Tuesday, July 26, 2016

LPA amendments an open attack on independence of M’sian Bar (54 Groups)

Amendments to the 1976 Legal Profession Act: 
An open attack on the independence of the Malaysian Bar
 
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) and the following civil society organisations are gravely concerned with the decision of the government to make several amendments to the 1976 Legal Profession Act (LPA). Such amendments are open attacks on the independence of the Malaysian Bar and blatant violations of the right to freedom of association as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

It sets a dangerous precedent of government interference in the operations of independent statutory bodies and civil society organisations. We urge the government to withdraw such proposals immediately.

The amendments, due to be tabled in parliament in October 2016, empowers the government to abolish the current direct elections of 12 members of the Bar Council through postal votes and replace it with elections at the state level, the appointment of two representatives by the minister in charge of legal affairs to sit in the Bar Council and to increase the quorum of the annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar from 500 to 4,000 members.

The government purportedly made the amendments to improve transparency and representation of the Bar Council, when in reality, it does the exact opposite.

First and foremost, these proposals were not mooted by the members of the Malaysian Bar. Furthermore, the proposed bill has not been made available either to the Malaysian Bar or the public. Hence, its claim of improving transparency and representation is highly questionable.

It is ironic that the attorney-general who had complained about the inadequate representation of the current Bar Council had no qualms about government appointees, a measure that is totally devoid of transparency and representation of the members of the Bar.

The proposal to raise the quorum of the annual general meeting to 25 percent of the membership or 4,000 members, smacks of ill intent. It is absolutely unreasonable and unrealistic, since the highest turnout for any of her AGM has not surpassed 1,910 lawyers, out of their 17,000 membership. It is designed to paralyse the functions of the Malaysian Bar.

In comparison, the quorum for the AGM of the Canadian Bar Association with 37,000 members, is only 100. The Hong Kong Bar Association with about 1,300 members, requires not less than 20 members as its quorum to convene a general meeting.

We strongly urge the federal government and the attorney-general to withdraw the planned amendments and to respect the principle of self-regulation and the right to freedom of association of the Malaysian Bar. It is the right of the members of the Malaysian Bar to choose her leaders and representatives, through a democratic electoral process. The government must not interfere nor impose conditions on this legitimate and transparent electoral process.

Endorsed by member organizations of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia:

1. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
2. ENGAGE
3. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
4. Japan Graduates Association Malaysia (JAGAM)
5. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
6. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
7. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
8. Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kritisian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MCCBCHST)
9. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
10. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
11. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
12. Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS)
13. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
14. Pusat Komas (KOMAS)
15. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
16. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
17. Tamil Foundation (TF)
18. The Association of Graduates from Universities and Colleges of China, Malaysia (Liu Hua)
19. The Federation & Alumni Associations Taiwan University, Malaysia (FAATUM)
20. Tindak Malaysia
21. United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

Endorsed by other non-governmental organzations:

1. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
2. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
3. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)
4. Friends of Kota Damansara
5. Green Friends Sabah
6. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
7. JIHAD for JUSTICE
8. Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU)
9. Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU)
10. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
11. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
12. Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
13. Malaysian Youth And Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
14. Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)
15. National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
16. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
17. Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
18. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
19. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
20. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
21. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
22. Projek Dialogue
23. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
24. Sahabat Rakyat
25. Save Open Spaces, KK
26. Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers)
27. Sekolah Pemikiran Asy Syatibi
28. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
29. Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
30. WE ARE MALAYSIANS
31. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
32. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
33. Women Development of Malaysia PJ Branch


2 media that had covered the statement.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/349319

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wrong to still use POCA when a person already charged in court?

Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) - when that is used, a person ends up usually with WITHOUT TRIAL orders  - DETENTION ORDERS OR POLICE SUPERVISION ORDERS(RESTRICTION ORDERS).

A person detained under POCA - denied the right of a fair trial, and if he is subject to Detention Orders or Police Supervision(Restriction Orders), he does not have the right to challenge the reasons for the said order. He cannot go to court for a Judicial Review to enable the court to review the reasons and/or justifications for the said Detention or Police Supervision(Restriction Orders), which can be indefinite orders up to the discretion of the Board.  

POCA and all such draconian laws should be REPEALED.

We still do not know how many people in Malaysia are in Detention Without Trial under POCA - the government must reveal this.

POCA has been around for some time, and finally with Sanjeevan's case, it has gotten public attention...With the use of POCA on Sanjeevan, it means that this law can also be used against Human Rights Defenders/Activist, NGO activist, Trade Unions ...Currently, the law cannot be used againt politicians or in connection with political activities..not enough.

Since Courts cannot review the REASONS - it means innocent persons are at risk of being detained wrongly..

