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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Singapore more transparent than Malaysia - 2 executed - Why no 're-sentencing'? Why no clemency application?

Singapore has executed 2 persons on 18 July 2014, and we know this also because of the statement issued by the Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore (see the statement below). In Malaysia, we would never know because it is all 'SECRET' - the only way of getting information seems to be by asking questions in Parliament. Malaysia really should follow Singapore, and maybe issue statements not just after a person is hanged BUT before execution is carried out. In Malaysia, in 2014, we were able to save 2 lives

Shocking attempt by Malaysia to hang Philip Michael discovered at the last minute and stopped

Osariakhi Ernest Obayangbon (aka Philip Michael), convicted for murder, to be hanged on 14/3/2014 - Execution stayed & the Malaysian Minister and Attorney General helped in getting the execution stayed.

Chandran Paskaran saved at the last minute from being hanged to death

Chandran s/o Paskaran, convicted for murder was to hang on 7 February 2014 - the swift intervention by civil society groups led to the Sultan of Johore granting a stay of execution of the death sentence

Singapore also amended their laws in 2012 that now allows persons sentenced to death to escape death provided they satisfy 2 conditions...

Following Singapore's amendment of their drug laws, to escape the death penalty, the accussed needs to satisfy 2 conditions - (1) Must get a CERTIFICATE OF SUBSTANTIVE ASSISTANCE from the Attorney General's Chambers, and (2) prove on a balance of probabilities, that his involvement in the offence under section 5(1) or 7 was restricted — to transporting, sending or delivering a controlled drug; to offering to transport, send or deliver a controlled drug; to doing or offering to do any act preparatory to or for the purpose of his transporting, sending or delivering a controlled drug; or to any combination of activities above;

Hence, the Singapore AG (not the court) just has too much power to decide who is hanged and who lives. 

The AG, who is really the prosecutor, has just too much power, and this is not right - this power to determine 'substantive assistance' has been provided really should rest with the judiciary...

Now, 2 persons were executed....for 'drug trafficking', and according to the Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore statement(see below), both '... Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng ...did not wish to be part of the re-sentencing process...' - the process that could have resulted in they not being hanged if they satisfied both conditions.

'Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng both elected not to petition the President for Clemency...' - now, this also strange. Why?

Now, if person knows that he/she is guilty and has accepted their sentence of death, they would 'plead guilty' or just not fight their case...Now, both these persons filed Appeal to the Court of Appeal against their conviction - and the appeal of Tang  Hai Liang was heard and dismissed in July 2011 - so why then would he now not evade being executed by going for the 're-sentencing' process, and also applying for clemency? Likewise, why did Foong  Chee  Peng  file an appeal and then withdraw it?

I recollect the mafia movies ...where people will behave just like this maybe because the 'mafia bosses' out there are demanding silence - threatening maybe the lives of their families, etc  ---   Now, if this was the case - maybe they may be really innocent - or certainly not deserving of death. If this was the case, they may even be scared to reveal the truth...or even effectively defend themselves in court... All the more reason, why we really need to abolish the death penalty...

 

 

Joint Statement on the Executions Carried out on 18 July 2014

The Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty deeply regrets, and is gravely disappointed at the executions of two individuals that took place today, 18th of July 2014. Inmates Foong Chee Peng, 48, and Tang Hai Liang, 36, were hanged at dawn this morning. Both men were convicted of drug trafficking.

These two executions bring to an end the moratorium that has been in place since July 2011, when the government commenced an internal review of the mandatory death penalty laws. This review took place without any public consultation nor has it been made available for public scrutiny. Subsequently, the changes were passed by Parliament in the exact form proposed by the government in July 2012, despite various warnings about their potential problems.

We also wish to highlight that there is an ongoing application filed by another drug offender before the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act because it violates Article 12 of our Constitution. The hearing is fixed before the Court of Appeal on the 18th of August later this year.
Given the fact that the constitutional challenge to the amendments could have a potential bearing on the lawfulness of Foong and Tang’s executions, it was deeply unjust to have executed them before the constitutional challenge was decided.

The injustice is compounded by the fact that we had written to the President and the Minister of Home Affairs yesterday to highlight this situation and urged for an urgent stay of execution until our courts have decided on this constitutional challenge at the very least.

Finally, the executions are a regrettable step backwards for Singapore. The death penalty has not been proven to be a more useful deterrent against crime than alternative forms of punishment. Moreover, once carried out, miscarriages of justice cannot be remedied.

We therefore reiterate our calls for the government to impose a moratorium on all executions and move towards the abolition of capital punishment in Singapore.

We believe in Second Chances
Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign
Think Center Singapore


Updated: Friday July 18, 2014 MYT 8:01:43 PM

Singapore hangs two drug traffickers, first executions in over three years

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore hanged two men convicted of drug trafficking on Friday, the first executions carried out in the city-state for more than three years while the country reviewed its use of the death penalty.

