira seeks to recuse CJ, judge from hearing conversion case

Source: The Malaysian Outsider

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

M. Indira Gandhi is requesting Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria and judge Tan Sri Raus Sharif to recuse themselves from hearing her case.

Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi, who is appealing to reverse the Courts of Appeal ruling on unilateral conversion of her minor children, has requested that Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria and his number two Tan Sri Raus Sharif be excluded from hearing her case. Read more

Feb 24 decision on Tian Chua’s sedition charge

Source: The Rakyat Post

Batu MP Tian Chua (second from left) together his counsel New Sin Yew (second right) outside the courtroom today. — TRP pic by Han Kar Kay

Batu MP Tian Chua (second from left) together his counsel New Sin Yew (second right) outside the courtroom today. — TRP pic by Han Kar Kay

Parts of the speech delivered by Batu MP Tian Chua during a public forum at the Selangor Assembly Hall after the 13th general elections did not procure the alteration of the government, the Sessions Court heard today.

Defence counsel New Sin Yew, who is representing Tian Chua, in his written submission, argued that the PKR leader’s speech did not mention about any change of the government.

“The prosecution witnesses during cross-examination also agreed that the accused’s speech did not invite citizens to challenge the results of the elections by going to the streets or touch on anything to deny the results of GE13, among others.

“The accused only mentioned ‘turun ke jalan raya’ and nothing more. However, ‘turun ke jalan raya’ does not necessarily lead to a public assembly.

“Even if ‘turun ke jalan raya’ means having a public assembly (which is denied by the defence), there is nothing unlawful about having a public assembly because the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and without arms,” he told the court this morning.

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A-G must explain why he did not help probe, says MACC review panel member

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Lawyer Lim Chee Wee says the A-G’s failure to explain why he did not help MACC in investigating the prime minister will only fuel speculations of a cover-up. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 29, 2016.

The controversy over the decision not to charge the prime minister for any wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion donation saga continued today when a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) review panel questioned why the attorney-general (A-G) did not help investigators in the probe.

Lim Chee Wee said the A-G was legally obliged to explain why he did not facilitate MACC’s request to access foreign bank statements through the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), to check on the money trail of the RM2.6 billion which was credited into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts.

This, he said, was to dispel any speculation of a cover-up.

Lim, the former Malaysian Bar president, said the A-G was also wrong to order the anti-graft body to close its investigations, adding that his power was only to decide whether to prosecute or not.

He said it was “arguable” that the A-G was legally obliged to provide assistance to MACC through MLA.

“The A-G is equally obliged in law to explain why he is not facilitating MACC’s investigations of the money trail of RM2.6 billion as disclosed by MACC in its 31 December 2015 press statement, by providing his consent for Mutual Legal Assistance which would allow MACC access to bank statements of banks operating overseas, through which the funds moved.

“Again this would help dispel the speculation of a cover-up by A-G and that the alleged donation is allegedly KWAP money,” Lim said, referring to the pension fund, in a statement today.

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Can A-G’s prosecution power be challenged? – Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali says there is no criminal wrongdoing when RM2.6 billion was found in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank accounts. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 29, 2016.

The controversy continues unabated. It is about the attorney-general’s directive to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to close investigations into the 1Malaysia Devleopment Berhad (1MDB) affair.

Perhaps adding fuel to the fire is the rather abrupt “retirement” of former attorney-general Tan Sri Gani Patail on health grounds while these investigations were initially proceeding (he has since gone on to work for a law firm); and his replacement with the present A-G.

The latest volley in the barrage of citizens’ demand for reasons and accountability for the decision was carried in the Sun by Yayasan 1Malaysia Chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar, “7 reasons to evaluate AG’s decision” on January 29, 2016.

‘That is why it is in the interest of all Malaysians to support a thorough evaluation of the AG’s decision. It is wrong to argue that his decision is beyond scrutiny.”

That is the question – is his decision beyond scrutiny?

The simple answer is no. The power given to him by the Federal Constitution to institute any proceedings for an offence is “exercisable at his discretion”. This power is not absolute. Read more