Malaysia: NGOs write to Princess Anne, claim Sarawak power firm withheld Murum Dam facts

Source: Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) - Pic from Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) – Pic from Asian Correspondent

CIVIL society groups fighting for the rights of the indigenous people of Sarawak, East Malaysia, have reached out to Britain’s Princess Anne, urging the royal to use her influence to help those displaced by the construction of the controversial Murum Dam.

The NGOs, led by local grassroots network SAVE Rivers, penned a letter this week to the princess alleging that Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Sarawak’s power supplier, had glossed over the situation at resettlement sites there when she visited their headquarters in October last year.

They claimed that although three years have passed since local communities were evicted from their homes to make way for the construction of the dam, the government has yet to deliver the compensation package for their resettlement. Vigilant protests and diplomatic pressures have done little to solve the problem and as a result, hope is running thin for those displaced. Read more

Suaram blasts rearrest of teens in Balamurugan case

Source: FMT News

SUARAM executive director Sevan Doraisamy - Pic from FMT News

SUARAM executive director Sevan Doraisamy – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has slammed the rearrest of two teenagers in connection with the S Balamurugan case, calling the continued detention an attempt to silence potential witnesses to Balamurugan’s death.

In a statement today, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said the chain remand also painted the police as an institution that “permits violence in detention and protects those who murder detainees”.

The youths, Kanapathy Perathapan and Ang Kian Kok, both 16, were arrested together with Balamurugan on Feb 6. On Feb 8, Balamurugan was found dead at the North Klang district police headquarters.

According to his lawyers, at his remand hearing on Feb 7, Balamurugan was weak and unable to walk, had bruises on his face, was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and vomited blood. His lawyer also said Balamurugan had been assaulted by the police. Read more

Change the way top civil service appointments are made – Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim

Source: FMT News

Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim - Pic from FMT News

\ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim – Pic from FMT News

BY MOHD SHERIFF MOHD KASSIM

I agree with those who say that it is unfair to jump to conclusions about the appointment of Madinah Mohamad as the new auditor-general because of her husband’s political links.

She should be given the chance to prove her integrity as a person who the public can trust to carry out this heavy responsibility of auditing the management of public funds by government ministries and agencies and reporting to parliament faithfully and professionally, without fear or favour, as her predecessor Ambrin Buang had done in the auditor-general’s annual reports.

His exposure of the weaknesses in financial management and the abuse of power at the administrative and political levels have made him one of the most respected civil servants. Read more

IDEAS: Whistleblowers Protection Act too weak to protect public

Source: FMT News

IDEAS CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan - Pic from FMT News

IDEAS CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The extremely low number of whistleblowers coming forward to report on any wrongdoings in this country is due to weaknesses in the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, says IDEAS chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

Referring to a new policy paper titled “A critical look into the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010” presented by IDEAS board member and past president of the Malaysian Bar Christopher Leong, the think tank chief said there are severe gaps in what should be reported and what is currently being reported in the country.

“Many experts can agree that whistleblowing is one of the best ways to discover corruption. In countries like the US, as much as 46% of fraud cases were discovered due to whistleblowers.

“However, in Malaysia, the numbers are extremely low. Only 28 out of 8,953 complaints made to the MACC in 2012 were by whistleblowers. This is approximately 0.3% of cases,” Wan Saiful said in a statement. Read more

Bersih: Correct Johor Menteri Besar’s ‘dubious’ voter details

Source: FMT News

maria-chin-khaled-nordin

Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah and Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 says the “dubious” voter details of Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin must be corrected, following submissions by the state Pakatan Harapan yesterday of hundreds of suspicious voter details.

According to Johor Pakatan Harapan, Khaled’s voter details list his address as that of his office, not his residence – where 13 other voters, including his son, Akmal Saufi, are also registered.

Khaled reportedly changed the address on his MyKad to his office address last year.