Tang Hai Liang, 36, and Foong Chee Peng, 48, both from Singapore, were executed at Changi Prison according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), having been convicted of trafficking heroin.

Singapore put a halt to all executions in July 2011 while it reviewed its use of the mandatory death penalty and now allows judges to have more discretion in certain cases.

Last November, it lifted the death penalty on a convicted drug trafficker for the first time.

When the review took place, all people on death row were allowed to ask to be considered for re-sentencing, though the CNB said Tang and Foong both said they did not want to be considered.

"Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng had been accorded full due process," the CNB said.

The Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty, a group of non-governmental organisations, said they believed the executions should not have taken place given another drug offender is making a constitutional challenge against the anti-drug laws.

"It was deeply unjust to have executed them before the constitutional challenge was decided," they said in a statement.

"The executions are a regrettable step backwards for Singapore," they added.

Singapore has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and its customs forms warn arriving travellers of "death for drug traffickers" in no uncertain terms.

It has hanged hundreds of people - including dozens of foreigners - for narcotics offences in the last two decades, Amnesty International and other groups say.

(Reporting by Rachel Armstrong; Editing by Robert Birsel) - The Star Online, 18/7/2014,Singapore hangs two drug traffickers, first executions in over three years


1. Two  Singaporeans,  Tang  Hai  Liang,  36,  and  Foong  Chee  Peng,  48,  had  their  death sentences carried out today, on 18 July 2014 at Changi Prison Complex.

2.  Both Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng were convicted of trafficking in a controlled drug  and  sentenced  to  death.  Tang  Hai  Liang  was found  to have trafficked  89.55g  of  diamorphine  and  Foong  Chee  Peng  was  found  to  have  trafficked  40.23g of  diamorphine.  The  Misuse  of  Drugs  Act provides for the death penalty if the amount of diamorphine (or pure heroin) trafficked is 15g or more.
15g of diamorphine is equivalent to 1,250 straws1, which is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 180 abusers for a week.

3.  A thorough review of the mandatory death penalty in our laws was conducted from July 2011. A  moratorium  on  executions  was  placed  while  the  law was  being  reviewed.  The  changes  to  the mandatory death penalty regime were passed by Parliament in November 2012 after a full debate, and came into force in January 2013. All persons already sentenced to death under the Misuse of Drugs Act by the time the new legislation came into force were given the opportunity to elect to be
considered for re-sentencing under the new regime. 

4.  Tang  Hai  Liang  and  Foong  Chee  Peng  had  been  accorded  full  due  process,  including  the opportunity to appeal to the Court of Appeal and to elect to be considered for re-sentencing under the new regime. Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng both appeared in person before an Assistant Registrar in the High Court to confirm that they did not wish to be part of the re-sentencing process, and  that  they  understood  the  consequences  of  their  respective  decisions.  Both  of  them  were represented by counsel throughout the legal process, and were also given the opportunity to petition the President for Clemency. Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng both elected not to petition the President for Clemency. An unsigned petition for Clemency was subsequently submitted on Tang Hai Liang’s behalf. Tang Hai Liang indicated that he did not wish to appeal for Clemency and that the petition had been submitted by his family without his prior knowledge. This petition for Clemency was
turned down and his family was informed of the decision. 

CENTRAL NARCOTICS BUREAU
18 JULY 2014 

1 This is estimated using a typical purity level of  4%, based on drug seizures in recent years. The number of straws that are actually made may vary according to the purity level of the heroin used in the straws.

CNB NEWS RELEASE
18 July 2014
Page 2of 2

ANNEX A 

Details of Cases

Tang Hai Liang

1.  On  15  April  2009,  CNB  officers  arrested  Tang  Hai Liang.  A  total  of  136  packets  of  heroin having a gross weight of about 1,117.66g and 588 tablets of erimin-5 were recovered in his residence. The heroin was found to contain 89.55g of diamorphine after analysis. Prior to his arrest, Tang Hai Liang had been packing the heroin in his possessionand had sold one packet to his client just before he was arrested. On 19 November 2010, Tang Hai Liang was convicted of trafficking in a controlled drug  by  having  89.55g  of  diamorphine  in  his  possession  for  the  purpose  of  trafficking,  an  offence under  section  5(1)(a)  read  with  section  5(2)  of  the Misuse  of  Drugs  Act  (Chapter  185).  Tang  Hai Liang’s appeal against his conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 6 July 2011.

