Sunday, June 26, 2016

Death Penalty is not a Punishment and must be abolished?

A punishment for person who has committed a crime is for the purpose of getting the person's repentance and to rehabilitate him/her for reintroduction into society, and, as such the Death Penalty fails to satisfy the object of a punishment. Hence, another good reason why the death penalty needs to be abolished.

In the recent  Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty that was held in Oslo, Norway from 21-23 June 2016, one of the persons who gave an opening address was Pope Francis, and he did say some things that matter and deserve our consideration. His Message is found here..
 

“Rendering justice” does not mean seeking punishment for its own sake, but ensuring that the basic purpose of all punishment is the rehabilitation of the offender. The question must be dealt with within the larger framework of a system of penal justice open to the possibility of the guilty party’s reinsertion in society. There is no fitting punishment without hope! Punishment for its own sake, without room for hope, is a form of torture, not of punishment.


Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty

Oslo, 21-23 June 2016
I greet the organizers of this World Congress against the death penalty, the group of countries supporting it, particularly Norway as its host country, and all those representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society taking part in it. I likewise express my personal appreciation, along with that of men and women of goodwill, for your commitment to a world free of the death penalty.
One sign of hope is that public opinion is manifesting a growing opposition to the death penalty, even as a means of legitimate social defence.  Indeed, nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice.  Nor is it consonant with any just purpose of punishment. It does not render justice to victims, but instead fosters vengeance. The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty.
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is an auspicious occasion for promoting worldwide ever more evolved forms of respect for the life and dignity of each person. It must not be forgotten that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal.
Today I would encourage all to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also for the improvement of prison conditions, so that they fully respect the human dignity of those incarcerated“Rendering justice” does not mean seeking punishment for its own sake, but ensuring that the basic purpose of all punishment is the rehabilitation of the offender. The question must be dealt with within the larger framework of a system of penal justice open to the possibility of the guilty party’s reinsertion in society. There is no fitting punishment without hope! Punishment for its own sake, without room for hope, is a form of torture, not of punishment.
I trust that this Congress can give new impulse to the effort to abolish capital punishment. For this reason, I encourage all taking part to carry on this great initiative and I assure them of my prayers.

Source: Vatican Radio website

Friday, June 24, 2016

Women Human Rights Defenders and Villagers Oppose Coal Mining and Demand Climate Justice ?

Statement: Women Human Rights Defenders and Villagers Oppose Coal Mining and Demand Climate Justice

by apwldadmin · June 16, 2016

Solidarity Statement

This statement originates from the solidarity activity held at Ban Haeng, Lampang on June 9, 2016 organized by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Protection International (PI) and Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) which was attended by more than 100 villagers, the community-based Rak Ban Heng organisation and human rights defenders from nine (9) countries[1].

Photo credit: Alexandra Salmon-Lefranc Gennai

WE, the undersigned members of Asia Pacific civil society, representing different constituencies, movements and organisations, express our solidarity with the Ban Haeng community opposing the coal mine in Tambon Ban Haeng, Ngao District, Lampang and condemn the threats and harassment committed against the villagers and community organisers in the area.

Since 2010, the community members of Ban Haeng have been vocal in their opposition to the proposed coal mining project in their area. In the absence of due process and genuine community consultation, the people living and farming the area have organized into the Rak Ban Heng Conservation Group. The group aims to ensure the conservation of the forests, natural resources, the environment, community and traditional culture and values. The community is steadfast in opposing the lignite mining because of the destructive nature of the project which is expected to have a huge impact on the health and livelihood of the community.

Despite community resistance, a mining concession was granted to Green Yellow Co. Ltd. in August 2015 by the Ministry of Industry. On October 22, 2015, 386 villagers filed a complaint at the Chiang Mai Administrative Court, requesting the court to revoke the concession permit and to issue a temporary injunction against mining operations in the village. As the exploratory concession expires in August 2016, the tensions between the corporation and the State on the one hand and the community on the other continue to rise.

