Archive for category Constitution
To end Nancy’s agony, the Cabinet tomorrow should (i) reaffirm Najib’s pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and (ii) drop all sedition charges in court
For the past ten days, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri has been at the receiving end of national brickbats, scorn and even opprobrium for her outrageous parliamentary answer to the Penang Chief Minister and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng that Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible as Ibrahim was defending the sanctity of Islam.
Nancy added fuel to the national firestorm ignited by her answer when she ill-advisedly sought to clarify later with an even more outrageous justification – that Ibrahim’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.
These are undoubtedly the worst ten days in Nancy’s political life.
To end Nancy’s agony and ordeal, the Cabinet tomorrow should step in with two decisions, firstly to reaffirm the pledge given by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2012 to repeal the colonial Sedition Act; and secondly, to drop all sedition charges and prosecutions currently in court. Read the rest of this entry »
By V. ANBALAGAN
The Malaysian Insider
15 October 2014
Ahead of its peaceful walk to protest the Sedition Act tomorrow, the Malaysian Bar has a list of at least a dozen cases of provocative racial and religious remarks since 2012, and wants the police and Attorney-General to explain the status of each to the public.
The list of cases was appended in a document when the Bar passed a resolution at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on September 19 that the Sedition Act should be repealed and a protest march be held.
Its president Christopher Leong said it was not for de facto Law Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri to speak of these matters that came under the responsibility of these agencies.
“It is for the police to explain their non-action while the Attorney-General’s Chambers on why it refused to prosecute certain cases,” Leong told The Malaysian Insider.
He said this in response to the barrage of criticism against Nancy, who last week replied on behalf of the public prosecutor that no charges would be framed against Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali for his statement last year that Malay Bibles should be burnt. Read the rest of this entry »
Malay Mail Online
October 15, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – An international jurists group urged Putrajaya today to ensure no “police abuse” and disruptions occur during the Malaysian Bar’s planned protest against the Sedition Act 1948 tomorrow.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) — comprising lawyers, judges and academics — noted that a rally against the colonial-era law that was organised by local human rights group Suaram in Penang last Sunday was disrupted by a rival group.
“The Malaysian government is responsible for protecting the rights of those holding dissenting views, and that includes protecting peaceful protesters from police abuse as well as from violent counter protesters,” ICJ’s international legal advisor on Southeast Asia Emerlynne Gil said in a statement today.
“The Sedition Act is being misused with increasing frequency to muzzle legal professionals who express their views about existing laws,” she added. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ida Lim
Malay Mail Online
October 16, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 ― Malaysian lawyers will trade the courtroom for the streets today, in an uncommon march by the legal profession to demand Putrajaya honour its two-year old pledge to repeal the Sedition Act 1948.
The rare spectacle is set to add to mounting pressure on the government to abolish the colonial-era law whose use in an ongoing crackdown has drawn criticism from both local and international groups including the United Nations.
Christopher Leong, who heads the Malaysian Bar that represents 16,000 lawyers in peninsular Malaysia, pointed out that the prime minister himself has asked moderates to speak up instead of ceding public space to extremists.
“This walk by the Malaysian Bar is part of our response to that call by the prime minister for moderates to stand up and speak out,” Leong said in an interview with local radio station BFM yesterday, adding later that the professional body believes that the national leader was right to decide to pledge the abolition of the law. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
15 October 2014
Ahead of the Malaysian Bar’s walk to protest the Sedition Act tomorrow, the German Federal Bar has expressed concern over the use of the law in a letter to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, asking the prime minister for his stand on its widespread against the government’s critics.
The German Bar’s Dr Martin Abend, in a letter dated yesterday, noted that the act had been applied increasingly in Malaysia in the last few months, including against lawyers for voicing their legal opinions.
Abend said that in one particular case, a lawyer’s house was searched and his mobile phone and his laptop seized.
“The German Federal Bar is deeply concerned about these current developments in Malaysia.
“We kindly ask you to inform us if the information available to us is correct and how you view the situation,” Abend said in the letter which was posted on the Malaysian Bar’s website.
He also urged Najib to ensure that the Sedition Act would not be applied to facts relating to the freedom of expression. Read the rest of this entry »
Is reasoning with Najib and UMNO/BN government about iniquities and injustices of Sedition Act a dialogue with the deaf?
Rank and blatant injustices seem to have become the order of the day in Malaysia – five years after Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s premiership.
The latest example is the police arrest of a protestor who held a slipper against a poster of Najib during a protest outside Parliament last Wednesday.