Foong Chee Peng

2.  On 30 September 2009, CNB officers arrested Foong Chee Peng when officers raided the rented  unit  he  was  staying  in.  A  total  of  913.58g  of  heroin,  2.42g  of  ketamine,  32.73g  of methamphetamine,  3,942  tablets  of  erimin-5,  30  ecstasy  tablets  and  various  drug  trafficking paraphernalia were recovered. The heroin was found to contain 40.23g of diamorphine after analysis. By  the  time  Foong  Chee  Peng  was  arrested,  he  had  already  packed  some  of  the  heroin  in  his possession into 30 packets for sale. On 19 April 2011, Foong Chee Peng was convicted of trafficking in a controlled drug by having 40.23g of diamorphine in his possession for the purpose of trafficking,an offence under section 5(1)(a) read with section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Foong Chee Peng filed an appeal against his conviction but subsequently withdrew his appeal  


[Source:- http://www.google.com.my/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnb.gov.sg%2FLibraries%2FCNB_Newsroom_Files%2FExecution_of_Convicted_Drug_Traffickers.sflb.ashx&ei=yyjKU_-FIoa3uASYp4KACw&usg=AFQjCNF_N2n0HZAjygvSlmZ6nQWnSBrPsA&bvm=bv.71198958,d.c2E]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Don’t blame us for MAS losses, union tells airlines

Don’t blame us for MAS losses, union tells airlines

July 8, 2014
A file photo taken on July 5, 2005 shows a man silhouetted against a Malaysian Airlines plane tail as he looks out through a window at Sydney International Airport. — AFP pic   A file photo taken on July 5, 2005 shows a man silhouetted against a Malaysian Airlines plane tail as he looks out through a window at Sydney International Airport. — AFP pic KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — The view that the Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) was the cause for the airline’s losses was wrong, said Union Network International-Malaysian Liaison Council president Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal.

In a statement issued here today, he said Maseu always had an open mind and supported any change which did not jeopardise any party.

“Do not point fingers at any employee union when a company suffers losses.  The management is important in maintaining a balance between the role of the union and the company’s operations,” he said.

Mohamed Shafie said a statement which described the union as the main obstacle to the airline’s profits had the risk of worsening the situation.

On July 6, Bernama reported that Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the main obstacle to MAS regaining profits was its employees’ union.

Wan Saiful felt that every effort made to revamp the airline to enable it to become profitable again would face opposition from the union.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Trades Union Congress vice-president J. Solomon said it was most unfair and naive to blame the trade union for the ills of MAS.

He pointed out that MAS had won many international awards for the quality of its service and this was due mainly to the efforts of its workers.

Solomon, however, contended that over a period of a few decades, huge amounts of public funds had been used to save MAS from corporate failure.

“Each time, there was a promise of a brighter tomorrow with the only predictable outcome being that the public has been disappointed, time and again,” he said. — Bernama - Malay Mail Online, 8/7/2014, Don’t blame us for MAS losses, union tells airlines

Monday, July 14, 2014

MTUC calls for the abolition of the 'labour supplier system'

Abolish labour supplier system




PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general, N. Gopal Kishnam said the government has to abolish the labour supplier system and review the recruitment on government-to-government basis to curb human trafficking. 

The government has issued more than 200 licences authorising labour suppliers, also known as "contractors of labour" and "labour outsourcing companies", which has led to human trafficking.

"Since 2007, the government has changed the migrant worker recruitment policy by licensing labour suppliers to flood the country with migrant workers," said Gopal today. 

He added that the government's decision to issue licences to labour suppliers is a contradiction of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.

"MTUC has repeatedly highlighted the abuses and the suffering of these workers and the Labour Department is fully aware of their predicament but they cannot take effective action as the labour suppliers cannot be traced," added Gopal. - The Sun Daily, 24/6/2014, Abolish labour supplier system

See also:-

Malaysia downgraded to Tier 3 - Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 - contractor for labour system, etc.. blamed?

   
2.    ABOLISH THE ‘CONTRACTOR FOR LABOUR SYSTEM’ – ENSURE DIRECT EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF WORKPLACES

Direct employment relationship with the owner/operator of the workplace known as the principal, is essential to ensure stable employment, noting that employers do have the obligation to ensure worker rights and welfare are best protected. A contractor for labour (COL) should never be employers, and their role, if any, is to supply workers to owner/operators of workplace or alternatively find workers work with employers who need workers, and for the service rendered they should be paid a fee.
It is the owner/operator of workplaces, known as the principal, who should be having direct employment relationship with workers that work at their workplaces. This demand, amongst others, had been made vide the joint statement by 93 groups dated 3/5/2012 entitled, ‘Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system - Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955’, and also vide the earlier statement by 115 groups on 28/10/2011 entitled,‘Malaysia Must Protect Worker and Union Rights, and withdraw proposed unjust amendments to Employment Act - Labour Suppliers Should Not Be Employers’. We also draw attention to the Malaysian Bar Resolution of 2012 expressing the same sentiment, which amongst others said ‘The Malaysian Bar takes the stand that labour suppliers and/or contractors of labour should never be or continue to be employers of workers after they are supplied, accepted and start working at the workplaces of principals or owners. Thereafter, these workers shall be employees of the principal or owners of the workplace.’ We also recall the MTUC initiated pickets and protests against the ‘contractor for labour system’.  - 47 Groups :- WORKER AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS MUST BE PRIORITIZED FOR THE WELLBEING OF THE WORKER AND THEIR FAMILIES

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Has Malaysia banned 'outsourcing' - the 'contractors for labour'? Sue the person who holds worker passport?

