Monday, February 26, 2018

People Choose Their MP/ADUN - repeal laws that disqualify? Anwar, Guan Eng, Rafizi, Uthayakumar, Wong Tack,?

Article 48 and 50 of the Federal Constitution has affected many persons, who we the people may have wanted to choose them as MPs and ADUNs - Time for reforms now. Some who have been affected, and we the people are being denied our rights to choose who we want 

A perception that the government of the day can also get rid of Opposition politicians ...and deny people of choices..True or not, time for changes...

Image result for lim guan eng
Lim Guan Eng(Released 1999 - could not contest in GE 2014)

Related image
Anwar Ibrahim (pic from Malaysian Review)

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Uthayakumar (released in 2014, can contest only after October 2019)

A person(MP/ADUN/Senator) can be disqualified very easily by those governing the nation at the particular time, and it can be used against the Opposition or even UMNO-BN. It has the effect that the person cannot also be nominated....WELL, time has come to review and maybe change these restrictions - so that the  PEOPLE(Rakyat) gets back their full rights to decide who they want as their Members of Parliament(MP) and/or State Legislative Assembly person(ADUN)...

We know that many good people in Malaysia, are facing charges, that could simply disqualify them from being our elected 'peoples' representative'(wakil rakyat). 

Should the LAW(which is made by our Parliamentarians), and the Courts(or Judges) be still allowed to deny the people our right to choose whoever we want to be our MPs and/or ADUNs. The people are smart, and they do look at the candidates - the crimes he/she has been convicted of, his personal financial situation, etc - and then VOTE...

Let us look at what changes the PEOPLE should want, and for this we need to our Federal Constitution, in particular Article 48 and 50 (which can be found in full below) to be repealed and/or amended.

Article 48(1)(e) - convicted crime - sentenced  'to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon'

Well, in my opinion, this is a provision in law that can be so easily 'abused' by the government in authority - so maybe it is time to REMOVE this - or maybe limit it just very serious crimes like murder, armed robbery, rape, etc ...but even that, can still be 'abused' by the government in authority.

LET the people decide. People are not fools when it come to choosing their MPs and/or ADUNs - They will consider whether a person is a convicted criminal, etc ...BUT if the people still want that person as their MP or ADUN, let people have the choice. 

We have had too many Opposition or other potential MPs and ADUNs being disqualified (or may later be disqualified since trials/appeals are not yet over.

Pardon too really is much influenced by the government of the day - see how the Pakatan Harapan leaders/parties are even talking about(even agreeing) to the getting of Anwar a 'pardon' to enable him to maybe come is as Prime Minister...if they come into power.

BEST, that we simply REMOVE this entire Disqualification'

Article 48(3) - even after being released from prison...or having paid the Fine, he/she still remains disqualified for a a period of a further five years, unless it is earlier 'removed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong...'

Point 1 - if a person has already served his/her sentenced, why should he/she even be disqualified for a further 5 years - Why should this even be there? It is so unjust and discriminatory - because once a person served their sentence, they should simply be able to resume life as a normal Malaysians - without any additional restriction to his/her rights. 

Point 2 - As pointed out earlier, the government of the day, could influence the decision of the King ... look at the Constitution, where clearly in most matters, the King has no choice but to act of the advice of the Prime Minister. If UMNO-BN is in government, this could be used for the benefit of the parties members or friends - maybe not for those who may be in or pro-Opposition. Same thing may happen when the Opposition comes into power, and then UMNO-BN persons may suffer. So, best get rid of it totally - once sentenced served, that is it - you continue life as usual - and should also be able to be our MP or ADUN.

Point 3 - it looks like the power is only given to the King, is not Malaysia a Federation of States - and MPs/Senators are coming from different State Constituencies - should not this power also be vested with the other rulers of the States? As it is, the power of pardon for crimes committed, is with the King for the Federal territories, and with the respective rulers of States where the crime is committed(or the person was tried and sentenced). So, maybe, if not repealed(which I believe is best), it should also be vested in the Sultans and rulers of the State - after all an MP are representatives of a particular constituent in a particular State.

It is sad, that even some Opposition parties are not wanting to remove this - WHY? Maybe to use it when they come into power? So sad, in my Opinion, this Article 48(3) must be repealed.

