Government appeal against Maria Chin’s acquittal to be heard on Oct 11

Source: FMT News 

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will determine if it is within its jurisdiction to hear the government’s appeal against the acquittal of Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah for an offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

Government lawyer Hamdan Hamzah said the apex court had jurisdiction because it involved a constitutional matter.

However, Maria’s lawyer M Puravalen said since the matter came from the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur, the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

A five-man bench chaired by Chief Justice Raus Sharif has now fixed Oct 11 to hear the case. Read more

Sabah Bersih organiser beats unlawful assembly charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Former Sabah Bersih chairman Jannie Lasimbang (centre) celebrated at the Sabah courts today after being discharged and acquitted her of failing to comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act when organising the Bersih gathering last year. — Picture by Julia Chan for the MMO.

Former Sabah Bersih chairman Jannie Lasimbang (centre) celebrated at the Sabah courts today after being discharged and acquitted her of failing to comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act when organising the Bersih gathering last year. — Picture by Julia Chan for the MMO.

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 20 — The organiser of the Sabah edition of Bersih 4, Jannie Lasimbang, has been acquitted by a magistrates court of breaching the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Magistrate Cindy McJuce Balitus said in her ruling that the prosecution failed to show prima facie or establish that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall was the owner of the land where the event took place in August 29 and 30 last year.

She also said that under Section 9(2) of the PAA, a 10-day notice was not required to hold a gathering at a “designated place of assembly.”

Balitus also ordered that Lasimbang’s bond be refunded. Read more

Court decision another blow for freedom of peaceful assembly — Amnesty International

Source: The Malay Mail Online

OCT 12 — Amnesty International is gravely concerned with the decision of the Federal Court on 10 October, which ordered seven human rights activists and parliamentarians from the opposition party to face trial for participating in peaceful protests in 2015. The decision, which has happened in response to a constitutional challenge of several provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, highlights the ongoing pattern of repression against government critics in the country.

Opposition parliamentarians Chong Chieng Jen and Julian Tan Kok Ping were charged for participating in a Bersih 4 rally on 29 Aug 2015 in Kuching, while opposition parliamentarian Sim Tze Tzin and human rights activists Maria Chin Abdullah, Mandeep Singh, Fariz Musa and Adam Adli Abdul Halim were charged for participating in the #KitaLawan Rally on 28 Feb 2015 at the Sogo shopping mall and Esplanade KLCC. They were demanding political and electoral accountability and reform. Read more

Court of Appeal strikes out Bersih chief’s illegal assembly charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Last November, Chin was charged with failing to comply with the requisite 10-day notice to the police before the two-day Bersih 4 rally in August the same year. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Last November, Chin was charged with failing to comply with the requisite 10-day notice to the police before the two-day Bersih 4 rally in August the same year. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 7 — The Court of Appeal today struck out the charge against Maria Chin Abdullah for organising last year’s Bersih 4 rally without giving authorities 10 days’ notice.

The three-member panel led by judge Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said in its unanimous judgement that at the time of the Bersih 4 assembly last August, the verdict in the case of Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, which ruled as unconstitutional the requirement for a 10-day notice under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, was valid. Thus, it was legal for Chin to organise a rally without giving notice.

“Our considered view is that the same principle applies to judicial pronouncement while it can take effect retrospectively, it must be in line with Article 7(1),” she said.

“We find merits in the appeal, it is allowed and the order of High Court is set aside,” she added.

Article 7(1) of the Federal Constitution provides “protection against retrospective criminal laws” and states that “no person shall be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made.” Read more

Maria Chin fails in bid to strike out Bersih 4 charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maria Chin Abdullah is seen outside the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex after her challenge to strike out an illegal assembly charge today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah failed today in her bid to  strike out a charge for organising the Bersih 4 overnight public demonstration last year.

High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah dismissed the application, saying the electoral reform group’s chief failed to notify the Brickfields police 10 days before the rally as required under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“Based on that reason, the application has no merit,” he said in his ruling.

He also said the High Court has no power to decide or cancel the previous decision to charge Chin by the Sessions Court. Read more

Malaysian High Court Upholds T-Shirt as a Security Threat

Source: The New York Times

Protesters gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August to demonstrate against the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak. A Malaysian High Court has upheld a government edict declaring yellow shirts that call for a clean government a national security threat. Credit Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

BANGKOK — It is a simple yellow T-shirt with the word “clean” in Malay. Tens of thousands of people own them. But wear one on the street in Malaysia today and you risk arrest.

A Malaysian High Court has upheld a government edict declaring the shirt a national security threat.

The T-shirts say “Bersih 4,” the name of an antigovernment demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, the capital, last August. “Bersih” means “clean,” and the protesters were calling for clean government.

Before the protests, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi banned the shirts, along with fliers promoting the Bersih 4 events. As many as 100,000 protesters defied the government and wore the shirts anyway, creating a sea of yellow in the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

The protests targeted Prime Minister Najib Razak after reports emerged that nearly $700 million had been deposited in his personal bank account. The government said the money was a donation from undisclosed Saudi royalty, an explanation mocked by the opposition and later contradicted by the Saudi government.

“The T-shirts have now become a symbol of our struggle for democracy and human rights in Malaysia,” said Maria Chin Abdullah, chairwoman of Bersih 2.0, a clean-government advocacy group that organized the protests.

A High Court judge, Muhammad Yazid Mustafa, announced Friday that he was upholding the ban on the shirts, although he has yet to issue a written ruling. He said the prohibition fell within the home minister’s authority to maintain public order.