Various forms of intimidation, including close physical surveillance by unidentified men, harassment from military officers, threats of death and enforced disappearance have been made to Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs). Among the WHRDs who have experienced harassment is Waewrin Buangern who has pending criminal complaints against her but to date has not received sufficient assistance from the Thai Justice Fund[2] to pay for bail and legal fees.

This pattern of harassing environmental and women human rights defenders is not unique to Ban Haeng. In 2014, Southeast Asia was considered among the riskiest places to be a human rights activist, with 21 recorded killings in Thailand alone.[3] Last week, on World Environmental Day, three United Nations Special Rapporteurs highlighted the alarming trend of targeting environmental human rights defenders “as if they were enemies of the State”[4]. They urged states to meet their obligations to protect environmental rights, defenders and members of marginalized and vulnerable communities.[5]

The struggle in Ban Haeng contributes to global campaigns for climate justice, energy democracy and Development Justice. The solidarity activity held in Ban Haeng amplifies the call for a feminist fossil fuel free future – a future that empowers women; a future that paves the way for redistribution of power from the elite to the many; and a future that is free from dirty energies and dirty, exploitative economies.

DSC08223

Lignite is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. It creates dirty, dangerous environments locally and emits high levels of carbon emissions. If we are to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels (the target set in the Paris Agreement), 80% of fossil fuel reserves must stay underground[6]. As a result, no new fossil fuel power plants should be allowed while decentralised, locally-owned, clean and renewable energy projects should be promoted.
DSC08189

The event in Ban Haeng is part of the Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice[7] where women from every region in the world are demanding climate justice now!

In solidarity with the women leaders and the villagers of Ban Haeng, we support the call of the villagers and community-based organizations to live in peace in the land they have lived in for generations and to craft their own development agenda. The people of Ban Haeng should not be deprived of their right to their lands in order to accommodate a project which has negative impacts on their livelihood and the environment.
A.Gennai_Solidarity Action in Ban Haeng_2016-0190

Photo credit: Alexandra Salmon-Lefranc Gennai

We join the people of Ban Haeng in their efforts to protect the community’s livelihoods, local environment, and community rights to participation in public affairs. We stand with the villagers in denouncing a development agenda that is beneficial only to the elite and causes irreversible damage on the environment. We call on the Thai Government and local authorities to revoke the concession permit granted to Green Yellow Co. Ltd., to withdraw all charges against community leaders and to work with the community to achieve Development Justice.

Source: APWLD Website - http://apwld.org/statement-women-human-rights-defenders-and-villagers-oppose-coal-mining-and-demand-climate-justice/

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nancy: Malaysia one step closer to amending death penalty


Wednesday, 22 June 2016 | MYT 10:49 AM
Nancy: Malaysia one step closer to amending death penalty
Prego
 
KUCHING: Malaysia is one step closer to amending the mandatory death sentence, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri (pic) said.
Nancy told the World Congress Against The Death Penalty in Oslo, Norway, recently that a government-backed study on the death penalty had been completed and a paper is being readied by the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“There are positive signs in Malaysia and a steady momentum towards possible change in the death penalty legislation,” Nancy said.
The study was conducted by the International Centre For Law and Legal Studies (I-CeLLS). The consultant was then Professor Dr Roger Hood, Professor of Criminology and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College Oxford.
Currently, in Malaysia, the death penalty is mandatory for 12 offences while 20 other offences are punishable with discretionary death penalty.
Murder, drug trafficking, and offences related to security are instances of offences which are punishable with death.
However, Nancy said empirical studies showed that the death penalty had not led to “the deterring effect that such a penalty was created”.
“Although Malaysia is generally in compliance with international standards in so far as the relevant safeguards (on capital punishment) are concerned, Malaysia’s position on death penalty has always been subjected to national and international criticisms.”
The global anti-death congress was the sixth edition. Nancy expressed her “deepest appreciation to Norway” for inviting Malaysia to participate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Govt open to replacing death with life

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Govt open to replacing death with life