In fact, nobody knew about the incident until the photograph of the man placing his slipper against the Prime Minister’s poster was circulated online by UMNO/BN cybertroopers.
What the protestor did was wrong but all over the country today, Malaysians are asking what type of justice we have in the country when a person could be arrested for being photographed holding a slipper against a poster of the Prime Minister during a protest against fuel subsidy cuts and the goods and services tax (GST) when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri can tell Parliament that Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali would not be charged over his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible as Ibrahim Ali was defending the sanctity of Islam!
What is worse, Nancy compounded her lack of understanding and insensitivity of the gross injustice of her parliamentary statement with the subsequent clarification that Ibrahim Ali’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution!
If Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Malay-language Bible is allegedly protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution, is the protestor photographed holding a slipper against a poster of the Prime Minister protected by Article 10 (1) on freedom of expression? Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
12 Oct 2014
De facto law minister Nancy Shukri is being bombarded left, right and centre for her written reply in Parliament to the question of why Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali has not been charged for his alleged threat last year to burn Malay-language Bibles. And she deserves it.
She has tried to cover up her blunder by insisting that she was not defending Ibrahim Ali’s act and that her critics got her wrong for saying she was. I agree she wasn’t. I agree some of her critics, like Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, misread her reply – because, as she has claimed, she was merely conveying a justification handed to her by the Attorney-General’s Chambers without herself subscribing to it. She never said in her parliamentary reply that it was all right to burn Bibles to defend Islam. That is true.
Nonetheless, she can’t get away with not facing up to her responsibility. Her passing of the buck to the A-G’s Chambers is not acceptable as an excuse for not doing her job right, which amounts to not doing her homework and not thinking before acting.
In fact, her admission of conveying only what the A-G’s Chambers told her actually makes her look worse. It clearly shows that she was merely acting as a messenger instead of doing her job as a minister. Read the rest of this entry »
Nancy Shukri should avail herself of making a Ministerial statement in Parliament to rectify two major errors she committed in Parliament last week
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri, should avail herself of the opportunity of making a Ministerial statement in Parliament to rectify two major errors she committed in Parliament last week.
She committed the first mistake on the first day of Parliament on Tuesday, 7th October, when answering the question by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who asked the Prime Minister whether the government’s use of the law against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals was in line with the prime minister’s commitment to make Malaysia more democratic.
Defending the blitz of sedition prosecutions and the “white terror” launched by the authorities in the past few months, Nancy claimed that the Malaysian government practises and upholds the doctrine of the separation of powers and as such the government does not interfere in the Attorney-General’s Chambers affairs.
Here, Nancy made the grave error about the doctrine of separation of powers, as the Attorney-General is part of the executive and not the judiciary in the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib’s 2015 Budget overshadowed by outrageous parliamentary replies and blatant government double standards in past three days
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not have expected that his 2015 Budget to be presented in Parliament at 4 pm today would have been overshadowed by outrageous parliamentary replies of his Ministers and blatant government double standards in the past three days.
The reply by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri to the Penang Chief Minister and DAP MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng, on the first day of the current 28-day Budget Parliament on Tuesday must take the cake for being the most outrageous parliamentary statement in the five-year Najib premiership making even the most affable bristle at the cynical contempt for what is right and wrong.
Nancy said in her reply that no action would be taken on Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali over his threat to burn the Malay-language bible as he was “only defending the sanctity of Islam”.
Nancy did not do herself any favours when she said yesterday that the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided not to prosecute Ibrahim under the Sedition Act because his threat to burn copies of the Bible with the term “Allah” was in line with the federal constitution.
It is time the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail surfaces and explain where in the Federal Constitution does it give protection and immunity to Ibrahim to utter threat to burn copies of the Bible with the term Allah. Read the rest of this entry »
By Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
October 9, 2014
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 — In a landmark case that will determine the extent of the freedom of expression in Malaysia, the country’s top court will weigh today the constitutionality of a state Shariah law to ban “religious” publications deemed against Islam.
Local publishing house ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and its director Ezra Zaid are challenging a Selangor state law that essentially criminalises any person who “prints, publishes, produces, records, or disseminates in any manner any book or document or any other form of record containing anything which is contrary to Islamic Law”, or “has in his possession any such book, document or other form of record for sale or for the purpose of otherwise disseminating it”.
If found guilty under Section 16(1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995, the offender faces a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or two years’ prison, or both.
In addition, Section 16(2) of the same law empowers the state Shariah Court to order any book, document or other form of record to be “forfeited and destroyed”, even when nobody is convicted under Section 16(1). Read the rest of this entry »
Is Najib Razak the Prime Minister of a two-headed government – whose PM wants Malaysia to be the world “best democracy” but whose AG’s sedition spree aims to make Malaysia the world’s “worst democracy”?