Article 48(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt; 

Why can't a bankrupt not be able to perform his/her duty as peoples' representative - a MP, Senator or ADUN? He may not be able to enter into some business agreement or run a business, maybe even be an office bearer of a society, trade union and/or such entities which can sue or be sued, but even then, it will not be him personally who will be required to pay.

People become bankrupt for all kinds of reasons, and most times it is not because of committing a crime. It is usually for failure in business, which may or may not even be by reason of his/her personal wrongdoing. He may have become a bankrupt because of poor personal choices made in his own personal finances. It was sad that the ADUN in Gua Musang area from UMNO to have lost his seat in the State Legislative Assembly simply because he became a bankrupt.

Remember, that it is finally the people who chooses the 'wakil rakyat' - if the people feel that a bankrupt is who they want as their representative - that is up to the people. In the same way, it is the people's choice to choose a convicted criminal as their MP or ADUN - even if he/she is still serving time in prison. 

TODAY, there are so many other possible peoples' representative (MPs and ADUNs) have been convicted(still appealing), are on trial where conviction and sentence may disqualify them, etc...Wong Tack(who almost defeated MCA President in the last GE), Rafizi...

48  Disqualification for membership of Parliament.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if -
(a) he is and has been found or declared to be of unsound mind; or
(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt; or
(c) he holds an office of profit; or
(d) having been nominated for election to either House of Parliament or to the Legislative Assembly of a State, or having acted as election agent to a person so nominated, he has failed to lodge any return of election expenses required by law within the time and in the manner so required; or
(e) he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon; or
(f) he has voluntarily acquired citizenship of, or exercised rights of citizenship in, any country outside the Federation or has made a declaration of allegiance to any country outside the Federation.
(2) Federal law may impose, for such periods as may be specified thereby, disqualification for membership of either House of Parliament on persons committing offences in connection with elections; and any person who has been convicted of such an offence or has in proceedings relating to an election been proved guilty of an act constituting such an offence, shall be disqualified accordingly for a period so specified.

(3) The disqualification of a person under paragraph (d) or paragraph (e) of Clause (1) may be removed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and shall, if not so removed, cease at the end of the period of five years beginning with the date on which the return mentioned in the said paragraph (d) was required to be lodged, or, as the case may be, the date on which the person convicted as mentioned in the said paragraph (e) was released from custody or the date on which the fine mentioned in the said paragraph (e) was imposed on such person and a person shall not be disqualified under paragraph (f) of Clause (1) by reason only of anything done by him before he became a citizen.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Article, where a member of either House of Parliament becomes disqualified from continuing to be a member thereof pursuant to paragraph (e) of Clause (1) or under a federal law made in pursuance of Clause (2) -
(a) the disqualification shall take effect upon the expiry of fourteen days from the date on which he was -
(i) convicted and sentenced as specified in the aforesaid paragraph (e); or
(ii) convicted of an offence or proved guilty of an act under a federal law made in pursuance of Clause (2); or
(b) if within the period of fourteen days specified in paragraph (a) an appeal or any other court proceeding is brought in respect of such conviction or sentence, or in respect of being so convicted or proved guilty, as the case may be, the disqualification shall take effect upon the expiry of fourteen days from the date on which such appeal or other court proceeding is disposed of by the court; or
(c) if within the period specified in paragraph (a) or the period after the disposal of the appeal or other court proceeding specified in paragraph (b) there is filed a petition for a pardon, such disqualification shall take effect immediately upon the petition being disposed of.
(5) Clause (4) shall not apply for the purpose of nomination, election or appointment of any person to either House of Parliament, for which purpose the disqualification shall take effect immediately upon the occurrence of the event referred to in paragraph (e) of Clause (1) or in Clause (2), as the case may be.
(6) A person who resigns his membership of the House of Representatives shall, for a period of five years beginning with the date on which his resignation takes effect, be disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives.

 50  Effect of disqualification, and prohibition of nomination or appointment without consent.
(1) If a member of either House of Parliament becomes disqualified for membership of that House his seat shall become vacant.
(2) If a person disqualified for being a member of the House of Representatives is elected to that House or if a person disqualified for being a member of the Senate is elected or appointed to the Senate or if an election or appointment to either House is contrary to Article 49, the election or appointment shall be void.
(3) (Repealed).
(4) A person cannot be validly nominated for election to membership of either House or appointed to the Senate without his consent.