In a statement issued today, Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah called the move “an outright manipulation of the electoral roll and obvious abuse of power”. Read more

Do we really need to strengthen Malaysia’s Syariah courts? – Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

A participant at the Himpunan RU355 rally at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, in support for the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. Source: ‏@zurairi.

A participant at the Himpunan RU355 rally at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, in support for the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. Source: ‏@zurairi.

YEARS ago when I was 19-years-old and still in university, my parents paid me a visit in the Kuala Lumpur capital and we spent the night having dinner and because it was late, I slept in their hotel room.

In the wee hours of the morning, we heard a loud knocking on the door.

All three of us woke up and my father opened the door to see three men standing there claiming to be officers from Jawi, or the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department.

It was Valentine’s night and they were on a raiding mission all around town trying to catch unmarried couples who were feeling a little bit too amorous on the mother of all amorous nights. The hotel that we were staying in was on their list. Read more

UN rights envoy urges inquiry into abuses of Rohingya in Myanmar

Source: IRIN News

By Jared Ferrie

The front page of Myanmar's state-run newspaper on 9 February 2017 carried two articles about government attempts to investigate alleged military abuses of Rohingya. Pic by Jared Ferrie/IRIN

The front page of Myanmar’s state-run newspaper on 9 February 2017 carried two articles about government attempts to investigate alleged military abuses of Rohingya. Pic by Jared Ferrie/IRIN

The UN should launch an inquiry into military abuses of Myanmar’s minority Rohingya Muslims, because the government is incapable of carrying out a credible investigation, the UN’s rights envoy will tell the Human Rights Council next month.
Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, told IRIN that she will urge member states to sponsor a resolution for a commission of inquiry when she presents her report to the Council in Geneva on 13 March.
“I never said in the past to a reporter what I plan to put in my report,” she said in a phone interview. “This time I am making this point: I will certainly be pushing for an inquiry, definitely, on the Rohingya situation.”
Rights groups have, over the past few years, been urging the UN to investigate reports of abuses against the Rohingya, a mostly stateless minority forced to live under an apartheid system. But the calls have become more urgent since reports of mass rapes, killings, and other atrocities began to emerge in early October, when the military launched counterinsurgency operations.

Read more

Kelantan Orang Asli stage protest march in KL

Source: FMT News

By Faiz Zainudin

orngasliprotes

Orang Asli protestors in KL on 15 February, 2017 – Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 50 Orang Asli from Gua Musang, Kelantan, today gathered outside the Forestry Department here to protest the tearing down of anti-logging blockades in the Balah forest reserve.

Lawyer and human rights activist Siti Kasim, along with representatives of 20 NGOs, including Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa and Suara Rakyat Malaysia, took part.

They marched about 1km from Wisma Tani to the department’s headquarters on Jalan Sultan Salahuddin here.

The group was denied entry into the Forestry Department building by security guards.

That did not stop the protesters from speaking out against alleged mistreatment of the Orang Asli in Kelantan.

Read more

Family sends memo to cops over Bala’s death

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a little drama when the family of S. Bala Murugan showed up at Bukit Aman with several Opposition politicians.

The group showed up at around 11.20am yesterday to hand over a memorandum to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to seek justice for Bala who died in police custody last week.

However, they were unhappy that only an inspector was there to meet them. While Bala’s wife and daughter stood silent, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Batu MP Tian Chua and former Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam demanded to see a senior officer. Read more

Sarawak PKR will keep opposing Hadi’s bill

Source: FMT News

Baru Bian - Pic from FMT News

Baru Bian – Pic from FMT News

By Richard T.W.

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR has vowed to oppose the bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, no matter what the national leaders of the party decide.

“Sarawak PKR is always consistent in the matter, notwithstanding the decision of the PKR leadership.

“Should the national leadership go against our stand, we will not budge,” state PKR leader Baru Bian told reporters today.

Last May, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang moved a private member’s bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355.

Last Friday, PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she recognised Hadi’s right as an MP to submit the bill and despite her reservations, she would hear Hadi’s explanation during the tabling of the bill next month. Read more