A multinational electronics company has denied the accusation that it breached the law by utilising outsourcing agents to employ foreign workers. - but which multinational company? Media  scared to name these companies - and this includes alternate media - Malaysiakini, or is there some new media ruling saying that media should not name employers that have allegedly violated worker rights or the law??? 

PASPORT - If some other holds worker passport, and the worker is arrested, detained etc - it is just wrong in law. In fact, the migrant worker would have a right to sue such employer/agent for the suffering of being arrested and the denial of liberty(detention) all brought about because employer/agent wrongly kept the passport of the worker.

One women worker was arrested in this case, maybe MTUC would assist this worker make this a landmark case - sue the said 'outsourcing agent'- and the courts will decide how much compensation should be paid to the worker for ....'suffering, loss of liberty, etc...' - and I am sure after that employers and their agents who hold on wrongly to passports of their workers will STOP doing this....  

MTUC allegations

- passports of foreign workers employed by the said company were being held by the outsourcing agents

“Since they don’t hold their passports, these workers are at a high risk of getting caught by the police.Currently, one has been caught and is still in the lock-up,”- MTUC Selangor division chairperson Wan Noorul Azhar Mohd Hanafiah
- agents - not the company paying the workers wages, and other matters

And, this is wrong because Malaysia has stopped outsourcing companies - does this mean that Malaysia has stopped the use of contractor for labour system - got rid finally of that 3rd party in the employment relationship? Well, this is good but does it only apply to migrant workers or also LOCAL workers.

I did not know this - many did not know this.... I searched for verification and found the following news report - and later the Malay Mail report below... 

But this is Malaysia, and we really do not know what our Government is doing  - there really is no transparency and accountability. A public notice at the relevant Ministry websiite would have been good - a Gazette would have been good. If not, tomorrow the same Deputy Minister or his Minister may come out and say -- the reporters got it wrong...or I did not mean that we have abolished the 'contractor for labour'...or well, that was really about just removing 'recruiters of workers' in government to government arrangements... not so much removing that 3rd party(middle man) from the employment relationships between people who have work requiring workers(principal/employer) and workers...

Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi has announced that the government has terminated the services of outsourcing companies, following the numerous complaints of cheating and abuse of worker rights, reports themalaymailonline.com


Mr Wan Junaidi said:” We stopped using outsourcing companies because of all the cheating and confusion that happened under the system. There is no more outsourcing, now we just use direct dealing with source countries.”  – Malaysia – Government Halts The Use of Outsourcing Companies, 5/12/2013,Staffing Industry Analyst - http://www.staffingindustry.com/row/Research-Publications/Daily-News/Malaysia-Government-halts-the-use-of-outsourcing-companies-28231
See also the Malay Mail Report below ...

 

 Firm denies utilising outsourcing agents


A multinational electronics company has denied the accusation that it breached the law by utilising outsourcing agents to employ foreign workers.

However, according to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), passports of foreign workers employed by the said company were being held by the outsourcing agents, which led to the arrest of one such worker.

In making the claim, MTUC Selangor division chairperson Wan Noorul Azhar Mohd Hanafiah (left) told Malaysiakini that although working contracts are from the company, workers’ affairs are handed to the agents to be handled.


The situation involves 200 foreign workers, a majority of them from countries such as Nepal, Myanmar and Indonesia.


“Since they don’t hold their passports, these workers are at a high risk of getting caught by the police.

 
“Currently, one has been caught and is still in the lock-up,” he said.


Initially placed at the Bandar Baru Klang police station, the foreign worker in question was transferred to the Section 9 Shah Alam police station.


A check with the Section 9 Shah Alam police station confirmed she was arrested on July 6.

Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar (left) had last year confirmed that the government has terminated the services of outsourcing companies due to complaints of workers’ rights abuses.

Noorul Azhar, meanwhile, said that in the case of this particular company, the agents not only held on to workers’ permits and passports, they were also paying the workers’ salaries.

He claimed that these workers were not awarded any bonuses.


“Since they are absorbed into the main company, they should get the same benefits as the other employees,” said Noorul Azhar.


He added that outsourcing agents were also no longer permitted to handle the renewal of a foreign worker’s permit, as the Labour Department had abolished any form of outsourcing in 2012.


“Existing contracts are allowed to continue until it expires, but they cannot be renewed (by agents),” he said.

Malaysiakini has contacted the company involved and it has denied the allegation that it utilises the services of an outsourcing agent.

The company, however, declined comment further.


Meanwhile, a staff of one of the outsourcing agencies, when contacted, confirmed it was responsible for the handling of some of the foreign workers for the electronics company.