MP Surendran is right - if Sanjeevan is being charged, this means he should no longer be under POCA - the right to a fair trial has been accorded to him...

He now has a right to apply for BAIL - and the court can grant him bail - and he will be released for now...if after trial, he is convicted, then he may be sentenced to imprisonment..

Flight Risk - well, part of the bail condition could be the withholding of his passport - remember that until convicted, he is presumed innocent...and Bail is only to ensure that he attends his trial..

See earlier posts:-

Activists, Unionist, HR Defenders may be victims of POCA, law that denies right of fair trial? 

PREVENTION OF CRIME ACT 1959(REVISED - 1983) & Comments ?

WRONG TO USE DRACONIAN PREVENTION OF CRIME ACT(POCA) IN SANJEEVAN’S CASE - Repeal Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) -

 





MP asks the need for Poca when Sanjeevan already charged 
22 Jul 2016, 11:53 am     Updated

The police have been urged to release MyWatch chairperson R Sri Sanjeevan from detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), since he has already been charged in court.

"On 19 July he was charged in court for various offences in relation to which he was purportedly being detained under Poca.

"Why then is he still detained under the Poca despite having been charged? He should be released on court bail," said Padang Serai N Surendran in a statement today

Surendran, a lawyer, said Sanjeevan's continued detention under the highly objectionable law, illustrates how detention without trial laws can be abused.

"In Sanjeevan's case, the abuse of Poca can be clearly seen.

"Since he was arrested on June 22, he was repeatedly remanded using the ordinary provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code.

"After several remands orders, magistrates had started to reject police applications to further remand Sanjeevan.

"Then, the police resorted to the Poca to continue his detention," said Surendran.

'Why wait for police report?'

He also urged the police to take Sanjeevan's allegations of assault while in custody "seriously and carry out a thorough and impartial investigation" instead of waiting for a police report to be lodged.

"Sanjeevan's counsel had informed the sessions judge in open court regarding the alleged assault. Is that not enough for police to commence investigation?" he asked.

"All police personnel alleged to be involved should be transferred to other duties or if necessary suspended pending investigation. Has this been done?

"In this regard, it is unacceptable for the deputy IGP to announce that police will investigate if Sanjeevan lodges a police report," he said.

Sanjeevan was first arrested on June 22 on allegations of extorting RM25,000 from a gambling den operator.

Over the past three weeks, however, Sanjeevan had been released and re-arrested again and again for separate investigations under Sections 384 and 503 of the Penal Code, which deal with extortion and criminal intimidation respectively. He was arrested for the ninth time on Sunday under Poca, and was slapped with a 21-day remand by the Magistrate's Court in Kuala Lumpur on the following day.

Human rights group Suaram has urged for Sanjeevan’s immediate release, saying that the police appear to lack sufficient evidence to recommend charges against him and yet seek to punish him.

Lawyers have filed an application to review the 21-day remand imposed on him under Poca. - Malaysiakini, 23/7/2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

47 Groups :- C & F Group company Must Stop Union Busting and Respect Workers and Trade Union Rights?



Media Statement – 18/7/2016

C & F Group company Must Stop Union Busting and Respect Workers and Trade Union Rights; 63 Union Members and workers laid off after just days Union Registered -

We,  47 undersigned civil society organisations, trade unions,  and groups are appalled by the union busting action/s by C &F Manufacturing Philipines Corporation, which is now terminating  the workers, just after their union, Tinig ng mga Manggagawa sa C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corporation or the Voice of the Workers in C&F Mfg. Phils. Corp., was officially registered. 


On May 26, 2016, the workers registered their union with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The very next day, on May 27, the company abruptly offered a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP). The union obtained its Certificate of Registration on May 30, 2016.


On June 6, 2016, the Union filed with DOLE a Petition for Certification Election (PCE) in order to determine the representation of the workers in the collective bargaining.  Thereafter, on the very same day, the company management informed DOLE-Cavite Provincial Office that they are subjecting to "retrenchment" or lay-off some 98 regular workers of the company, wherein more than 63 of these workers are union officers and/or union members.


In the evening of June 6, the night-shift workers learned about their mass lay-off through the posted "announcement" of the management in the bulletin board. On the next day, June 7, 2016 the day-shift workers were blocked at the guard house and were no longer allowed to enter the premises of the company.


On June 9, 2016, 3 days later, the company hired 55 new workers, who were agency-supplied contractual workers from Terumi, AED, and E Pipol. Before this, the company used 50 agency-supplied contractual workers already working in the company and supplied by Terumi.


Justly, if the company no longer needed so many workers, they should have kept their 98 regular workers, who had been working for 3 to 12 years, and simply reduced the number of agency-supplied contractual workers. But, this company got rid of its 98 regular employees and are replacing them with new agency-supplied contractual workers.