Wong Tack may not get second shot in GE14 amid rioting trial

Published on  |  Modified on
Himpunan Hijau activist Wong Tack came close to defeating MCA president Liow Tiong Lai in the last general election, losing the Bentong parliamentary seat by only 379 votes.

While Wong has continued to work the ground in Bentong, the activist who contested under DAP's banner may not get a second shot if he is found guilty of rioting.

Wong, in a statement, said his more than three years trial, along with 14 others, was at its tail end as a directive had been given to "conclude the case as soon as possible".

Wong and 14 others were on June 22, 2014 charged with rioting under Section 147 of the Penal Code and illegal assembly under Section 145 of the same law for their protest outside the Lynas Advance Material Plant (Lamp) in Gebeng, Pahang.

Both offences carry a punishment of up to two years imprisonment or a fine or both.

Under the law, someone who has been jailed for a year or fined RM2,000 is barred from contesting the election for five years.

"The trial will continue on Feb 27 and 28. I will take the witness stand on the second day.

"Let's continue to march forward and fight on, hidup hijau," said Wong.

The Himpunan Hijau was a green movement which was formed in response amid concerns with the Lynas plant which processes rare earth.

Lynas had stressed the plant was safe and any radiation produced was within the permissible level.

The movement received strong support from the opposition.

In the 2013 general election, Wong contested under DAP's banner in Bentong against Liow, who was at that time the MCA deputy president.

Liow garnered 25,947 votes to Wong's 25,568 votes. - Malaysiakini, 25/2/2018






Uthayakumar gets early release from prison

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today upheld lawyer P. Uthayakumar's conviction for writing a letter of a seditious nature to former British prime minister Gordon Brown but reduced his 30 months' jail sentence to 24 months.

A three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Aziah Ali said a lesser sentence was appropriate, thus the court varied the jail term to 24 months.

Following this decision, Uthayakumar who has been detained in Kajang prison since June 5, last year, will be released on Oct 3.

Justice Aziah who sat with Justices Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi dismissed Uthayakumar's final appeal over the conviction under the Sedition Act, but allowed the lawyer a reduced sentence.

She said the court found the complaints by the appellant (Uthayakumar) on the conviction imposed by the Sessions Court judge to be without merit.

The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions from lawyer M. Manoharan, who represented Uthayakumar, and Deputy Public Prosecutor Azlina Rasdi, who appeared for the prosecution.

Since Uthayakumar's case originated at the Sessions Court, his last legal avenue ended in the Court of Appeal.

On June 5, last year the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court found Uthayakumar guilty on the charge of writing a letter of a seditious nature which was addressed to Gordon Brown, who was then Britain's prime minister, at 10 Downing Street, London, United Kingdom.

He was charged with committing the offence in Jalan Toman 7, Kemayan Square, Seremban, Negri Sembilan on Nov 15, 2007 under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948.

On Feb 18, this year, the High Court upheld the conviction and 30 months' jail sentence after rejecting Uthayakumar's appeal. – Bernama - The Sun Daily, 18/9/2014


Lim Guan Eng Released From Kajang Prison

LIM Guan Eng is greeted by about 5,000 political activists outside the Kajang Prison after his release today.

KAJANG Aug 25 - Former Kota Melaka Member of Parliament and DAP deputy secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was released from the Kajang Prison today after serving one year of his 18-month jail sentence for sedition and defamation.

Guan Eng was taken out of the jail in a prison van accompanied by a police patrol car at about 7.50 am to an unknown destination in Kajang town.

Reporters covering his release later learnt that Guan Eng was taken to a nearby hotel.

An hour after he left the prison about 2,000 supporters, carrying banners and accompanied by a lion dance troupe as well as kompang and tabla drummers, gathered outside the jail to greet him.

At about 9 am, he came back in his father Lim Kit Siang's black Mercedes Benz car to to greet and address his supporters outside the prison's main gate.

Guan Eng, a three-term MP, began his jail sentence on Aug 26 last year when his appeal against conviction under the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act was rejected by the Federal Court.