She, too, declined to elaborate further. - Malaysiakini, 12/7/2014,
Firm denies utilising outsourcing agents

Home Ministry: No middlemen to hire foreign labour
Foreign workers hold their passports as they gather outside a labour office, after missing a deadline to correct their visa status. — Reuters pic 
Foreign workers hold their passports as they gather outside a labour office, after missing a deadline to correct their visa status. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Putrajaya has dropped the practice of going through middlemen and is hiring the foreign workers it needs for its factories and farms directly from the country of origin, Parliament was told today.

A recent report noted Malaysia was still using labour brokers to bring in cheap workers from Third World countries like Nepal, but Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government has terminated the services of “outsourcing companies” following numerous complaints of cheating and abuse of workers’ rights.

“We stopped using outsourcing companies because of all the cheating and confusion that happened under the system. There is no more outsourcing, now we just use direct dealing with source countries,” he said during Question Time in Parliament here.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that an unregulated network comprising tens of thousands of brokers are still supplying cheap, bonded labour to high-technology production lines owned by international companies based out of Malaysia.

The business wire claimed that tens of thousands of families from Asia’s poorest sectors have ended up deep in debt to buy jobs through brokers to work in factories in Malaysia, a manufacturing hub for the global electronics industry.

The report claimed that interviews with 60 Nepalese workers from 22 companies showed proof of a transnational recruiting system that is rife with abuse, and extends into practically all technology that props up the modern world.

Workers interviewed by Bloomberg claimed to have borrowed money or cleared out their life savings to pay up to US$1,800 (RM5,670) to brokers to secure factory jobs here.

On arrival, many complained of having to leave their passports with their new employers and are even expected to pay fees if they need to leave their jobs for whatever reason.

The report claimed that the labour situation may pit the companies in direct violation of an executive order signed by United States President Barack Obama last year, which bans the selling of jobs, no matter how big or small the fees, to overseas workers for companies that provide any goods or services to the US government, according to lawyers who represent federal contractors and those who help trafficking victims. It also applies to subcontractors.

Some of the companies implicated in the report were Sony, Apple, Western Digital, Motorola and Plexus Corp, though all the companies have denied condoning or having direct knowledge of such practices.

Wan Junaidi today acknowledged that the government faced numerous issues when dealing with complaints from foreign workers, who claimed they were not paid their full salaries, did not enjoy the full benefits promised or had no insurance, among other grouses.

He noted, however, that neither the middlemen nor the employers wanted to take responsibility when confronted with the complaints.

“When these issues came up, (the companies) say we are are not the employer, the employer is the outsourcing company. When we go to the outsourcing company, they say they have already handed over the workers to the hiring company,” he said, in explaining the reasons Malaysia ended the middleman system.

To an earlier question, Wan Junaidi said the government has yet to establish whether or not it can issue temporary work permits to foreign workers who have a case against their employers pending in the industrial court.

He agreed with PSM’s Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar that these workers will need a source of income while they wait for the court to dispose of their cases, but stressed that issuing a temporary permit could lead to legal complications.

Wan Junaidi said currently Malaysia issues monthly passes to foreign workers pursuing cases in the industrial court so they can stay and see their cases through, though it does not allow them to find another job.

“The biggest obstacle is the contract. When a worker signs on with an employer, there is a contract between the two and if a case is not settled, the contract is still pending.

“If we give them the ability to work elsewhere, that means they will have two contracts and that will lead to legal implications on them, the employers and also effects the job,” he said, noting that the ministry will discuss the matter with the Human Resources Ministry. - Malay Mail Online, 5/12/2013, Home Ministry: No middlemen to hire foreign labour
 
2.    ABOLISH THE ‘CONTRACTOR FOR LABOUR SYSTEM’ – ENSURE DIRECT EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF WORKPLACES

Direct employment relationship with the owner/operator of the workplace known as the principal, is essential to ensure stable employment, noting that employers do have the obligation to ensure worker rights and welfare are best protected. A contractor for labour (COL) should never be employers, and their role, if any, is to supply workers to owner/operators of workplace or alternatively find workers work with employers who need workers, and for the service rendered they should be paid a fee.
It is the owner/operator of workplaces, known as the principal, who should be having direct employment relationship with workers that work at their workplaces. This demand, amongst others, had been made vide the joint statement by 93 groups dated 3/5/2012 entitled, ‘Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system - Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955’, and also vide the earlier statement by 115 groups on 28/10/2011 entitled,‘Malaysia Must Protect Worker and Union Rights, and withdraw proposed unjust amendments to Employment Act - Labour Suppliers Should Not Be Employers’. We also draw attention to the Malaysian Bar Resolution of 2012 expressing the same sentiment, which amongst others said ‘The Malaysian Bar takes the stand that labour suppliers and/or contractors of labour should never be or continue to be employers of workers after they are supplied, accepted and start working at the workplaces of principals or owners. Thereafter, these workers shall be employees of the principal or owners of the workplace.’ We also recall the MTUC initiated pickets and protests against the ‘contractor for labour system’.  - 47 Groups :- WORKER AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS MUST BE PRIORITIZED FOR THE WELLBEING OF THE WORKER AND THEIR FAMILIES




Friday, July 11, 2014

Federal Government, not Local Council, responsible for garbage collection

Well, it is popular perspective that the Local Council is responsible for garbage collection, grass cutting and planting/maintaining flowers, etc --- but, a recent chit chat with the Local Council revealed several disturbing facts >>> i.e. the Federal Government has taken over garbage collection and grass cutting... 