Prego
WHILE the study on whether to keep the death penalty is ongoing, the Government is open to proposals on the matter.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri says the Government is considering suggestions to improve the current justice system including whether to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, as mooted by several parties including the Malaysian Bar.
“I really want to see the amendment to the mandatory death penalty be passed and implemented prior to the 14th general election,” she tells Sunday Star.
Nancy, who is the minister in charge of law, points out that the study requires a long time as a very comprehensive review needs to be carried out.
The Government needs to balance the interest of the accused, victim and public at large before making a decision.
“Whatever decision made will be done in the best interest of the rakyat,” she says.
Presently, the Attorney-General’s Chambers is conducting an in-depth study on the death penalty in Malaysia, studying the legal issues, policies and effectiveness of the punishment.
Concurring with Amnesty International’s call to abolish the death sentence, the Malaysian Bar hopes that it can be replaced – with life imprisonment instead.
Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chairman Andrew Khoo says the Bar has passed several resolutions over the years, calling for capital punishment to be done away with.
“We also call upon the Government to repeal all mandatory death sentences, because judges should be given the discretion in sentencing,” he urges.
He explains that mandatory sentencing robs judges of the opportunity to exercise their discretion to hand down other forms of punishment apart from the death penalty.
“It is an executive interference in the independence of the judiciary,” Khoo adds.
He also says the Government should release the findings of the study conducted on the death penalty once it is completed.
There are some who believe the death sentence should remain.
Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Shaik Daud Md Ismail stresses that Malaysia still needs the current mandatory death penalty for serious offences like drug trafficking and murder.
“Things should remain as per status quo. If we abolish the death sentence, there will be more crimes like drug trafficking.
“Although the death penalty has not reduced such cases in the past, removing it will only cause the number of cases to spike drastically,” he opines.
Shaik Daud, once a prosecutor with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, believes the death sentence is a deterrent and doing away with it will only embolden more criminals.
He also says that the death penalty should continue to be made mandatory for serious crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking.
“In the past, before the death sentence was made mandatory for drug trafficking, judges had the option of handing down life sentences as an alternative.
“When I was prosecuting in such cases last time, most judges went for the alternative but it wasn’t a strong deterrent,” he says, adding that the Government later decided to do away with the alternative punishment and imposed the mandatory death sentence.
It is also more practical for the Government to keep the death sentence, he says.
“If we change all death sentences to life imprisonment, the Government would have to bear the costs of housing and feeding them (the convicted) to look after them for the rest of their lives.
“Why should tax payers be burdened by this when the criminals have done heinous crimes?”
Shaik Daud notes that such prisoners would have time to reflect on their deeds before their execution.
Senior lawyer Tan Sri Khalid Ahmad Sulaiman says the death penalty should be used based on circumstances and only if the intent to commit serious crimes especially murder, is proven.
“Otherwise, it should be replaced with life imprisonment,” says the former Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board chairman.
Related story:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Azmin, for Raya, wants to give State public servants 1 month plus bonus? What about other workers and the poor?

What about the poor, and all the other workers in Selangor who are in the private sector and are self-employed when Azmin Ali is only interested in giving public servants one month plus Hari Raya Bonus? This is also so unjust for the more highly paid workers, who maybe are earning RM10,000 a month gets an additional RM10,000 plus for Hari Raya, whilst the poorer public servant earning RM1,000 only gets RM1,000 plus. Is this justice? Well, the Menteri Besar and the ADUNs of Selangor, who are also all very high earning public servants, will be very happy because they may also be getting this 'Raya Bonus' ...note that even the Selangor Opposition (them BN MPs) are not complaining... 

Menteri Besar Azmin Ali today hinted that civil servants in Selangor will receive “a bigger bonus” this year as they had shown greater unity under his administration.

For Hari Raya, it would have been better if the Selangor government gave RM1,000 (or RM500) to the workers who are unemployed, recently retrenched, the poor, and those with income less than RM1,500...(In fact, for those unemployed - Selangor could easily help out with small monthly assistance for maybe until they find a new 'similar paying' job for a period of not more than 6 months)...and, guess what, Selangor has about RM4 billion...