Based on the facts provided by the Union, this is a clear union busting, and also an attempt to remove regular employees and replace them with workers on precarious work arrangements.


C & F Manufacturing Phils. Corporation is a supplier to IT/electronics companies such as APC Schneider Electric, IBM, and EMC Corporation. Its CEO and President is Mr. John Flaherty of C& F Group, is based at C & F Tooling Ltd., Cashla, Athenry, Co Galway, Ireland. Website: www.cftooling.ie. C & F Tooling Ltd. have companies in Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic, UK, USA, and the Philippines.



The C&F Group, in a document signed by John Flaherty in his capacity as Group Managing Director and CEO dated 5/1/2016 states that they ‘…have adopted the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC) as the operating Code of Conduct within the C&F Group…’.



Further in a letter published in the United Nations Global Compact website, it is stated: - “..C&F Group reaffirms its support of the Ten Principles of The United Nations Global Compact in areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. In addition, The C&F Group has adopted The EICC-SER code as the Groups Code of Practise.’ (https://www.unglobalcompact.org/participation/report/cop/create-and-submit/active/15521)



There have also been other complaints from the workers, which include ‘forced’ work on Sunday and public holidays and excessively long working hours.



As such, it is verily believed that C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group are in breach of the EICC Code, and also the UN Global Compact.



The actions of the company, possibly with the intention of union busting, and avoidance of employer obligations, is a violation of worker and trade union rights.



Therefore, we:



1)     Call on C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group to immediately reinstate the said  98 regular worekrs and  union members and/or employees;


2)     Call on C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group to recognize and respect the rights  of workers to  organize, form union,  and to collectively bargain; 


3)     Call on C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group to abort precarious employment and labour policy and practices, and ensure that all its employees are regular employees;


4)     Call on the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), a coalition of electronics companies committed to supporting the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain to ensure that C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group comply with the EICC Code, and respect workers and trade union rights;


5)     Call on UN Global Compact, being a corporate sustainability initiative that ensures companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights and labour, to ensure that C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group respect workers and trade union rights; and 


6)     Call on the government of Philippines to speedily act on the violation of workers and trade union rights by C&F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. and/or the C&F Group, and ensure justice be served.


Cecilia Tuico
Charles Hector
Alejandro Gonzalez

For and on behalf of the 47 groups


1.     National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), Malaysia

2.    Labour Studies and Action Centre / Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral (CEREAL), Mexico

3.     WEED - World Economy, Ecology & Development, Germany

4.     North South Initiative

5.     All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress(AASYC), Thai-Burma Border

6.     HAK Association of Timor-Leste

7.     Maquila Solidarity Network (Canada)

8.     Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan

9.     International Campaign for Responsible Technology,  San Jose, California 

10.  Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters-HRDP, Burma

11.  Sawit Watch (Indonesia)

12.  National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW), Malaysia

13.  Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma)

14.  MAP Foundation, Thailand 

15.  Safety and Rights Society, Bangladesh

16.  Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment, Philippines

17.  Metalworkers Alliance in the Philippines (MWAP)


19.  Basel Action Network

20.  Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL), Cambodia

21.  Fair | Campagna Abiti Puliti, Italy

22.  Clean Clothes Campaign, The Netherlands

23.  Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association, Myanmar

24.  Coalición de Ex trabajadoras (es) y trabajadoras (es)  de la Industria Electrónica Nacional (CETIEN), Mexico

25.  Cooperation Committee of Trade Unions (CCTU) Myanmar

26.  GoodElectronics Thailand (GET)

27.  Paper Union of Malaysia

28.  Committee for Asian Women

29.  International Labor Rights Forum, Washington, D.C.

30.  WH4C (Workers Hub For Change), Malaysia

31.  MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

32.  Solidarity of Cavite Workers, Cavite, Philippines

33.  Hye Sung Workers Union, Cavite, Philippines

34.  Daeduck Employees Union –Independent (DEU-Ind.), Cavite. Philippines

35.  Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Keyrin Electronics (NMKE), Cavite, Philippines

36.  Eagle Ridge Employees Union (EREU), Cavite, Philippines

37.  Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Eagle Ridge (SMER), Cavite, Philippines

38.  Batangas Port Workers and Stevedores Labor Union (BPSLU), Batangas City, Philippines

39.  Electronic Industry Employees Union (EIEU) Southern Region, Peninsular Malaysia

40.  Electronic Industry Employees Union(EIEU) Northern Region, Peninsular Malaysia

41.  PROHAM - Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Malaysia

42.  Parti Rakyat Malaysia

43.  GoodElectronics Network, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

44.  CWI (Committe For Workers International) Malaysia

45.  Association of domestic workers, homeworkers and maquila (ATRAHDOM)., Guatemala

46.  Workers Assistance Center, Inc. , Philippines

47.  Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Nakashima Philippines Corporation (PAMANA-Ind.), Cavite, Philippines









Sunday, July 17, 2016

POCA (Prevention of Crimes Act) - Azmin Ali supports Selangor police plans?

