Sustain supremacy of constitution, urge legal eagles

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The three arms of the government — the executive, legislature and judiciary — must uphold the supremacy of the 60-year-old constitution, following a recent landmark ruling, a retired judge and lawyers said.

They also said judicial power and judicial independence were sacrosanct in the Malaysian constitutional framework to keep every organ and institution of the state within its legal boundary.

The legal minds said ministers, elected or appointed members to the legislature and judges must give effect to their oath of office to protect, preserve and defend the constitution — the supreme law of Malaysia.

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PM to launch National Human Rights Action Plan in March – Azalina

Source: Malaysiakini

The government is set to launch the much-awaited National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) in March this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said today.

Speaking at her annual address to the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) in Putrajaya, Azalina thanked the division for its achievements in 2017 and anticipated that the launch of the NHRAP would be another milestone.

“Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) will launch the National Human Rights Action Plan and my target is either early March or the end of February.

“The setting up of this National Human Rights Action Plan will be a success, as we know this is the PM’s legacy.

“(This is) so that the rakyat will understand that human rights issues are very important in our country,” she said as she addressed members of the 13 agencies parked under the division.

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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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Woman remanded for insulting Terengganu MB on Facebook

Source: The Star

KUALA TERENGGANU: A woman was arrested after she allegedly insulted Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman on social media.

It is learned that the 45-year-old contractor had put up the derogatory comment on a Facebook Group called Gabungan Anak Terengganu.

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MACC sets up units to watch for corruption, power abuse in govt agencies

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up special monitoring units to watch for misappropriation, corruption and abuse of power at high, medium and low-risk government agencies.

In a statement today, the MACC said its certified integrity officers would be replaced by administrative and diplomatic officers in integrity units of government agencies in line with the government’s decision to set up a Department of National Integrity and Good Governance.

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Islamisation will tear Malaysia apart, says Marina Mahathir

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Illusions of Democracy contains a series of essays on democracy in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, January 18, 2018.

MALAYSIA is on a slippery slope if the nation carries on with its Islamisation agenda, which will not only divide society, but also promote violence, said Marina Mahathir.

Citing a recent example of a man slapping a Muslim woman for not wearing a headscarf in public, the socio-political activist said Islamisation is not going to be positive or healthy for the nation.

“What could possibly have given the man the idea that he is entitled to harangue and slap a Muslim woman for not wearing a tudung as happened recently in Penang,” she said at a book launch at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.

The footage of a man slapping a woman for allegedly not wearing a headscarf some two weeks ago went viral on social media.

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MACC: Removing our officers from government agencies won’t affect anti-corruption drive

Source: Malay Mail Online

Datuk Paul Low had said the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) would not overlap with MACC’s functions. ― File picture by Choo Choy May via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 – The government’s withdrawal of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) integrity officers at government agencies will not affect graft prevention efforts, MACC said today.

The MACC clarified that the reported replacement of its Certified Integrity Officers (CeIOs) with Administration and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officers seconded at the integrity units of government agencies was a move “in line with the government’s decision to set up the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) recently”.

“The MACC wishes to stress that the formation of JITN will not affect at all the MACC’s function and responsibility in efforts to ensure government agencies are free from abuse, bribery and abuse of power,” it said in a statement today. Read more

Racism has to be opposed from the top down — Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star

BY AZMI SHAROM

Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher.

DEMOCRACY takes power away from the few, or the one, and places it in the hands of the many. Which is why we hear phrases like “people power” and “returning power to the people” bandied around when speaking about democratic reform.

Theoretically, if there is a free press, fairly delineated constituencies, independent state agencies and a respect for human rights, then the government of the day will be a reflection of the will of the people.

We, the ordinary men and women, choose our leaders. We can also “fire” them by voting them out. Therefore, we have ultimate power.

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Illusions of Democracy in Malaysia

View Facebook event here

SIRD is pleased to invite you to the launch of Sophie Lemière’s latest edited volume, Illusions of Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People Volume II. Building upon her earlier volume Misplaced Democracy, it features a group of prominent international and local scholars covering topics such as the 1MDB scandal, islamisation, refugee populations, zakat payment, ISIS discourse in Malaysia as well as LGBT rights. It offers an up-to-date and wide ranging overview of Malaysian politics and the status of Malaysia as a semi-democratic or semi-authoritarian country.

Launching the book will be Marina Mahathir, with Sophie Lemière of the Weatherhead Center, Harvard University, Angela Kuga Thas, and Lawrence Ross forming the panel, to discuss Malaysian democracy and its allusions through the lens of political science, anthropology and LGBT rights.

Included also will be cartoonist Zunar.

Gerrymandering, cheating still evident in second redelineation proposal, says Bersih

Source: Written by Bede Hong for The Malaysian Insight

Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah says it is clear the Election Commission wishes to get the electoral delineation proposal passed before the general election, which accounts for its rushing the process when it has until September to complete it. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 15, 2018.

THE second redelineation proposal for Selangor’s electoral boundaries, which was released by the Election Commission today, still contains elements of malapportionment and gerrymandering.

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 said although fewer seats would be affected by the proposed electoral boundary changes, the commission did not address existing distortions in voter representation.

“Our preliminary analysis shows that the EC has reversed most of its proposed changes in the first display,” Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said when contacted today.

“However, issues of malapportionment and gerrymandering still exist. The EC has not corrected these problems,” she said.

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