Keep politics out of civil service — Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

RECENTLY, the Education Minister warned teachers and staff of the Education Ministry to stay out of “opposition” political activities. Strangely, later in the speech, the minister appeared to encourage the same audience to participate in ‘government’ party activites.

As lopsided as his comment seemed, the minister was not really suggesting something new, but merely putting on record, what appears to be the unwritten rule about political participation amongst civil servants; open support for the opposition is frowned upon, while open support for the Government is quite encouraged.

This policy, partially official but partially not, also sees schools, hospitals, mosques and other government-run facilities, shy away from hosting visits by opposition leaders, even if they are members of a state government that is run by the (Federal) opposition.

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Address discrimination back home before championing Rohingya rights, Putrajaya told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — A United Nations (UN) representative today lauded Malaysia’s efforts to fight for the marginalised Rohingya community, but said that the country should also address human rights issues back home.

“I am really happy to see Malaysian government take up Rohingya issues. That is a great thing to do, but it should also take up issues in own countries.

“Have the same concern for discrimination in Malaysia. For election reforms in Malaysia,” the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai said today.

“But we should also ask them to have the same amount of concern for issues domestic and international. Not just about Rohingyas. We want Rohingyas to exercise their right, but we also want Malaysians to exercise their right,” he added. Read more

Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law — Malaysian Bar

Source: Malaysian Bar

Logo-majlis-peguam-malaysia-malaysian-bar-councilPress Release

Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law

The Malaysian Bar is outraged by statements reportedly made on 23 and 24 October 2016 by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (“Minister”), that the Government is looking at blacklisting companies that support the pro-democracy movement BERSIH.[1]

The Minister is further reported to have said that “[w]e will also (blacklist) the law firms [who have contracts with government-linked companies, who support BERSIH].… I urge government-linked companies not to directly engage the services of these law firms”, and that the Government “would also look at lawyers who are involved in the movement”.[2]

The comments attributed to the Minister are shocking, and are a manifestation of a further decline in the level of understanding of the rule of law.  To advocate that law firms and Members of the Bar be punished for professing and practising the principle of the independence of the legal profession is to hold the legal profession to ransom and to blatantly disregard the rule of law.

The action proposed by the Minister is clearly unconstitutional, as it reeks of prejudice and would contravene the protection against discrimination set out in Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.  In addition, Article 5 protects the right to life, which includes the right to a livelihood.  Any attempt to victimise lawyers or law firms would impinge upon this fundamental right.  Read more

Kerajaan tiada hak senarai hitam syarikat taja Bersih, kata Maria Chin

Sumber: FMT News

Maria mempertahankan syarikat yang membiayai Bersih atas alasan kebebasan berpersatuan yang perlu dihormati semua pihak. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Maria mempertahankan syarikat yang membiayai Bersih atas alasan kebebasan berpersatuan yang perlu dihormati semua pihak. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Pengerusi Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin Abdullah, terkejut dengan ancaman kerajaan untuk menyenaraihitamkan penaja Bersih dan menuntut penjelasan atas dasar apa ia diambil..

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, yang menyelia Unit Perancang Ekonomi dan Unit Kerjasama Awam-Swasta hari ini berkata, syarikat yang ingin mendapatkan kontrak kerajaan akan diteliti sama ada mereka terlibat dalam membantu membiayai Bersih.

Maria berkata ia merupakan satu keputusan yang mengejutkan kerana Bersih, gabungan reformasi pelbagai kumpulan ditubuhkan untuk memerangi rasuah dan tadbir urus yang baik serta pilihan raya bebas dan adil.

“Apa isu beliau dengan Bersih? Adakah anti rasuah, atau pilihan raya yang bersih dan adil? Beliau menakutkan syarikat (dengan mengancam menyenaraihitamkan mereka),” katanya. Read more

Syarikat taja Bersih akan disenaraihitam, kata Rahman Dahlan

Sumber: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Kerajaan akan menyiasat dan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mana-mana syarikat yang didapati menaja perhimpunan haram Bersih, kata Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, hari ini.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri itu berkata demikian susulan artikel yang ditulis Awang Selamat bertajuk “Bersih Diperkasa?” di akhbar Umno, Mingguan Malaysia hari ini yang menyarankan syarikat menaja Bersih disenaraihitamkan kerana ia bertujuan untuk menggulingkan kerajaan.

“Saya ambil maklum dengan saranan Awang Selamat kerana syarikat yang menaja perhimpunan haram Bersih turut mendapat kontrak daripada kerajaan,” katanya menerusi kenyataan rasmi yang dikeluarkan hari ini. Read more

NGOs concerned over regressing human rights

Source: FMT News

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

Reporting a decline in freedoms such as freedom of expression and religion, Comango urges government to honour its commitment to the UN’s recommendations. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) is concerned with the regression of human rights in the nation.

At a press conference on its midterm Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process report, the group, made up of 54 NGOs, revealed its assessment of 60 measurable recommendations out of the 113 recommendations accepted by Malaysia in 2014.

The UPR report details United Nations member state’s performance in relation to the implementation of human rights recommendations it has accepted based on recommendations of other countries.

In its midterm report, Comango revealed that only 20% of the 60 recommendations had been fully implemented, while 57% of the recommendations have seen a regressing situation.

Areas which have seen a regression are freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of religion, elections and migrant workers among others. Read more

Group wants to see proposed Internet laws before Parliament debate

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. — File pic

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) today urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to allow civil society to view its proposed amendments to Internet laws here before tabling them to the Dewan Rakyat.

In a statement, Hakam secretary-general Robyn Choi noted that the amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 have yet to be publicly revealed but were due for tabling in the current parliamentary meeting.

“Hakam fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences,” Choi said.

She claimed that over the past two years, Putrajaya has already been interfering with free speech through the increased blocking of media websites, the intensified questioning and arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and even cartoonists over online content, as well as the passing of tougher laws regulating online expression.

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) while between January and February this year, a further 399 sites were blocked and 22 people called for questioning, Choi added. Read more

STATEMENT: Online Freedom and Bill to Amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA)

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 16 MAY 2016

ONLINE FREEDOM AND BILL TO AMEND THE COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA ACT 1998 (CMA)

HAKAM views with disquiet the news reports that the government plans to further regulate the use of the internet, especially online media, through amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The Bill to amend the CMA is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting which commences on 16th May.

The specific CMA amendments sought have not been made public. HAKAM fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences.

In the past two years, the government had severely interfered with freedom of speech through increased blocking of media websites both local and international, intensified questioning and/or arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and cartoonists over online content and the passing of a series of tougher laws with stiffer penalties for offences to do with online expression. Read more

STATEMENT: Online Freedom and Bill to Amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA)

STATEMENT DATED 16 MAY 2016

ONLINE FREEDOM AND BILL TO AMEND THE COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA ACT 1998 (CMA)

HAKAM views with disquiet the news reports that the government plans to further regulate the use of the internet, especially online media, through amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The Bill to amend the CMA is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting which commences on 16th May.

The specific CMA amendments sought have not been made public. HAKAM fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences.

In the past two years, the government had severely interfered with freedom of speech through increased blocking of media websites both local and international, intensified questioning and/or arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and cartoonists over online content and the passing of a series of tougher laws with stiffer penalties for offences to do with online 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.

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