The problem with the Selangor DAP-PAS-PKR coalition government under a PKR Menteri Besar, is that there is a confusion about what to do with government money. True, one of the objects is certainly to ensure that the Selangor government is debt-free - or that expenses are preferably not more than income.

The Gombak lawmaker revealed that Selangor’s reserves currently stood at RM4.1 billion. Last year, the state recorded reserves of RM3.3 billion.

The government's money is the people's money, and people want to help those in their community that really needs help...and, they expect government to do this, on behalf of the people...

What about public sports facilities...swimming pools, basketball courts, badminton courts,... What about playgrounds for the communities?

Government should be spending to help the people in Selangor...are the State roads (also roads in housing areas, kampungs, rural areas) upgraded or maintained - is Selangor upgrading tol free State roads? What about land for the poor in Selangor? Surely, there is a lot of things that Selangor could do with the RM4 billion plus...Governments in a democracy need not have such reserves - spend for the people...especially the poor... if you need money, the people are there...and taxes we pay daily and/or every year.

The people that needs most help are the poor, the unemployed and the marginalized... the person with an income of RM1,500 or less needs more help than a person with income of RM2,000 and more...

Najib and the BN government unfortunately do not understand this - so even for the BR1M, they give the same amount for all those who qualify - irrespective of whether they are really very poor or just qualified for the BR1M. I am of the opinion that those earning less than RM500 should receive more assistance than those earning RM3,000 - it must be a staggered response more for the poorer, and less for those who are less poor.

In my opinion, no need for Raya bonus for civil servants - just fair and just wages would be enough. As it is, the civil servants today have regular employment and their wages are so much better that many of the other workers in the State...

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 Jun — Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak semalam mengumumkan pemberian Bantuan Khas Kewangan RM500 kepada 1.6 juta penjawat awam sebagai persiapan menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Dalam kenyataan di sini, beliau berkata bantuan khas RM250 akan turut dinikmati 743,000 pesara kerajaan sebagai menghargai jasa perkhidmatan mereka.

The Kelantan government is giving special aid of RM500 each to state civil servants to help them with the Aidilfitri preparation...also planned to give special aid of RM250 to the “penghulu” (village heads) - FMT News, 16/6/2016

The Johor government has agreed to provide a special financial aid of RM500 each to all state civil servants in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.  - New Straits Times, 19/6/2016

So, the Federal Government and some State government is giving RM500 as a Hari Raya gift to civil servants - but the problem with Selangor is that it plans to give 1 month plus salary, - is it fair? 

Maybe, Selangor should alternatively give the poor and all workers(including private sector workers) a RM500 Raya gift (but maybe only for those earning less than RM2,000) - or maybe, just bank it into their EPF accounts..

Surely, the Opposition Coalition government will be more just - and not just be interested in taking care of civil servants (public servants or public sector workers ONLY)..
  

Selangor MB hints at bigger Raya bonus for civil servants

Radzi Razak
 | June 17, 2016
Azmin Ali says last year, Selangor paid out a one-month bonus, but state reserves had expanded from RM3.3 billion last year to RM4.1 billion this year.

azmin-selangor-1
SUNGAI BESAR: Menteri Besar Azmin Ali today hinted that civil servants in Selangor will receive “a bigger bonus” this year as they had shown greater unity under his administration.

Speaking at an event at Masjid Ma’muniah, Sungai Nipah, here today, Azmin said due to the Sungai Besar polls tomorrow, he was unable to announce the exact amount but stressed it would be more than the sum handed out last year as the state coffers had increased its collection this year.

The Gombak lawmaker revealed that Selangor’s reserves currently stood at RM4.1 billion. Last year, the state recorded reserves of RM3.3 billion.

“The last time, we gave a month’s (bonus). This time, it cannot be a month’s (bonus) again.

“But I do not want to announce anything as I do not want to influence what happens tomorrow,” he told more than 500 people at a break-fast event a day before Sungai Besar voters choose their new MP.