Gambling offenders can be detained under POCA



POCA (Prevention of Crimes Act) - the simple solution for the 'lazy' police/ government to arrest and detain an 'innocent' person...
WHY? If police use POCA - nobody can challenge even in court whether the reason for the arrest and detention and/or restriction is TRUE or not. So, police really do not even have to investigate and find sufficient evidence to proof the person arrested is GUILTY - Why? The case will not go to court...there is NO TRIAL ....and even the person, who is detained,  cannot apply to Court and claim that he/she is wrongly detained...The COURT HAS NO POWER TO LOOK AND SEE IS THE REASON FOR THE DETENTION/RESTRICTION IS LAWFUL OR NOT?? 
HOW MANY ARE DETAINED WITHOUT TRIAL UNDER POCA? Probably 100s - maybe thousands - well, Malaysia is not a transparent government, so we really do not know this information. Only way is usually by Parliamentary questions - but how many MPs will ask these questions - and even when they ask questions, how many share their answers with the people...?? [Remember annswers in writting to MPs are not published on the Parliamentary website - and if these MPs do not share with us the questions and answers, we will not know?]
POCA - well, Sanjeevan's case draw attention to this DRACONIAN law - and now, the news report below, shows us how dangerous this law is...
Why use POCA against those involved in 'gambling"? You can simply charge them in open court and give them a trial? 
"Selangor police today issued a stern warning to all owners of online gambling centres in the state to close down their operations or face action under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA)."
So, why do the Selangor police want to even use POCA - they could use the ordinary criminal laws - arrest, detain and charge them in Court, and give them a fair trial? Why POCA - which does not give a person the right to a fair trial, and also no right to challenge the reason or lawfullness of whatever Detention or Restriction Order they are placed under?
 
Or maybe, it is not safe to charge and try some because they may reveal the involvement of some politician or their wife/family, or maybe they may reveal evidence of corruption against some police officer...or public prosecutor...? 
And, why has Azmin Ali and the Selangor government responded - saying that POCA should not be used - but charge them in open court an accord them a fair trial? 
Well, maybe if they are charged and tried, the alleged operator of gambling centers may come out shouting 'Betrayal" - why we have been paying money to this and that politician (or political party) or policeman or 'Datuk?' - with the assurance that the police will not raid or take action against us and our people? So, is POCA used to avoid this?? I wonder?
Wait and see whether Azmin Ali will stay silent on what the Selangor police is saying ...and make us your mind as to the reason behind the lack of comment, or contents of his comment?
Will Wan Azizah, the leader of the Opposition say anything about the this statement and the POCA?
WHO will come out and protest the use of POCA? and who will not? Watch and see and make your own conclusions...
How many Opposition parties have taken the position that POCA must be repealed? 
 
Gambling offenders can be detained under POCA
Prisoner behind jail bars, concept of crime and corruption
Source: Bernama Source:
Bernama

SHAH ALAM, 15 July 2016: 

Selangor police today issued a stern warning to all owners of online gambling centres in the state to close down their operations or face action under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

State police chief Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said Selangor police were very serious about combating the illegal activity as the operators were seen to be active again.

Hence, since Wednesday, he said, he had ordered all the nine district police headquarters in Selangor to intensify operations against illegal gambling activities.

Abdul Samah said police intelligence work showed that the districts of Petaling Jaya, Serdang, Subang Jaya, Kajang, Gombak and Klang South had the biggest number of illegal online gambling joints.

“Within 48 hours since Wednesday, 222 raids were conducted with 233 operators of online gambling premises and 83 gamblers arrested

"Seized in the operations were 3,120 desktop computers, 207 laptops, six gambling simulator machines and cash of RM19,205.”

On another matter, Abu Samah said 39,542 summonses were issued for various traffic offences during ‘Op Selamat’ 9/2016 ih the state in conjunction with the Aidilfitri celebration recently.

He said the number showed an increase of 13 per cent or 4,432 summonses over the number of summonses issued during last year’s Raya celebration, which showed public adherence to traffic rules was still low.

He added that among the six main offences focused on were speeding, driving on the emergency lane, crossing the double line and using the mobile phone while driving.

Earlier, Abdul Samah witnessed the handing-over of duty to the new Selangor deputy police chief Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff, who replaced Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar, effective today.

Mohd Fuad, 59, was previously federal police Management (Training) deputy director in Bukit Aman, while Abdul Rahim has been promoted to the post of Kelantan police chief. - Rakyat Post, 15/7/2016