Why? Money? Cronies? - well, if was the local council in charge of garbage collection, for example, then the Local Council staff may be collecting the garbage or the Local Council may outsource this to an independent private contractor/s - but, if it is the Federal Government, who gets the contract is determined by the Federal Government. 

What about grass cutting - I was shocked to be informed that the rate is about RM1,500 - RM1,700 per kilometer (where one is expected to cut about 5 feet of grass areas besides the road) - this is a lot of money, for work that can very easily be done by one person per day.... Labour cost= RM50 per day, that makes profit at about RM1,500 per kilometer. (New grass cutting machine - RM500). - If the local kampungs and taman community is given these responsibility - the monies earned could be used to help poor families/persons, improve community life, etc... 

Now, what must be happening should be more transferring of responsibility from the Federal government to the State Government to the Local Government (Town Councils/City Councils/District Councils) >>> But in Malaysia, it is happening the other way around - WHY? So that who rules at the Federal Government is the 'BOSS' and can help profit his/her cronies? 

Now, if you have a problem with garbage collections, you can complain still to the Local Council, who then will forward it to the relevant Federal Ministry/Department who will then inform their 'contractors' to look into it....So, Local Council are no more responsible for 'garbage collections', only conduits for complaints to 3rd parties.....

Collection of chopped tree branches/trees, old refrigerators, TV, furniture - previously all that was needed was to call the Local Council that would send the lorry and the men to help collect and clear all the stuff away - and for that, a small fee of about RM15 is charged. NOW - no more such service....( Why? They said previously we did the garbage collections, grass cutting, etc and we had the required equipment and personnel to help the people of the area - now, since Federal government taken over - we no longer have the capacity... Now, these 'contractors' also are not our contractors - but those chosen by the Federal Government - so we also have 'little influence' on them - if they were contractors appointed by us, maybe we could have asked them to these kind of 'extra' work - like collecting branches, old furnitures, etc ...but now difficult...and these contractors would have done it - they certainly would not be wanting to end up in the 'bad books' of the Local Council....LOL. In fact, the man at the Local Council advised me to just chop up all the old furniture and burn it - the best solution since no more service provided to come collect 'large garbage'....

Now, interesting news report about one of these Federal Government appointed 'private contractors' ... who say they will give...
A waste management concessionaire will provide free garbage collection services in the state from July 13 until July 27, in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

SWM Environment Sdn Bhd which is responsible for solid waste and public cleansing management for Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor, will carry out the services in stages, here, Nilai, Port Dickson, Rembau, Tampin, Kuala Pilah, Jempol and Jelebu.

Its group general manager Adnan Ibrahim said the free service was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to the public who wanted to dispose of dated, useless items such as cupboards, tyres, mattresses, chairs, tables, refrigerators and televisions.
Wow....this one company got the contract not for 1 Local Council/District...not for 1 State....but apparently for 3 States - Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor?

Now, is there some politician or politician's family member or crony.... involved in this SWM Environment Sdn Bhd? 
 
Is there some 'payback', or some other monies that flowed that enriched some politician/political party?

We really do not know? 

Convince us that all is above board..... I tried to go look up 'SWM Environment Sdn Bhd' information at its website - but sadly, no Corporate information - list of Directors, Shareholders - No information also whether there is a Trade Union - whether workers on short-term or precarious employment arrangements or  'outsourced workers' ....or are the workers all regular employees until retirement... 

History of the company is also missing...major shareholders...'policy - corporate social responsibility statement/policy.... there really is not enough information that is provided online to the Malaysian public ....and, really for all companies that get government contracts - these information must be always made available - Transparency, Accountability... 

We also would like to know whether  'SWM Environment Sdn Bhd' is a GLC or whether EPF is a shareholder or not... It would also be good to know and see the 'contract' - how much are they getting paid and for what???? and when will the contract end? ,,,,it was a 20 year concession...(so long) and it may be ending in 2015 0r 2016... Was this new 'free garbage collection service' a tactic to ensure that the contract or concession is extended for 20 years...50 years.. (Really, when it comes to such concessions and contracts, it should never be more than five(5) years - being the time between governments (GE every 5 years)... new governments must be able to make necessary changes... maybe even giving back the responsibility to Local Councils...

'Free garbage collection service' - well, is that not what we are already paying SWM for? The people are already paying for these services - cukai pintu , etc  

Why is BERNAMA reporting about this? The use of the word 'FREE' is also worrisome - will this BN government soon tell us that we have to pay for garbage collection,....