Present were PAS candidate Dr Abd Rani Osman and Parti Ikatan Malaysia’s President Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.

Azmin’s announcement of a Raya bonus came a day after PAS-led Kelantan said its civil servants would get RM500 in special aid.

The PKR deputy president also hit out at his critics who questioned his absence during the by-election campaign and accused him of only appearing during the tail-end.

“My team and I work seven days a week, almost 16 hours a day to build a strong foundation in Selangor.
“Whether there is an election or not, I will continue to work as this is the responsibility tasked to me.”

Azhar Abdul Shukur of PKR will be involved in a three-cornered fight against Rani and Barisan Nasional’s Budiman Mohd Zohdi.-FMT News, 17/6/2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Azmin (or Opposition), just like BN, hands over RM30,000 government funds to Mosque during campaign period?

Well, the Menteri Besar of Opposition coalition government in Selangor, and hands over a RM30,000 cheque, to a Mosque in the area of the by elections. 

Pada majlis itu juga Azmin menyerahkan peruntukan bernilai RM30,000 untuk Masjid Binjai Jaya. Kata Azmin permohonan mendapatkan peruntukan itu dibuat sebelum musim pilihan raya kecil akan diadakan.

Is it Azmin Ali's personal donation? NO 

Is it a donation from PKR? NO

Is it money of the Selangor government? YES - it is, and Azmin Ali says that the allocation was approved long before. Well, why give it now - and publicly at Opposition campaign event? State funds, if disbursed out should be done by the State at State events - that, I believe, is the right way.

When he came to this Opposition candidate's campaign event, was he there as Menteri Besar(chief Minister) coming there with a government car with a government paid driver? In my opinion, he should be there as just an Opposition leader for this was an election campaign, without using State government funds and/or resources. 

Well, we (including the Opposition) have always been critical of similar Barisan Nasional behaviour in the past - and sadly, we see that Azmin Ali of PKR...of Pakatan Harapan doing the very same thing. What is the response from PKR? DAP? BERSIH? This certainly was wrong...

Interesting also is the excuse given by Azmin for his absence earlier  - What do you think of that...

But Azmin said he was busy with his official duty to accompany the Selangor sultan, who is also the head of Islam in the state, in the monarch’s public appearances during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. “As the mentri besar, it is my responsibility to follow the sultan to be with the people in Selangor. “Last night during an event with His Highness at the Jeram mosque, I whispered to him if I can be allowed to come here tonight. He agreed to me coming to Sungai Besar,” Azmin explained during the breaking of fast at Kampung Hala Cara Baru here this evening.

Azmin sokong AMANAH, doakan PAS

Zikri Kamarulzaman        
Menteri Besar Selangor Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali sudah menyatakan dengan jelas, beliau menyokong calon Pakatan Harapan (HARAPAN) dalam pilihan raya kecil Sungai Besar.

Berucap di majlis berbuka puasa di Sungai Besar petang tadi Azmin berkata, selepas mengadakan perbincangan panjang lebar beliau memberikan sokongan penuh kepada Azhar Shukur dari Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH).

Bagaimanapun Azmin tidak mengetepikan terus lawan AMANAH dari PAS, Dr Rani Osman, yang dianggapnya seorang rakan di DUN Selangor.

"Saya doakan dia (Dr Rani) terus maju untuk sama-sama dalam satu tekad melawan kezaliman di Putrajaya," katanya.

Di majlis anjuran HARAPAN itu, Dr Rani turut hadir kerana beranggapan ia terbuka untuk semua.

Walaupun bersaing dalam pilihan raya kecil kali ini kehadiran Dr Rani disambut mesra oleh pemimpin dan penyokong HARAPAN.

Pilihan raya kecil Sungai Besar - dan Kuala Kangsar - akan diadakan serentak pada 18 Jun ini.

Selain Dr Rani, Azhar berdepan saingan daripada calon BN Budiman Mohd Zohdi untuk mengisi kekosongan ditinggalkan arwah Datuk Noriah Kasnon.