“I find that order was within the confines of the minister’s power,” the judge ruled, according to an audio recording of the hearing.

Bersih 2.0, which challenged the ban in the High Court, will appeal the ruling, Ms. Abdullah said. “I don’t know where they got the idea we are a national security threat,” she said. “We are going to challenge this decision.”

A lawyer representing the group, New Sin Yew, said that under the edict, shirt wearers could be fined about $1,185. Some people have been briefly detained for wearing the shirts, he said, but he was unaware of anyone being prosecuted or fined. Read more

Bersih 4 t-shirt ban underestimates people’s wisdom – Khoo Ying Hooi

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY KHOO YING HOOI

Last week, the Shah Alam High Court upheld the government’s decision to ban Bersih 4 t-shirts and related printed materials. The decision comes after Bersih 4 organisers filed a judicial review against the government’s ban on the yellow Bersih 4 t-shirts.

In his judgment, Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa said that the order by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was valid, as the minister had the discretion to make such decisions on the basis of preserving the peace in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

I quote, “The minister has taken the relevant consideration in making the said order. I take judicial notice that Malaysia is multi-racial and multi-religious, thus puts a heavy responsibility to the minister to maintain and preserve peace, notwithstanding the Federal Constitution confers rights of assembly (and) freedom of expression. Read more

Home Ministry entitled to ban Bersih 4 T-shirt, High Court rules

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The High Court has ruled that it is within the Home Ministry's jurisdiction to ban the Bersih 4 T-shirt. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The High Court has ruled that it is within the Home Ministry’s jurisdiction to ban the Bersih 4 T-shirt. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

SHAH ALAM, Feb 19 ― The High Court here today rejected electoral reform group Bersih 2.0’s challenge on the Home Ministry’s ban of the Bersih 4 T-shirt, saying the order was within the ministry’s jurisdiction.

Judge Datuk Haji Mohd Yazid Haji Mustafa also said in his decision that he took into consideration the fact that the rally was declared illegal, a notion that was not challenged by the applicant.

“Based on the above reasons, I find that the minister’s decision in making the order does not suffer from any illegality, irrationality, or procedural impropriety.

“The minister had taken the relevant considerations in making the said order,” he said in his judgement today.

Lawyer New Sin Yew, who was representing the electoral group, insisted, however, that they had argued that the rally was legal during the hearing and will bring this issue up again when they appeal the decision.

MORE TO COME Read more

Decision on Judicial Review of Bersih 4 tees Ban

A screengrab of the government gazette banning yellow clothing, as well as clothes with the words 'Bersih 4,' and also printed material connected to the rally that is set to take place tomorrow and Sunday in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. – August 28, 2015.

A screengrab of the government gazette banning yellow clothing, as well as clothes with the words ‘Bersih 4,’ and also printed material connected to the rally that was to take place on 29 and 30 August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. – August 28, 2015.

Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa has fixed February 19 for decision on the judicial review of the Home Ministry’s Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications (No. 22) Order 2015.

The lawsuit is by polls reform group Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, treasurer Masjaliza Hamzah and national representative Fadiah Nadwa Fikri against the home minister and the government of Malaysia.

Last August 27, the government gazetted the Home Ministry’s order issued under the PPPA, which bans any item of clothing in its signature yellow bearing the “Bersih 4” name and any other printed material and pamphlet on the rally.

The nationwide ban was against the “printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution or possession” of the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirts and the related printing materials due to their likely harm to public order, security, national interest and likely breach of laws.

The ban took effect on August 28, just before the two-day Bersih 4 rally from August 29 to August 30 that demanded for institutional reforms and for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.

 

Related Articles

[1] Home Ministry bans yellow clothing, ‘Bersih 4’ words [28 Aug 2015]
[2] Government’s move to ban Bersih t-shirts laughable, says Maria Chin [28 Aug 2015]
[3] So ‘Bersih 4’ tees banned? No problem, just use ‘Bersih 4.0’, Maria Chin tells protesters [28 Aug 2015]
[4] Malaysia bans yellow Bersih 4 T-shirts [29 Aug 2015]
[5] Home Minister has ‘absolute discretion’ in banning Bersih’s yellow tees, court told [2 Feb 2016]
[6] How can a T-shirt harm national security? Bersih asks Putrajaya [2 Feb 2016]

Decision
[7] Home minister has right to ban Bersih 4 t-shirts, pamphlets, court rules [19 Feb 2016]
[8] Home Ministry entitled to ban Bersih 4 T-shirt, High Court rules [19 Feb 2016]

How can a T-shirt harm national security? Bersih asks Putrajaya

Source: The Malay Mail Online

bersih_tshirts1_620_413_100

Last year, the government gazetted a fresh order by the Home Ministry, banning all items related to the Bersih 4 mass demonstration, and any item of clothing in its signature yellow bearing the rally’s name. ― File pic

SHAH ALAM, Feb 2 ― Bersih 2.0 said today that it was unreasonable of the home minister to ban its T-shirts promoting the polls reform group’s Bersih 4 rally on grounds of national security.

In Bersih 2.0’s lawsuit against the home minister, the group’s lead counsel Edmund Bon said logic would dictate that such a ban was unreasonable.

“There is no evidence that a T-shirt can lead to prejudice to national security and public order. I think that is logical, no reasonable person can say a T-shirt can lead to prejudice to national security and public order,” he said at the High Court here. Read more