''I'm most touched by this rousing welcome for me this morning,'' said a cheerful and healthy-looking Guan Eng, speaking atop the car.

Guan Eng told the crowd that despite being behind bars for a year, his ''spirit of Malaysian Malaysia has not dissipated.''

He said this was his second time in jail, the first was 12 years ago when he was detained under the Internal Security Act over issues linked to the collapse of the MCA's Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Borrowing from the famous phrase of slain American black leader, Martin Luther King Jr, Guan Eng told the crowd that he has ''a dream'' too that ''one day there will be justice for all Malaysians.''

''I will tell Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad that I will not let go that dream and I'm willing to go in for the third time for Malaysian Malaysia,'' he said.

Police presence outside the prison was minimal and no untoward incident was reported.

Later at a news conference at the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya, Guan Eng denied he was a chauvinist and spoke of his plans.

Guan Eng said he could not contest in the coming general election by virtue of his conviction.

''But I have a lot things to do for the party in this coming final century election,'' he said.

The Federal Constitution stipulates that anyone fined RM2,000 and above or imprisoned for 12 months will not be entitled to contest in the general election for five years from the date of his or her release or if the sentence is in the form of a fine, from the date the fine is imposed.

Also present at the news conference were Kit Siang, DAP chairman Dr Chen Man Hin, Selangor PAS Commissioner Haji Mosinun Tahir and Parti Keadilan Nasional and Parti Rakyat Malaysia representatives.

A 2,000-strong crowd also gathered at the DAP headquarters during the press conference.

Rafizi, ex-bank clerk jailed 30 months over NFC bank accounts leak

 | February 7, 2018
Rafizi Ramli and former bank clerk Johari Mohamad were found guilty by the Sessions Court under the Banking and Financial Institution Act for revealing bank accounts relating to the National Feedlot Corporation’s subsidiary companies and chairman.

PKR’s Rafizi Ramli smiles as he makes his way to court, prior to his sentencing.

SHAH ALAM: Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli was today jailed 30 months by the Sessions Court for revealing bank accounts relating to the National Feedlot Corporation’s (NFC) subsidiary companies and executive chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail six years ago.

Judge Zamri Bakar also jailed former Public Bank clerk Johari Mohamad for 30 months for abetting Rafizi. They were found guilty under the Banking and Financial Institution Act, or Bafia.

“The two accused failed to cast a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case,” Zamri said.

However, the court allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentences to allow their lawyers Ahmad Nizam Hamid and Latheefa Koya to file appeals.
Rafizi Ramli (right) and his lawyer Ahmad Nizam Hamid (left) speaking to reporters outside the Sessions Court, after his sentencing.

Rafizi, who was formerly PKR strategy director, claimed trial to the charge under Section 97(1) of Bafia on August 2012.

The maximum fine for exposing bank accounts under Bafia is RM3 million, or a three-year jail sentence, or both.

Johari had claimed trial to a charge under Section 112 (1)(c) for abetting Rafizi.

However, the trial only started last year, as Rafizi had filed several applications to quash his charge under the now defunct Bafia and had questioned the validity of this banking law.

The government repealed Bafia in 2013 and replaced it with the Financial Services Act.

The prosecution called 19 witnesses while Rafizi and Johari gave sworn statements.

Rafizi has another conviction under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in 2016, for leaking page 98 of the classified 1MDB audit report at a press conference.

He was jailed 18 months for this by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court in 2016, and the jail sentence was upheld by the High Court in August last year.

However, he was acquitted on the charge of possessing the audit report.

Rafizi will be unable to stand in the coming election if he fails to set aside the OSA conviction along with the 18-month jail sentence, and also this Bafia-related sentence.
Article 48 of the Federal Constitution disqualifies a person from being an MP for five years should the elected representative be convicted and sentenced to more than one year in jail, or fined more than RM2,000.

Meanwhile, in an immediate response, Rafizi said he was “somehow glad” he had been given a jail sentence instead of a fine.

“If the court had imposed a hefty fine, I would not be able to pay and (would) have to be taken straight into custody,” he said.

He added that if he was taken to prison, he would not be able to campaign for Pakatan Harapan in the general election.

However, Rafizi said he was confident his appeal would be allowed on technical grounds.- FMT News, 7/2/2018

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