MACC’s GE14 operation rooms a timely move, says C4

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism chief Cynthia Gabriel say the public will now not have problems finding right avenue to report electoral malpractice.

PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft NGO supports the move by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to set-up 24-hour operation centres for the 14th general election (GE14).

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said this in a statement today in response to an announcement by MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad on Tuesday.

He had revealed plans to establish round-the-clock operation rooms in each state to monitor corruption and abuse of power for GE14, and will be ready to take in reports of violations of the Elections Act and the MACC Act.

“The operation rooms are an extremely welcome move by the MACC towards building institutions that prevent electoral malpractice.

“However, we are concerned that if the centres are poorly publicised and underutilised by the public, the efforts may be in danger of turning into a mere publicity stunt,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said.  Read more

SUPP urges Putrajaya help in stateless children’s cases

Source: The Star 

The Star

Lee Kim Shin discussing with Affrizan and the children Vincent, 10, Zoey, 8 (in pink) and Eliza, 7.

MIRI: Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) is appealing to Putrajaya to expedite the documents for stateless children in Sarawak – and to allow them to start schooling while these citizenship woes are being sorted out.

SUPP vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin is trying to secure schooling for three stateless kids in Miri who are orphans at the Miri Methodist Children Home.

The home last year took in these three kids, Vincent, 10, Zoey, 8 and Eliza, 7, whose parents had abandoned them.

However they have no proper birth certificate because their parents did not register their birth.

The home sought the help of Lee who is state assemblyman for Senadin after they were unable enrol them for the new school year due to the document woes.

Lee is arranging for these kids to meet with the Miri Education Department officers on Thursday morning. Read more

Pua: Book bans are the actions of a ‘communist-like’ regime

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua says banning of Zaid Ibrahim’s book shows the immense and arbitrary power that the Printing Presses and Publications Act holds.

PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has called the government’s action to ban a book by Zaid Ibrahim as akin to that of a totalitarian communist-like regime.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was referring to the decision by the home ministry last month to ban Zaid’s book “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia”, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPA).

“As usual, the only official reason given for this ban is that the book is ‘likely to be prejudicial to public order as well as public interest and is likely to alarm public opinion’.

“This book joining the list of books previously banned by the government is proof of Putrajaya’s outright disregard for freedom of expression and ideas in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.

Last Thursday, the home ministry confirmed that a Federal Government gazette published on Dec 19 said the book, “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia” had been banned. The order was signed by the home minister on Dec 4.  Read more

Govt bodies wrap up one more scandalous year

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

The Malaysian Insight

Allegations of dodgy land and property purchases, as well as fraud and theft of public funds kept Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission busy in 2017. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 1, 2018.

IN 2016, Malaysians were variously entertained and provoked by one exposé after another on state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The scandals did not let up in 2017, as Malaysians were treated to a buffet of revelations of fraud, power abuse and impropriety involving a greater range of statutory bodies and agencies.

Malaysians were informed of alleged wrongdoings in Felda and Mara, both of which lost millions of ringgit because of mismanagement, bad business decisions, corruption, and power abuse.

Graft-busters were kept busy investigating allegations of dodgy land and property purchases, as well as fraud and theft of public funds.

Below is a compilation of the scandals that broke last year, some of which are still developing as investigations continue.  Read more

Hundreds protest against government in new year rally

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The Malaysian Insight

Malaysians protesting against Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, just an hour before the 2018 New Year celebration at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on yesterday. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, January 1, 2018.

HUNDREDS of Malaysians ushered in the New Year with a rally in central Kuala Lumpur against the Najib administration and demanded that petrol prices be brought down in 2018.

Protestors at the “Turun” rally flooded Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in front of the Sogo shopping complex where they began to chant ‘Turun Minyak, Turun Najib’’ (bring down petrol prices, down with Najib).

The 500-strong crowd of mostly activists and politicians then started marching towards Dataran Merdeka at 11pm to the beat of drums.

The crowd marched peacefully and stopped about 30m in front of Dataran Merdeka where they were prevented from going any further by police.