Free garbage collection service for Aidilfitri

11 July 2014 @ 11:38 AM
SEREMBAN: A waste management concessionaire will provide free garbage collection services in the state from July 13 until July 27, in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

SWM Environment Sdn Bhd which is responsible for solid waste and public cleansing management for Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor, will carry out the services in stages, here, Nilai, Port Dickson, Rembau, Tampin, Kuala Pilah, Jempol and Jelebu.

Its group general manager Adnan Ibrahim said the free service was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to the public who wanted to dispose of dated, useless items such as cupboards, tyres, mattresses, chairs, tables, refrigerators and televisions.

“This service is hoped to stop illegal dumping of garbage which usually happens during festive seasons and public holidays. Last year, SWM collected about 102 metric tonnes of garbage in the state during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“We will place roll on roll off garbage bins at appropriate sites for the convenience of residents at housing estates where the majority are Muslims,” he said in a statement here today.

The public can channel their complaints or enquiries to SWM through its toll free line, 1-800-88-7472. – BERNAMA - New Straits Times, 11/7/2014, Free garbage collection service for Aidilfitri


 


 




 

 


 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Herald Case - All that the Federal Court did was not give permission to appeal. Appeal never heard yet.

The Federal Court chose not to hear the appeal - only not to grant leave(permission) to appeal. Hence, we are deprived a Federal Court ruling on the 'Allah' issue.

Now, if one is not happy with a decision of the Court of Appeal, we have have a right to appeal to the Federal Court. Before the Federal Court proceeds to hear an appeal, permission(or leave) must be obtained from the Federal Court.

During a leave application, the Federal Court is not really affirming or overturning the decision of the Court of Appeal. It just considers whether (1) it involves a question of general principle decided for the first time by the Federal Court; or (2) whether it is a question of importance upon which further argument and a decision of the Federal Court would be to public advantage; or (3) Whether the decision of the Court of Appeal being appealed relates to the effect of any provision of the Constitution including the validity of any written law relating to such a provision.

In my opinion, this was a case where leave should have been granted - and the Federal Court should have heard the appeal.

Why was leave not granted? 
Was it a 'political' decision rather than a judicial decision?  - if so, then  the Federal Court would have been wrong.

Looking at news reports and public comments, many seem to have the wrong belief that the Federal Court has 'approved' or agreed with the decision of the Court of Appeal. But, in fact, what happened is that the Federal Court avoided hearing the appeal proper - choosing rather to just not give permission to appeal. This case, whereby the Court of Appeal had in fact overturned the High Court judgment would have best been heard by the Federal Court.

Interestingly, the leave(permission) to appeal decision was also not a unanimous decision - 4 said no leave, and 3 said leave granted. 

Section 96  Conditions of appeal,Courts Of Judicature Act 1964
Subject to any rules regulating the proceedings of the Federal Court in respect of appeals from the Court of Appeal, an appeal shall lie from the Court of Appeal to the Federal Court with the leave of the Federal Court -

(a) from any judgment or order of the Court of Appeal in respect of any civil cause or matter decided by the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction; involving a question of general principle decided for the first time or a question of importance upon which further argument and a decision of the Federal Court would be to public advantage;or
(b) from any decision as to the effect of any provision of the Constitution including the validity of any written law relating to any such provision.
Section 97  Leave to appeal,Courts Of Judicature Act 1964

(1) An application under section 96 for leave to appeal to the Federal Court shall be made to the Federal Court within one month from the date on which the decision appealed against was given, or within such further time as may be allowed by the Court.

(2) Where the judgment appealed against requires the appellant to pay money or perform a duty, the Federal Court shall have power, when granting leave to appeal, either to direct that the judgment shall be carried into execution or that the execution thereof shall be suspended pending the appeal, as to the Court shall seem just; and in case the Court shall direct the judgment to be carried into execution, the person in whose favour it was given shall, before the execution thereof, enter into good and sufficient security to the satisfaction of that Court for the due performance of any order as the Federal Court may make in order to give effect thereto.

(3) Notwithstanding section 74, an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court may be heard by a Judge of the Court, and any direction or order that could be given or made by the Court on such application may be given or made by such Judge.


(4) Any direction or order given or made under subsection (3) may, upon application by the aggrieved party made within ten days after the direction or order is given or made, be affirmed, varied or discharged by the Court.

Now, I have yet to see the judgments of the Federal Court, all 7 judgments - but from the media reports, it looks like the Federal Court may have overstepped its boundaries in the leave application, and commented on the merits of the case as well... 

Well, there is a problem in Malaysia in the form of State Laws - some of which have provisions that disallow non-Muslims from using certain words. A list of words that only Muslims can use have been generated in some of these enactments, and it is these enactments that may have infringed on the freedom of religion in Malaysia, and there is a need for certain sections in these State Enactments that need to be repealed or amended to bring it in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution. The only bar in our Federal Constitution placed on other religions, in my opinion, is that they cannot actively try to convert Muslims in Malaysia to other religions.

