Lawyer: Home Ministry may decide to lift ban on Zunar book

Source: The Malay Mail

Ed. The Home Affairs Ministry is contemplating whether to withdraw the ban issued on Zunar’s Sapuman: Man of Steal. This was revealed by the senior federal counsel defending the Ministry and the Malaysian government in a judicial review of the ban filed by Zunar at the High Court.

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque had pledged to continue drawing despite the government banning some of his books, saying it was impossible for the authorities to ban his ideas. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The Attorney General’s Chambers is awaiting further instructions from the Home Ministry (KDN) on whether to withdraw the ban issued on a book by cartoonist Zunar entitled Sapuman: Man of Steal.

Counsel N. Surendran who is representing Zunar whose real name is Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque said the information was revealed by senior federal counsel Muzila Mohd Arshad who appeared on behalf of the Home Ministry and Malaysian government as respondents during case management in the chambers of High Court Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi today. Read more

Return my artworks, Zunar tells cops

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Cartoonist Zunar (left) and his lawyer Cecil Rajendra at the press conference today. Pic from FMT News.

GEORGE TOWN: Cartoonist Zunar has issued a notice of demand to the police over the seizure of his caricatures at an exhibition in Komtar here in November 2016.

Lawyer Cecil Rajendra issued the notice of demand, dated March 26, on behalf of Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwarul Haque, to the senior investigating officer of the Northeast district police’s Criminal Investigation Department.

Rajendra said Zunar had an exhibition of his work at the George Town Literary Festival 2016 on Nov 26, 2016, when police, without just cause or reason, raided his exhibition at the ICT mall in Komtar, Penang.

“They unlawfully seized 10 panels of his 20 valuable art works. Our client also informs us that he was forcibly detained in conjunction with the said raid.

“As a result of the police action, our client was deprived of his right to livelihood and his reputation severely tarnished,” he said in a press conference today. Also present with him was Zunar.

He said it had been over 14 months since the seizure and detention, and police have offered no explanation or justification for their high-handed action. Read more

Student groups plan protest rally over suspension of UKM activist

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof says the suspension will make it impossible for final-year law student to sit his exam.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof (third from left) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi (fourth from left) at a joint press conference. Image from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of student groups, called Kesatuan, has threatened to hold a protest rally against Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) over its decision to reinstate a suspension order on final-year law student Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi.

Kesatuan spokesperson Anis Syafiqah Yusof gave UKM a week to respond and explain why the suspension has been reinstated.

She said the student groups will hold the rally outside UKM.

On November 2016, Asheeq was suspended for one semester by UKM and fined RM200 for his involvement in the #TangkapMO1 rally.

Asheeq, at that time, had argued that he was never charged in court for any offences.

The rally was organised by a coalition of students and youth groups calling for the arrest of the person named “MO1” in the United States’ Department of Justice’s civil suit related to state investment fund 1MDB. Read more

High court quashes UM’s conviction of 4 students

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Counsel Lim Wei Jiet (left) speaking to plaintiffs in the case against the Universiti Malaya disciplinary authority, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Farhan Nazmi, February 27, 2018.

THE high court today quashed the Universiti Malaya disciplinary authority’s decision to convict four students who held placards during a 1Malaysia Development Bhd town hall meeting in 2016.

Judge Azizah Nawawi said the reason for the ruling was because the university did not comply with Rule 54 of the Universiti Malaya (Discipline of Students) Rules 1999.

“The disciplinary authority is required to find that there is a case to answer first, before it questions the students or the students are allowed to give evidence,”   counsel Lim Wei Jiet told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

“What has happened here is that the university, before finding a case to answer, had questioned, asked and cross-examined the students to clarify what this video is about, what these photographs are about, which the judge believes is a form of non-compliance with procedures.” Read more

Legal experts raise alarm bells over Fahmi’s conviction

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Legal experts say graphic designer Fahmi Reza’s sentence to one month in jail and a fine of RM30,000 for insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak with a clown face caricature posted on Facebook was undemocratic and unacceptable. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 20, 2018.

