Special committee set up to study security laws

Source: Borneo Post

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has set up a special committee to review existing laws, especially those in relation to national security which are allegedly contrary to human rights, its Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin said the committee, which was set up last week, is chaired by the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

“We will look at and review the laws that come under the Home Ministry. Among those raised are the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

“Our goal is to determine in implementing domestic laws the people do not feel that they are being used  for political purposes, to punish certain parties due to differences in ideology and so on,” he said. Read more

Muhyiddin: Home ministry to review seven ‘unsuitable’ national security laws

Source: The Malay Mail

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Department of Home Affairs in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The Home Ministry will review seven laws relating to national security which are no longer suitable in today’s landscape, said the new Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said these laws were the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,  Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), and mandatory death sentence.

Muhyiddin said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), non-governmental organisations and social activists would be asked to give their views on these laws.

“These laws will be reviewed and, if necessary, replaced. It will need a bit of time, but not up to five years until the next general election,” he told reporters when asked for the time needed to complete the review.

Muhyiddin was speaking at his first press conference as the new Home Minister after attending a briefing given by heads of departments and agencies under the ministry. — Bernama

Groups welcome review of Printing Presses and Publications Act

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Several groups have welcomed the Government’s move to review the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).

This comes after Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pledged on Tuesday (March 13) to review the controversial PPPA, a law that is seen to curtail freedom of speech, in particular, freedom of the press.

Under the PPPA, all printing presses need to obtain a license that can be revoked or suspended for any period.

A media lecturer at University of Nottingham Malaysia, Gayathry Venkiteswaran, lauds the Government’s move to review the Act.

“I hope that there will be a review towards repealing the Act entirely,” she said.

“It is an anachronistic Act. It doesn’t serve any purpose apart from being used arbitrarily against the media and to control (news) content.” Read more

Putrajaya to deliberate self-regulation for media, PPPA amendment post-elections

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, March 13 — The federal government is prepared to engage news editors to discuss the possibility of a self-regulating media body, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He added that the government will also look at improvements to the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) after the 14th general elections.

“We must make sure that the freedom to write and publish is not very restrictive according to current guidelines,” Zahid said during a luncheon with the editors here.

He said he recognised the need to improve provisions of the PPPA as well as adopt changes that address the current climate in the news industry. Read more

Zaid turns to courts for remedy over ban of his book

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has filed a judicial review to quash a recent ban on his book which has been in circulation for about two years.

The former de facto law minister said the book titled “Assalamualaikum (Peace Be Upon You): Observation on the Islamisation of Malaysia” did not cause any prejudice or likelihood of prejudice to public or national interests.

He said the order was also a breach of his constitutional right under Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution which guaranteed freedom of speech and expression.

Read more

Pua: Book bans are the actions of a ‘communist-like’ regime

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua says banning of Zaid Ibrahim’s book shows the immense and arbitrary power that the Printing Presses and Publications Act holds.

PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has called the government’s action to ban a book by Zaid Ibrahim as akin to that of a totalitarian communist-like regime.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was referring to the decision by the home ministry last month to ban Zaid’s book “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia”, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPA).

“As usual, the only official reason given for this ban is that the book is ‘likely to be prejudicial to public order as well as public interest and is likely to alarm public opinion’.

“This book joining the list of books previously banned by the government is proof of Putrajaya’s outright disregard for freedom of expression and ideas in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.

Last Thursday, the home ministry confirmed that a Federal Government gazette published on Dec 19 said the book, “Assalamualaikum: Observations on the Islamisation of Malaysia” had been banned. The order was signed by the home minister on Dec 4.  Read more

Art Harun: Publications Act not effective in maintaining social order

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Azhar Harun has slammed the government over its use of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) to ban books, saying it will not be effective in maintaining social order and morality.

“With all these books that are deemed ‘dirty’ being banned, we still have cases of fathers raping their daughters 365 times. So, does it work?

“In law, there is a school of thought that says, any law that is unenforceable or impossible to enforce, is a bad law,” he said this at the “Books, a source of knowledge, or a threat to harmony” forum on Monday (Oct 30).

Azhar, popularly known as Art Harun, also pointed out that with the advancement of technology, anyone could have access to banned publications in the form of e-books online. Read more

Court of Appeal allows Bersih 2.0’s appeal, quashes T-shirt ban

Source: The Malay Mail Online


Bersih 4 rally participants brave the rain as they listen to speeches in downtown Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 29 — The Court of Appeal today allowed Bersih 2.0’s appeal against the High Court’s rejection of their lawsuit challenging the Home Minister’s ban on Bersih 4 rally T-shirts last year, and quashed the ban at the same time.

The panel led by Justice Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh said they agreed with lawyer Edmund Bon’s submission, adding the Home Minister’s order for the ban was “unreasonable.”

“The order is unreasonable. We agreed with the submission… we allowed the appeal,” Mohd Zawawi said in the courtroom here.

The High Court on February rejected Bersih 2.0’s challenge to the Home Minister’s ban of the Bersih 4 T-shirt, saying the order was within the ministry’s jurisdiction.

Earlier in his submission, Bon argued that the Home Minister’s reasons for the ban were “irrelevant” given that situations such as the September 16 ‘Red Shirts’ rally happened after the ban was made.

“These grounds were an afterthought. The Minister had taken into account irrelevant considerations and acted irrationally,” he said.

Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah later told reporters that she hoped the authorities would drop cases of people arrested for wearing Bersih 4 T-shirt after today’s decision. Read more

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

Source: The Malaysian Insider


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.

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