Parliament sitting Monday, to focus on redelineations

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Parliament sitting — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The first meeting, the sixth term and 13th parliament sitting, will begin on Monday with the election issue expected to dominate the Dewan Rakyat scheduled for 20 days until April 5.

The conference which will be opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V will attract the general public as it is said to be the last session before Parliament is dissolved to make way for the 14th General Elections (GE14), which many predicted would be held very soon.

This conference is also remarkable because the session was sitting until the sixth term, compared to the usual fifth term, before being dissolved for GE14.

However, it does not violate any regulation as the session of the 13th Parliament is not over and it will only be dissolved automatically when the five-year mandate of the Barisan Nasional-led government expires on June 24, 2018.

As highlighted, the “Review of the Boundaries of Parliamentary and State Election Divisions for Peninsular and Sabah” is expected to be among the key agenda that will warm up this session. Read more

Court to hear Pandikar’s application to strike out originating summons in RUU355 case

Source: The Malaysian Insight

DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and Dewan Rakyat Secretary Roosme Hamzah have applied to strike out the originating summons filed against them by former Sungai Benut MP Mohamed Tawfik Ismail in a case pertaining to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 bill.

Pandikar and Roosme as defendants filed the application two months ago on grounds that the originating summons was frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

The defendants’ application was based on Articles 62(1) and 63(1) of the Federal Constitution, senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan told reporters after the case mention in the chambers of Justice Kamaludin Md Said.

Article 62(1) states that “each House of Parliament shall regulate its own procedure” while Article 63(1) states that “the validity of any proceedings in either House of Parliament or any committee thereof shall not be questioned in any court”. Read more

Child sexual cases not classified, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Child sexual crime cases are not protected under the Official Secrets Act, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

However, she said the media may not report about such cases as Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits the identification of the child victims.

“I cannot answer this as it is not within my jurisdiction but I will inform other relevant ministries. (However), under the courts, no such case has been protected under OSA except for those that fall under Section 15 of the Child’s Act,” Azalina told the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

PM: No need law against discrimination for now

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The government has no plan to introduce laws against racism and discrimination yet, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in a statement.

In a written reply to DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng, the prime minister said there has not been any discussion to table such a Bill as the different races were united and national harmony was not in jeopardy at the moment.

“The Government feels that… there is no need for an Anti-Racist and Anti-Discrimination Bill as the country’s unity is in a good and controlled state,” he said.

He said the government has instead given more emphasis to promoting greater inclusiveness through the education system.

Najib also stressed that Putrajaya has taken various efforts to uphold the Federal Constitution, which upholds unity in the country.

293 cases filed at special court for sexual crimes against children, says minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — A total of  293 cases have been filed at the Special Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children since the court’s establishment on June 22 this year, the Parliament was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department  Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said 84 per cent or 248 of the cases were disposed off over a three month period.

She said the court was equipped with  a Court Recording Transcription (CRT) system, as well as an audio-visual system system and a   children’s witness room, to help expedite proceeding of cases.

“The special infrastructure is very important to facilitate the court proceeding as it can ensure the trial and hearing of cases be done fast and effectively,” she said during the question and answer sessions in the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Shahidan: No privileges for Rohingya children born in Malaysia

Source: Astro Awani

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not give special privileges to children of Rohingya refugees born in Malaysia, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

He said this group of people comprising United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders, however, could move freely in Peninsular Malaysia, were free to practise their culture and religious faith, received a 50-per cent discount at government hospitals compared to other foreigners, besides having access to private education.

Nonetheless, he said, UNHCR cardholders found to have committed offences in this country would face the law.

“The government does not recognise the refugee status of the ethnic Rohingya minority as Malaysia is not a signatory to the (United Nations) 1951 Convention related to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Read more

No plans to introduce assimilation programme for Rohingya

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plans to introduce a programme for Rohingya refugees to assimilate with the locals, says an Umno minister.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said at present the refugees were issued with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) cards.

“If we introduce an assimilation programme, it means that we have the intention to give them citizenship.

“And if we open the floodgates, I am sure others will also want to come here,” he said. Read more

Special court has handled 62 child sex crime cases, says Azalina

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

SIXTY-TWO cases have been filed at the special court for child sexual crimes from March till July 26, the Prime Minister’s Office today.

Minister Azalina Othman Said said 11 cases had been resolved, 25 had been mentioned, while 26 were still in trial.

She said the special court, in Putrajaya, had facilities such as court recording transcription (CRT) and audio-visual systems, as well as rooms for child witnesses.

“The infrastructure is vital in helping the proceedings in the court. It also ensures that trials and hearings proceed quickly and efficiently,” she said at the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

A-G’s Report 2016 series 1 contains 353 recommendations

Ed. Updated to include related articles.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The first series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2016 was tabled in Parliament today. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — The Auditor-General’s Report 2016 Series 1 tabled today at the Dewan Rakyat contains 353 recommendations to assist the federal government, federal statutory bodies and state governments in rectifying identified weaknesses.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said two of the recommendations pertained to Federal Government Financial Statement 2016; 90, federal government ministry and department activities; and 244, financial management of state government departments, agencies and companies.

“As usual, the department heads concerned have been informed beforehand, for the purpose of confirmation,” she said in a statement to Bernama. Read more

Speaker defers Shariah Bill debate

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has postponed the debate on Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill until Parliament next convenes.

After allowing opening arguments, Pandikar invoked his discretionary powers to halt the Bill’s proceedings when PAS’s Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan seconded the motion for the Bill with a lengthy explanation.

Hadi earlier presented his proposed amendments to Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 with his own justifications.

“I have the full right to decide how this meeting goes, I am not tied down by Standing Order 15,” Pandikar said, referring to the fact that it was a private member’s bill and the speaker had full discretion to decide on the proceedings.

“I want to use a saying – if you have power, you are powerful. If you don’t use your power, you are a bloody fool. Today, I don’t want to be a bloody fool,” he added.

He said that hearing explanations from Hadi and Takiyuddin had made the amendment bill, known as Act 355, become much more clearer in its reasoning.

Hadi presented his bill for less than 30 minutes before Takiyuddin spent close to two hours seconding the motion.

After a MP ends his seconding speech, debates would normally take place, followed by a vote whether to pass the motion.