A new law to tackle fake news? – Syahredzan Johan

Source: The Star Online

By Syahredzan Johan

SO the Government intends to introduce a new legislation to tackle what is termed as “fake news”. A special task force has been set up to look into this new legislation to curb this and the Government hopes to table the Bill at the current Parliament sitting.

In the age of social media and high-speed Internet, information is shared instantly. Sharing and receiving information has become second nature, the result of which is we do not verify information we receive before we pass it on. As a result, information that is false or inaccurate becomes viral and is assumed as the truth. Read more

Dealing with discrimination — Syahredzan Johan

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAHREDZAN JOHAN

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

Our Constitution prohibits discrimination against citizens, but it applies to the public sector only.

IT was recently reported that frontline staff working in certain hotels are forbidden to wear the headscarf (hijab).

Many have criticised the “hijab ban”, stating that the practice is discriminatory.

According to the president of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, the hijab ban is not discriminatory but the standard operating procedure (SOP) in the industry. It was also said that this is a “uniform policy” that has been in practice in international hotel chains for a long time.

The donning of the hijab is generally believed to be in accordance with the religious beliefs of Muslims. A Muslim woman who wears the hijab does so usually because of her faith. Read more

Arbitrary Sedition Act makes ‘promoting atheism’ a crime, lawyers explain

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — The Sedition Act could be used by the government against those who promote atheism in limited situations due to the law’s broad definitions and the current state of Malaysia, lawyers have said.

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan said there is no specific legislation that makes atheism an offence under civil laws, further arguing that the Sedition Act cannot be used against someone for being an atheist.

“Being an atheist is not seditious, especially if it is done in private.

“Spreading atheism may be deemed as seditious in certain circumstances, such as if it is done by insulting or undermining other faiths, especially Islam. But that is because the Sedition Act is so wide and arbitrary and can be used in many ways,” he said, adding that this was why the Sedition Act should be abolished. Read more

Activist: We need laws to empower youths

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan has called for new legislation to empower youths, saying current laws restrict their development.

Speaking at a forum on Malaysia’s future after the 14th general election, he said he would like to see the winning party undertake a review of laws with the aim of encouraging youths to participate in the democratic process.

A recent survey indicated that 40% of youths of voting age were not registered to vote. Half of the respondents said they did not have time to register and a quarter said their votes would not make a difference to how the country was run.

Syahredzan said the first batch of laws that needed reviewing were those that restricted media freedom and other civil liberties. Read more

OSA can only be repealed if there’s a change in govt, forum told

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition will repeal the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and replace it with and a new Freedom of Information Act if it comes into power at the next elections, a forum was told last night.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, one of the panellists, said he is committed to work towards the repeal of the OSA and fight for its inclusion in the PH manifesto.

“I think in the next general election, for PH to fight for the freedom of information, PH will discuss in the central committee (about abolishing OSA) and that would be my commitment.

“There should be a law reform agenda… DAP will raise this up… to make it in the PH manifesto.

“The only real way is to change the government. There is no way the present government can make a real change, it must be a PH manifesto to replace the OSA with (the) Freedom of Information (FOI) Act,  ” Lim said at the “OSA: Time to Renew or Repeal?” forum. Read more

1MDB: Siasatan jenayah bukti isu serius

Sumber: Sinar Harian

SHAH ALAM – Tindakan Amerika Syarikat (AS) memulakan siasatan jenayah terhadap wang yang didakwa dicuri daripada 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) membuktikan, isu itu di tahap lebih serius.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan ― MMO File pic

Peguam dan pakar undang-undang, Syahredzan Johan berkata, berkemungkinan AS  menemui dokumen baharu yang diyakini bukti kukuh untuk dikemukakan di mahkamah jenayah.

“Tindakan ini membuktikan AS serius menangani isu 1MDB. Kalau kita lihat, tindakan DOJ (Jabatan Kehakiman) AS memfailkan saman sivil sebelum ini juga disifatkan antara tindakan terbesar DOJ dalam isu ini.

“Mungkin mereka mendapat bukti yang dirasakan cukup kukuh untuk dikemukakan di mahkamah jenayah,” katanya kepada Sinar Harian, semalam.

Mengulas lanjut, Syahredzan berkata, siasatan jenayah itu dilihat sebagai satu tindakan lebih serius berbanding saman sivil yang dikenakan atas 1MDB. Read more

EC agrees to hold local inquiry into Bandar Tun Razak redelineation

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Syahredzan Johan says judge Kamaludin Md Said allowed three voters to withdraw their bid for a judicial review without costs. – The Malaysian Insight pic

THREE voters in Kuala Lumpur’s Bandar Tun Razak have withdrawn their judicial review after the Election Commission agreed to hold a second local inquiry at the parliamentary constituency.

Mohammad Saiful Mansur, Khairuddin Asmuin and Norma Hashim had filed the judicial review in June when the EC refused to hold a local inquiry into the second round of proposals for the redelineation exercise, despite protests by 100 voters in the area.

“On July 27, we received a letter from EC, saying that it would hold a second local inquiry. And this hearing is the basis of our actions.

“If we had not filed the judicial review, EC would not have held a second local inquiry,” said lawyer Syahredzan Johan at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today. Read more

Call to ban Evangelicalism simply wrong, says constitutional lawyer

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) CEO Azril Mohd Amin proposes that the ‘dangerous movement that is evangelicalism’ be kept in check as it ‘threatens religious harmony in Malaysia’. – YouTube screenshot, June 16, 2017.

EVERY Malaysian has the right to profess and practise his or her religion according to the Federal Constitution, and this right may not be restricted or denied by the state, a constitutional lawyer said, on the call to ban Evangelical Christianity in Malaysia.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said to outlaw evangelicalism here would be unconstitutional especially when the church worships in private without propagating to Muslims.

“Outlawing Evangelical Christianity would be unconstitutional. These are Christian denominations we are talking about, and Article 11(1) is clear; all persons have the right to profess and practise their religion.

“This right cannot be restricted or denied by the state at all. So there is no grounds to outlaw it,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), a coalition of Islamic groups, had said the banning of evangelicalism was in line with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, towards preserving peace among religions. Read more

Jomo: Foreign political funding always raises red flag

Source: FMT News

Forum on electoral reform hears proposal to prevent caretaker government from announcing new projects and dishing out contracts during a general election campaign. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Whenever a political party receives funds amounting to billions of dollars from a foreign donor, alarm bells should be set off, economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram said.

“It’s something that we need to view seriously. These foreigners donate not because they support a party, but because they have another motive,” Jomo told a forum on electoral reform here last night.

While he did not specify any particular case, it is believed he was alluding to the RM2.6 billion that was deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in March 2013, two months before the last general election (GE13). Read more

Landmark ruling on Sedition Act — Syahredzan Johan

Source: The Star Online

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

ON Nov 25, the Court of Appeal made a landmark ruling on the Sedition Act. The panel, consisting of Justices Datuk Varghese George Varughese, Datuk Lim Yee Lan and Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, held Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act to be unconstitutional.

The section provides that the intention of the accused is irrelevant when proving a sedition charge.

The appeal was brought by Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei, who challenged the constitutionality of the section at the High Court.

He was charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act in 2011 over an article published in his blog. At the High Court, his application for a declaration that Section 3(3) is unconstitutional was dismissed. He then appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Sedition Act criminalises “sedition” by making it an offence to do anything which has a “seditious tendency” or to utter any seditious words. Read more