Itu mentaliti Umno

Kemunculan Azmin petang tadi adalah yang pertama untuknya sejak hari penamaan calon pada 5 Jun lalu.
Ketiadaan Azmin berkempen di kawasan berkenaan menyebabkan sesetengah pihak termasuk PAS dan Umno mendakwa ADUN Bukit Antarabangsa itu tidak memberikan sokongan padu kepada AMANAH.
Namun kata Azmin beliau sebenarnya sibuk mengiringi Sultan Selangor Sultan Shariffudin Idris Shah menghadiri pelbagai acara sempena Ramadan.

Namun katanya, beliau mendapat perkenan sultan untuk berada di Sungai Besar pada hari ini dan Jumaat, manakala esok di Kuala Kangsar.

Azmin juga mengkritik Ketua Pemuda Umno Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar yang mengatanya kerana tidak muncul berkempen sebelum ini.

"Itulah mentaliti Umno. Saya (sebenarnya) tak perlu pulun kerja di Sungai Besar semata-mata kerana ada pilihan raya kecil.

"Itu (turun berkempen hari-hari) adalah cara Umno. Apabila ada pilihan raya kecil baru nak turun (padang), baru nak tengok orang kampung," katanya.

Sebaliknya kata Azmin kerajaan Selangor membantu rakyat negeri itu secara berkesan sejak 2008.

Pada majlis itu juga Azmin menyerahkan peruntukan bernilai RM30,000 untuk Masjid Binjai Jaya.

Kata Azmin permohonan mendapatkan peruntukan itu dibuat sebelum musim pilihan raya kecil akan diadakan. - Malaysiakini, 14/6/2016

Tuesday June 14, 2016
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (dressed in white) is seen with the PAS candidate Dr Rani Osman at a breaking of fast event in Kampung Hala Cara Baru, Sungei Besar, June 14, 2016. — Picture by Kamles KumarSelangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (dressed in white) is seen with the PAS candidate Dr Rani Osman at a breaking of fast event in Kampung Hala Cara Baru, Sungei Besar, June 14, 2016. — Picture by Kamles Kumar SABAK BERNAM, June 14 — Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali publicly declared today his support for Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) candidate Azhar Shukur in the Sungai Besar by-election.

The PKR deputy president has raised eyebrows with his absence from the campaign trail for his party’s political ally since nomination day on June 5.

But Azmin said he was busy with his official duty to accompany the Selangor sultan, who is also the head of Islam in the state, in the monarch’s public appearances during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“As the mentri besar, it is my responsibility to follow the sultan to be with the people in Selangor.

“Last night during an event with His Highness at the Jeram mosque, I whispered to him if I can be allowed to come here tonight. He agreed to me coming to Sungai Besar,” Azmin explained during the breaking of fast at Kampung Hala Cara Baru here this evening.

He hit back at detractors from Umno who he claimed to have a fuss over his past absence, calling it a low-blow.

“This is Umno’s mentality. I don’t need to be here just because it’s the by-election. That is the Umno way. The Selangor government has always been helping the people of Sungai Besar,” Azmin said.

Rumours had circulated after Azmin’s absence on nomination day that the PKR Number Two was withdrawing from the campaign after failing to negotiate a deal with PAS to secure a straight fight between the federal opposition and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

Another surprise attendance at the event was PAS’s Sungai Besar candidate Dr Rani Osman.

He joined Azmin and other Pakatan Harapan leaders including PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, DAP’s Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim and Amanah’s Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad to break fast.

Dr Rani played down his participation at the same function where his rival contender for Sungai Besar was also present, saying he had done the same earlier today at another event featuring BN candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi.

“Today morning I was with Budiman and this evening I’m here,” the Meru assemblyman said, adding that he was also present out of respect for Azmin as Selangor MB.

“He is my Mentri Besar, I came to see him.”

Dr Rani said he was not worried of any repercussion from his party for sharing a meal with his political rivals.

“No, no, no. There is no problem in this, nothing will happen,” he said.