Is Datuk Seri Najib Razak the Prime Minister of a two-headed government – whose Prime Minister wants Malaysia to be the world’s “best democracy” but whose Attorney-General’s recent sedition spree of selective and malicious prosecutions aims to make Malaysia the world’s “worst democracy”.
This question automatically arises from the parliamentary answer today on the recent sedition blitz by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who asked the Prime Minister whether the government’s use of the law against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals was in line with the prime minister’s commitment to make Malaysia more democratic.
Answering during Parliament’s Question Time, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri defended the spate of sedition prosecutions, claiming that the Malaysian government practises and upholds the doctrine of the separation of powers and as such the government does not interfere in the Attorney-General’s Chambers affairs.
Nancy is very mixed-up as she has made a fatal error about the doctrine of separation of powers, as the Attorney-General is part of the executive and not the judiciary in the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
The doctrine of separation of powers is totally irrelevant and does not apply in the blitzkrieg of sedition prosecutions – which is an executive action and not an action of the judiciary. Read the rest of this entry »
Gani Patail should explain why the sedition blitz has stepped up in pace and intensity after his Sept. 9 pledge to review the slew of sedition prosecutions
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should explain why the sedition blitz to invoke a climate of fear and repression has stepped up in pace and intensity in the past three weeks since his pledge to review the slew of sedition prosecutions.
Gani had said on Sept. 9 that those charged under the Sedition Act, including law professor Dr. Azmi Sharom, were “currently having their cases reviewed”, and he described the review “a normal procedure”.
Is Gani also implying that the intensification of malicious and selective sedition prosecutions and investigations against Opposition leaders and activists during the tenure of such a review is also “a normal procedure”?
Gani said on Sept. 9 that the final decision on the review of sedition prosecutions will be made “soon”.
Can Gani explain how soon is his “soon”? Could it be as long as months and even years, until he steps down as Attorney-General?
Read the rest of this entry »
By P Gunasegaram
Sep 24, 2014
QUESTION TIME Most legal authorities and previous judgments on such issues are clear on one thing – the sultan/governor/Agong must choose the candidate who is most likely to command the support of the majority of the state assembly or Parliament for the post of menteri besar/chief minister/prime minister.
And where it is clear that a single candidate commands that majority support, there is no need for the titular head of state to ask for any other names to be nominated but he has to follow the constitutional duty of endorsing the candidate who legally commands the majority support.
This is what a constitutional monarchy is about, where the the head of state lies above politics, does not interfere in the administration of the state, and whose only role here is an important, non-partisan one of ensuring the person who commands the support of the majority of the assembly is the chosen one.
That is the essence of Parliamentary democracy and this must not be allowed to be played around with by any party as the will of the people is reflected through elections in the composition of the state assembly and Parliament. The role of the monarch is to ensure that the will prevails no matter what. Read the rest of this entry »
All Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday must decide whether they want a new Attorney-General who is committed to the goal of making Malaysia the “best democracy in the world” or they support the current sedition dragnet and “white terror” to turn Malaysia into the world’s worst democracy
The time has come for every Cabinet Minister to take a stand whether he or she supports the goal as promised by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy or the reverse – supporting instead the sedition dragnet and “white terror” unleashed in the past month to turn Malaysia into the world’s worst democracy.
The country should be spared the farce of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail announcing last Tuesday that his Chambers will review the cases of several individuals who were recently charged with sedition, including academician Dr. Azmi Sharom, followed by the outrageous response by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi that the police will not cease and desist from sedition investigations aimed at suppressing criticism and dissent.
In the first place, was Gani sincere and truthful when he said that his Chambers would review the blitz of sedition charges? Let the Attorney-General announce details of such review, who are the officers in his Chambers who are conducting the review, when the review started and the terms of reference including time-frame of such review.
In fact, Gani owes the Malaysian people a full explanation why he gave the green light for such a spree of sedition charges as well as full accountability as to why those responsible in openly inciting racial and religious hatred, ill-will and conflict have been spared from any prosecution, despite the lodging of many police reports against the culprits? Read the rest of this entry »
– Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
15 September 2014
Most thinking Malaysians are getting increasingly concerned with the rapid pace of sedition charges levelled at well-known and well-meaning Malaysian personalities and intellectuals.
At the same time, there is considerable anxiety over the relative indifference and excessive tolerance shown to some obvious violators of the very open and loosely worded Sedition Act, which deeds urgent revision or replacement.