ABSURD, undemocratic and totally unacceptable.

These were the general consensus among legal experts on the one month jail sentence and a hefty fine imposed on graphic designer Fahmi Reza by the Ipoh Sessions Court today for posting an edited image of Prime Minister Najib Razak on Facebook.

The court decision raised alarm bells, with one law expert questioning if Malaysia was emulating Thailand where punitive measures are taken against those who criticised the country’s monarch.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom said if laws were used selectively to protect one individual or a special group from legitimate criticism, it echoes of “lese majeste” (insulting the monarch or other ruler).

Thailand has a strict draconian lese-majeste law which forbids any insult to the monarchy.

Azmi said the decision against Fahmi also placed restrictions on the freedom of speech and made it an offence if anyone poked fun at a politician. Read more

Fahmi Reza jailed one month, fined RM30,000 over offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Fahmi Reza — Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH: Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been sentenced to one month’s jail and fined RM30,000 for posting a caricature of a national leader on social media.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, was found guilty by the Sessions Court here Tuesday (Feb 20) of uploading an edited image of the Prime Minister on Facebook with the intention to offend.

He was charged with committing the offence on Feb 8, 2016 at 12.31pm.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which is punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

Judge Norashima Khalid also ordered the accused to be jailed an additional six months if he fails to pay the fine. Read more

When everything’s fake news except when you agree — Erna Mahyuni

Source: Malay Mail Online

By Erna Mahyuni

FEBRUARY 14 ― “Fake news.” What a catchphrase. Thanks to Donald Trump, it no longer means “news that is inaccurate” but “news that clashes with my currently held views.”

It’s interesting that the government is currently looking at legal recourse to supposedly combat fake news but the question remains: who really decides what is fake and what is real?

The thing about news reporting is that it is supposed to be impartial, objective.

Trouble is, humans are not really wired to be without bias.

Read more

Fake news law ‘will curb media freedom’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

MALAYSIA’S proposed fake news law will be used to target non-mainstream media outlets that publish reports not in line with Putrajaya’s views, a lawyer and media groups fear.

Lawyer H.R. Dipendra said the government was using the excuse of fake news to go after Internet news portals that are not governed by the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

“The government wants to target alternative media, like news portals. It is their intention of controlling news portals under the guise of (a) fake news (law).

“It is real news, but it is not always siding or agreeing with the government, (and) that they want to control (it),” he told The Malaysian Insight today.

Read more

Curbing ‘fake news’ can’t be one-way street — Mustafa K. Anuar

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

By Mustafa K. Anuar

THE professed assurance by a bevy of ministers in the Najib administration recently that a proposed law to arrest “fake news” is meant to protect “political stability and public order” as well as the freedom of expression for all Malaysians has already evoked scepticism, if not cynicism, among a concerned public and government critics.

While one may genuinely be concerned about the supposed proliferation of “fake news”, such an assurance, however, becomes hollow coming from members of a government (and its ancillary agencies) that is known to have committed censorship of cavalier nature, produced half-truths and manufactured information to serve their vested interests.

This phenomenon especially became writ large in general elections of yore, and the next one will be no different. If anything, half-truths and lies are likely to reign supreme in this supposedly “mother of elections” that involve all players from both sides of the political divide.

Read more

Man fined RM20,000 for insulting PM, A-G on social media

Source: The Malaysian Insight

A BUSINESSMAN was fined a total of RM20,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today after pleading guilty to four counts of uploading offensive communication contents on Prime Minister Najib Razak and Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali on his Facebook page two years ago.

Azhar Mamat, 45, made the plea after the charges were read out to him before judge Zaman Mohd Noor.

He was fined RM5,000, in default of a month’s jail, on each count. Azhar paid the fine.

Read more