Based on the Election Commission’s (EC) statistics, the Sungai Besar federal constituency has 42,836 voters comprising 22,227 Malays votes, 13,142 Chinese, and 820 Indians with 98 from other races.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Overtime Policy - Local workers are prejudiced by present 'overtime limits' - 104 hours per month?

Pay Low Wages, and you can force the worker to do overtime just to earn enough to survive...

Overtime is also an issue that determines whether employers preference for local workers would increase or decrease. Local workers generally are willing to do overtime occasionally but certainly not everyday...they have a life outside work - they prefer the '8 hours work, 8 hours rest and 8 hours leisure/social life/family time formula...Note that an 8-hour work day means about 9 hours plus, and factor in also transportation to and from work.. 

OT - workers in Malaysia have a choice to refuse? Reduce draconian OT limit of 104 hours/month to 50 hr/mth

Malaysia now has a draconian legal overtime limit per month that allow employers to 'force' their workers to work 12 hours per day...Why 'force'? Nowadays, local workers also complain that they do not anymore have a choice when it comes to having to do overtime - If you refuse, then you risk losing your employment, or it may affect your promotion and future wage increases too... 

Overtime was usually in exceptionally was for rare situations - but today, it becomes the norm for many workplaces. 

One law that sets limits to overtime was the Employment (Limitation of Overtime Work) Regulations 1980 - and this was amended in 1991, and the limit was increased to one hundred and four(104) hours in any one month. 

The accepted number of working days per month is 26, therefore this regulation allowed for up to 4 hours of  overtime work per day.(104/26).

This is a VERY BAD law - Why? 8 hours normal working hours PLUS 4 hours overtime = 12 hours work everyday. 
Local workers have families and social life - many would not want to be working 12 hours every working day...

Migrant workers are also  human workers - and when the law changes to increase the limit of overtime per month, it will also affect local workers...

Now migrant workers, like local workers also need time to rest, time for leisure and time to work. Workers fought for the 8 hour work per day...and that is also reflected in Malaysia's Employment Act - but alas that right has been eroded over the years. Read Worker and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia(Part 1)


WHO DOES THE MALAYSIAN EMPLOYER PREFER - LOCAL OR MIGRANT WORKERS? AND WHY?

Migrant Workers - they are willing to work long hours and do overtime - Local workers want to work 8 hours per day...

Migrant Workers - they are too scared to fight for their rights...even when they fight for their rights, very easily we can terminate and cancel permit so the migrant worker will be send back. They have no capacity to complain or go to court - how can they when they are already not in Malaysia or become undocumented workers(illegal). Local workers can claim rights - employers cannot escape.

Migrant Workers - because local workers cost more > have to pay them salary plus additional 13% of the salary sum to EPF/KWSP. Migrant workers only have to pay salary. Levy employers have to pay now is also less than 13% of the total salary.

Migrant Workers - because easily exploitable...they got no choice cannot leave and find another employer. Can also hold their passport - and so they are afraid to go anywhere...Local workers cannot do this.

Migrant Workers - When they come to work, they already got a large debt coming to Malaysia - so, no choice for them - they have to work and do everything the employer ask...


Malaysia really must amend the overtime limit from 104 hours per month to a reasonable 60 hours per month, and this limit should apply to all workers..

Wages need to increase not working hours...

Malaysia must really be clear as to whether LOCAL WORKERS are its priority...and by this, we mean now just Public Servants but the millions of workers working in the private sector...

HOW MANY HOURS WOULD YOU WANT TO WORK A DAY? It must be noted in many countries, working hours are becoming less - and workers are able to enjoy a better quality of work...

Malaysia unfortunately is not bothered of worker other than public servants - see how other workers have an unreasonable minimum wage of RM1,000(whilst public servants have a minimum wage of RM1,200). Minimum wage is a guideline but employers are using that as a 'benchmark' and is the starting salaries of many workers... [Minimum wage should be applicable for all employers having more than 10-15 workers, for the smaller employer like shops,etc - there must be options (like profit sharing or income sharing arrangements) as a lot of small retailers in smaller towns really do not have a high income

Public servants get RM500 for Hari Raya - what about the private sector local Malaysian workers?