But alas, politicians and political parties that need to act is either delaying what needs to be done, or trying to shift blame on others. State enactments, like any other law, only need simple majority to amend or even repeal. Why is the Pakatan Rakyat (PKR,PAS and DAP) not tabling these necessary amendments? They should already be doing so since their declared position is that words like Allah, etc is not for exclusive usage by Muslims - but can be used by others as well. Remember, it was this position that made many Malaysians vote for them at the last General Elections... 

Before this, some said that they were waiting for the Federal Court --- but really, it is the Legislature that makes laws - not the courts. Anyway, the Federal Court did not grant permission for the appeal to be filed and heard by the Federal Court - so this is no more a reason that can be used by States to delay making changes to the law....[Oh yes, but some are saying that making such amendments may be unwise, as it may affect the support by Muslims in the upcoming elections...and, in response, I would say that is an unacceptable argument - more so, when the position of some political parties were made clear before the last elections and people still voted for them...So, what really is the reason for not doing anything to resolve the confusions that exist...]

Then, they said this issue can only be solved by Najib and the Federal Government - but this is not true - the problematic enactments are State laws - not so much Federal Laws. 


What will the other reasons used? Alas, sometimes I too feel rather disappointed with the Pakatan Rakyat .... Remember the promise for Local Council Elections ....what has happened to this? What else? Is it all only about taking over political power from the BN - but about making any real changes for the good of the people... As time passes, it looks like this may be the case...Prove me wrong Pakatan Rakyat governed States, and also other States...and do the needful now...


12:36PM Jul 7, 2014

CJ: Allah ban not based on theological issues


The Home Ministry's ban on the usage of the term "Allah" was not based on theological aspects, said Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria.

Arifin, who wrote the majority judgment in the appeal by the Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, ruled that theological issues brought up at the Court of Appeal were considered obiter (words of opinion entirely unnecessary for the decision of the case).

Although the CJ did not state which theological aspects were considered as such, but one of the major findings in the appellate court's judgment was the remark made by the judges that the term "Allah" was not an integral part to the Christian faith.

"From the facts, it is clear that the (home) minister's decision was never premised on theological consideration. Therefore, the views expressed by the learned judges of the Court of Appeal on those issues are mere obiter.

"For that reason, the questions (constitutional questions posed by lawyers for the archbishop) in Part C, in my view do not pass the threshold under Section 96 (a) of the Courts of Judicature Act," he wrote in his 38-page judgment, which was uploaded on the official Federal Court website.

When a judgment is considered obiter or passing comment, it is normally not binding on the courts.
      
This is pertinent as there are other challenges over the “Allah” issue following the seizure of compact discs as in the Jill Ireland case and also religious and education books in the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) and Rev Jerry Dusing's (left) cases by the Royal Customs Department.

In the SIB case, High Court Judge Zaleha Yusof refused to grant leave on the judicial review application, when she ruled that the court was bound by the Court of Appeal judgment that "Allah was not integral to the Christian faith".

The SIB case is presently on appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Court of Appeal judge, Justice Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh had in the unanimous judgment done research on the theological aspect and came up with the finding that "Allah is not integral for the Christian faith."

 The other judges at the Federal Court who agreed with Justice Arifin in the Herald judgment last month were Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, and Federal Court judge Suriyadi Halim Omar.

However, there is no other majority written judgments accept that of Justice Arifin.

High Court judge wrong

In not granting leave to hear the appeal, Justice Arifin ruled that the 28 constitutional questions posed by lawyers representing the Archbishop do not pass the Section 96 (a) barrier of the Courts of Judicature Act.

This views, were however, not shared by dissenting judges namely Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Justices Zainun Ali and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.

The CJ emphasised that the judgment only relates to the usage of the word "Allah" in the Herald.

He said the High Court judge (Justice Lau Bee Lan) was wrong in considering the provisions in several state enactments which bar the usage of "Allah" in some states as unconstitutional.

The net effect of Justice Lau's decision, Justice Arifin said, renders the state laws being declared invalid, null and void and unconstitutional as it exceeds the object of Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution and the states legislature have no power to enact the ban.

"The issue is, could the High Court judge entertain such a challenge in light of specific procedure in clauses (3) and (4) of Article 4 of the Federal Constitution... For this, the respective states should be made a party for the state to be given an opportunity to defend the validity or constitutionality of the impugned provision.

"I hold the view that the High Court judge ought not to have entertained the challenge of the validity or constitutionality of the impugned provisions for two reasons, namely procedural non-compliance and for want of jurisdiction. The findings by the High court judge that the impugned provision is unconstitutional was rightly set-aside by the Court of Appeal," he said.

Justice Arifin also ruled that the Court of Appeal applied the correct subjective test in the case and hence its finding in the unanimous decision should not be disturbed. - Malaysiakini, 7/7/2014, CJ: Allah ban not based on theological issues