We therefore hope that the Attorney-General and the police will exercise more care to ensure that the growing public perception of practising double standards and selective justice will be addressed as a matter of high priority.
If honest opinions expressed in the interests of public debate and intellectual discussion on national policies and their proper implementation can be discouraged and even curtailed so harshly, then where and how is democracy to grow and mature in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »
Cabinet on Wednesday should order a halt to the “white terror” intensified in the past month using the colonial law of sedition to create a new climate of fear after the Mahathir “Dark Age” as it is totally against Najib’s promise to make Malaysia “best democracy in the world”
I welcome the courageous stand taken by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato Sri Idris Jala who is the first Cabinet Minister to openly speak out against the sedition charge against Universiti Malaya law lecturer Dr. Azmi Sharom.
Idris said the charge against Azmi was wrong and that the law professor should not be charged for sedition.
In a series of Twitter postings yesterday, Idris said: “Academic freedom is required in pursuit of knowledge.”
Stressing that Malaysia must continue to pursue moderation, Idris twittered: “Constructive criticism and dissent should be allowed, as long as it does not create serious fault in the social fabric of our society.”
Although admirable and commendable for daring to speak out against Azmi’s sedition charge, it is a great pity that Idris did not have the full courage of conviction that constructive criticism and dissent are lifeblood of any meaningful transformation of Malaysia to take an equally forthright and courageous stand against the sedition blitz intensified in the past month to stifle criticism and dissent which saw the malicious prosecution and persecution of some 20 Pakatan Rakat Members of Parliament, State Assemblymen, a journalist, a lawyer, an academician and several social activists under the undemocratic and repressive colonial law of sedition. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
1 September 2014
Somewhere in there, lurks a strategy to the Najib government’s decision to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet against citizens of this country.
Critics argue that it is to cower Malaysians into silence, to discourage dissent of any kind, to send a chilling message that thinking is not allowed.
Others say Putrajaya is borrowing out of the playbook of the PAP government in Singapore, a government famous for its sledgehammer approach. In fact, just recently, Umno’s main mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia even suggested that Malaysia look south. Read the rest of this entry »
Is Najib administration the most shambolic premiership in Malaysian history – with right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing?
Is the Najib administration not only on auto-pilot but the most shambolic premiership in Malaysian history, with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing?
Malaysians are entitled to ask this question following the anonymous statement from the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, insisting that the slew of sedition charges against Pakatan Rakyat leaders was a court matter and the government has nothing to do with it.
The anonymous Prime Minister’s Office statement said:
“Any charges under the Sedition Act are a matter for the courts. Malaysia’s judiciary is independent, as the verdicts of many cases prove.” Read the rest of this entry »
AG should resign or be replaced if he cannot discharge his duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in recent slew of charges against PR MPs and Assemblymen
Although the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail is vested with the sole discretion under Article 145 of the Malaysian Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence” , he owes the Malaysian people a duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in the recent slew of arrests and charges against Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen.
The new-fangled charge against the PKR Vice President Rafizi Ramli yesterday, for example, was just incredulous and most extraordinary.
Rafizi is charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code on “Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace” which states: “Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both”.
Rafizi was accused of issuing “defamatory and provocative statements” against Umno members through a statement he made in February, linking Umno with an incident where a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a church.
There have been legion cases of DAP, PKR and PAS members being “defamed” and “provoked” by UMNO/BN leaders and spokespersons, particularly since the 12th General Elections in 2008, but have anyone been arrested and prosecuted in the past six years under Section 504 of the Penal Code, which could lead to the disqualification of a sitting Member of Parliament or State Assemblyperson, resulting in by-elections?
Absolutely none. Why then has this new-fangled charge been trotted out against Rafizi which could lead to his disqualification as MP for Pandan followed by a parliamentary by-election? Read the rest of this entry »
BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
29 August 2014
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok wants to transfer her sedition charge from the Sessions Court to the High Court in a bid to expose what she says is selective prosecution by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
The DAP national vice-chairman said in an application to transfer her case that Gani refused to frame charges against racists and extremists who threatened public order, ridiculed other races and those from minority religions to create disharmony and riots.
She said the High Court was the appropriate forum to investigate that the charge against her amounted to selective prosecution.
She also said the matter could only be brought to the Federal Court if her trial started in the High Court.
“There are many delicate legal questions that will be raised because the A-G’s discretionary powers superseded a citizen’s right to equal protection under the law,” said Kok in the affidavit sighted by The Malaysian Insider.
Sessions judge Norsharidah Awang will hear the application to transfer the case on September 18. Read the rest of this entry »