 
 
 

 

 

MEF: Foreign workers request for overtime

June 14, 2016

Some foreign workers do not want to return to work if their request for overtime is not met, says Malaysian Employers Federation executive director.

Shamsuddin-Bardan-banglasesh
KUALA LUMPUR: Employers should not be faulted when individual workers request to work overtime on their own accord.

“In fact, there are some (private workers) who do not want to come here to work if their request for overtime is not met,” said Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan when commenting on the number of Nepal workers who have died of heart attacks.

Nepal Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat was reported as saying that 70% of the 461 deaths of Nepal workers in Malaysia last year was due to heart attacks, suffered while sleeping, and likely attributed to their long working hours.

– BERNAMA - FMT News, 14/6/2016

Sunday, 12 June 2016 | MYT 12:35 PM

Most deaths of Nepalese workers in Malaysia due to cardiac arrest, says ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR: The Nepal Embassy received 461 death reports of Nepalese workers here last year and 70 percent of them died in their sleep due to a massive heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.

Nepal Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat (pic) said the cause may be due to working long hours, especially under the hot sun while the other 30 percent was due to fatal accidents at workplace, consuming too much alcoholic drinks while a few had committed suicide due to monetary reasons.

Basnyat, who was concerned with the hardworking attitude of his countrymen who are willing to work long hours, wanted them to slow down and take care of their health.

"They might not be aware that they would suffer from fatigue after working long hours under hot and humid conditions and this can result in deaths while sleeping," he said.

He said the embassy also recorded 2,945 deaths of Nepalese workers here over the past 10 years from 2005.

Basnyat said Nepalese workers are reportedly struggling hard to earn money, in the hope that they could remit some funds for their families or settle debts in their own country.

He hoped they will realise the importance of working for eight hours per day instead of the 12 hours per day they worked normally, to ensure they stayed healthy.

He said the tendency of Nepalese workers to consume too much alcohol is another cause of concern that has resulted in deaths due to dehydration as their body may lack water." 

In some cases, Nepalese workers have been reported to have committed suicide due to stress or monetary problems.

He pointed out that most of the Nepalese workers who come to work here have to settle debts owed to their agents or banks in Nepal for their journey to Malaysia, while some 'pawn' their land as collateral to secure loans to ensure their trip here.

"Some (Nepalese workers) are frustrated when they realise they do not have enough money to repay their loan and thus commit suicide as a way out from their misery. However, such cases are few," he added.

To date, Malaysia has about 800,000 Nepalese workers, the highest compared to other countries since statistics show Saudi Arabia and Qatar have about (400,000), United Arab Emirates (300,000), Kuwait (100,000), Oman and Bahrain (50,000) respectively, he said.

Basnyat, who started his duties as ambassador here since 2013, said the embassy had taken several measures to reduce the fatalities among Nepalese here, and has also put up notices in the embassy's website to advise them about the importance of their health.

The embassy also has a slot in Bernama Radio every Sunday from 8pm to 9pm to inform the Nepalese community here about the 'dos and done' while they are here.

"For instance, we always remind them to drink four litres of plain water instead of taking alcoholic drinks," he added.

Meanwhile, according to Deputy Secretary Communication Group Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Simon Karunagaram, it was normal for migrant workers to work more than 12 hours per day here.

"They have to accept such offers since it was the only way to earn more money to help settle debts or remit money to their families back home," he said, adding that the workers are prone to sickness if they worked continuously for long hours every day.

However, Karunagaram said employers must acknowledge that their workers, including migrant workers, are allowed to work only eight hours a day in accordance with the Employment Act 1955.

"It is all up to their (workers) willingness to work more than eight hours per day. If they work more than normal time, it must be considered as working overtime (OT)," he said.

In the meantime, he urged migrant workers to step up and lodge complaints at their respective embassy or Jabatan Tenaga Kerja under the Ministry of Human Resource if they are mistreated by their employers. - Bernama - Star, 12/6/2016