After more singing and cheering, the group began to disperse at 11.45pm as part of the conditions set by police.  Read more

South Korea the newest destination for illegal Malaysian labour

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Free Malaysia Today

A worker at the assembly line of the Hyundai Motor Jeonju factory in Jeonju, South Korea. Agents are tempting Malaysians to work illegally in South Korea by offering jobs in the manufacturing and services sectors instead of plantations. – EPA pic, December 31, 2017.

ILLEGAL labour involving Malaysians, which first surfaced with reports of cases in Australia, has now reared its ugly head in South Korea, Mingguan Malaysia reported today.

The report said the East Asian country was a tempting destination for those looking for jobs as it had various opportunities in the manufacturing and services sectors, instead of at plantations.

Aggresive advertising on social media sites, such as Facebook, have led to an uptick in illegal labour since the middle of this year.

It reported that the unscrupulous agents were using brazen promotional tactics, such as videos showcasing the large income that could be generated, to tempt Malaysians into accepting these illicit jobs without fear of repercussion from the authorities.  Read more

DAP: New army camp being built in Hisham’s constituency

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong today accused Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein of lying when he denied that an army camp was being built in his Sembrong constituency in Johor.

Liew said the camp was under construction in Paloh, a state seat within the Sembrong constituency.

“He is clearly lying because there is an army camp being built in his constituency,” he said in response to Hishammuddin’s denial that army camps were being built for political purposes.

Hishammuddin, who is also an Umno vice-president, was quoted yesterday as saying that if the allegation was true, he would have ordered an army camp to be built in Sembrong.

“As the defence minister, I would do a camp in my area first,” he told reporters at the opening of the refurbished Kompleks Mutiara Armada navy camp.  Read more

Class bias and deaths in custody — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

Many custodial deaths involve detainees from the lower socio-economic segment of society, says Penang DCM.

By P Ramasamy

There seems to be no political will on the part of the government to address the issue of custodial deaths – deaths that occur even before remand prisoners are brought to trial in court.

Whether there is link between the lack of political will and the social class of those who have died in custody remains to be seen.

However, a cursory examination will reveal that deaths in custody involve those who are in the working class, especially those who are poor and who lack power and family support.

Talk of ensuring justice for remand prisoners and others is empty.

Custodial deaths are not confined to police lock-ups but also take place among remand prisoners in prisons.

Lately, statistics indicate that custodial deaths in prisons have risen.  Read more

Did EC insult Parliament, saying Hansard can’t be believed, ask MPs

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Opposition MPs say that the Election Commission (EC) may have insulted Parliament by rejecting evidence from the Hansard – the official record of parliamentary proceedings – stating the contents “cannot be believed”.

PKR’s R Sivarasa said the law clearly views Hansard publications as an official document of Parliament, with Section 78 of the Evidence Act (EA) 1950 stating that the proceedings of Parliament are proved by the minutes kept in the Hansard.

“Section 81 of the EA provides that copies of the Hansard are presumed to be genuine. This is provided under the law. It is the official document.

“For them to say the document cannot be believed shows they are ignorant of the law,” the Subang MP told FMT.

Sivarasa, who is a lawyer, was referring to the revelation at a press conference today, where DAP legal bureau secretary Michelle Ng Mei Sze said the Johor registrar of electors had rejected a voter objection deeming the Parliament Hansard (official record) as not credible.

She was referring to the objection hearings pertaining to the entry of 949 army personnel and their spouses in the Segamat constituency.

Ng had said the applicant was told by the registrar that the Hansard produced “cannot be believed”.  Read more

What a Najib win could mean for Malaysia

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The rule of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional looks set to be extended for many years to come if the Umno-PAS alignment works, according to an editorial in the East Asia Forum.

However, this portends ill for the non-Malay minorities and liberal Muslims, as Umno, increasingly dependent on PAS, dances to the latter’s tunes, it says.

The editorial of the East Asia Forum, which is based in the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, says Najib Razak will almost certainly survive the 1MDB scandal unscathed if Umno’s understanding with PAS holds and its manoeuvring to drive a wedge between the opposition parties continues to succeed.

“Decades of institutional degeneration under Umno rule, and the concentration of power in the office of the prime minister, has seen Najib able to swat away any domestic attempts to hold him to account for his role in the 1MDB affair. The unfortunate importance of identity politics in shaping voter behaviour also helps insulate him from much of the electoral backlash.”  Read more