Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hak pekerja diwakili peguam terus dinafikan kerajaan PH? Adakah kerajaan mahu pekerja terus senang dianiyai majikan?

Jika pekerja dan majikan ada pertikaian berkaitan pembuangan kerja secara salah - pekerja sangat diprejudis jika hak diwakili peguam dinafikan. 

(1) That the Malaysian Bar, through its Legal Aid Centres, extends the services of providing advice, assistance and legal representation for workers from the point of intending to file a complaint at the Human Resource Departments (Labour Offices) or other avenues of justice, to the full settlement of the said cases. - Resolution in 2015

KETIDAKADILAN berlaku jika pekerja sendiri berdepan dengan majikan, yang biasanya lebih pengalaman dan pengetahuan tentang hak dan undang-undang, dan juga mempunyai lebih banyak sumber termasuk wang. Pihak majikan biasanya ada pegawai HR atau undang-uindang. Majikan biasa akan hantar wakilnya yang fasih isu undang-undang..

Akta Perhubungan Perusahaan kini dalam proses dipinda - tetapi Kerajaan baru juga menafikan hak pekerja diwakili peguam dalam pertemuan 'conciliation' > pindaan kini adalah pekerja boleh diwakili oleh siapa saja TETAPI peguam.

Bila pekerja mendakwa pembuangan kerja adalah salah, dan menuntut kerja kembali, pekerja perlu membuat aduan/tuntutan di Pejabat Perhubungan Perusahaan (IRD - Industrial Relations Department) dalam masa 60 hari.

Selepas itu, pegawai IRD akan panggil pekerja dan majikan untuk sesi 'conciliation'(atau 'penyelesaian') - ini adalah percubaan menyelesaikan pertikaian. 

Harapan adalah majikan akan mengambil pekerja kembali - jarang sekali berlaku. Harapan adalah majikan akan menawarkan pampasan dan pekerja menerima dan pergi - berlaku kadang-kadang tetapi biasa tidak. 

Jika tidak ada penyelesaian, kes ini dahulunya akan dirujuk kepada Menteri - yang akan mengkaji kes ini dan memutuskan sama ada akan dirujuk kepada Mahkamah Perusahaan atau tidak. Statistik dahulu menunjukkan bahawa hanya 2 antara 3 kes akan dirujuk kepada Mahkamah Perusahaan.

Bagaimana Menteri membuat keputusan ini - dia akan merujuk kepada NOTA atau dokumen yang mengandungi fakta dan hujahan undang-undang yang dihantar oleh pekerja IRD. Maklumat ini berdasarkan apa yang pihak pekerja dan majikan beritahu semasa proses di Pejabat IRD. Jika ada dokumen yang dibentangkan semasa proses ini, ia juga akan dihantarserahkan kepada Menteri...Justeru maklumat dan hujahan undang-undang pihak pekerja sangat penting...

Jika pekerja mewakili diri sendiri - masalah yang besar adalah pekerja mungkin gagal membentangkan semua fakta perlu atau hujahan undang-undang perlu menyokong dakwaan ini merupakan pembuangan kerja secara salah dan pekerja berhak diberi kerja kembali. Mengapa? Pekerja biasa hanya pekerja dan tidak arif mengenai isu dan hujahan perlu yang harus diberi..

Pekerja mungkin diwakili pekerja lain atau wakil kesatuan tetapi masalah sama timbul kerana pemimpin atau wakil kesatuan akhirnya juga adalah pekerja - tidak ada atau kurang pengetahuan isu undang-undang atau fakta perlu yang harus diberikan..Apa yang perlu adalah mereka yang arif undang-undang...supaya fakta perlu dan hujahan perlu dibentangkan kepada pegawai IRD...lebih baik jika pekerja juga bentangkan dokumen sendiri mengandungi fakta perlu serta hujahan mengapa pembuangan kerja ini salah, dan pekerja berhak mendapat kerja kembali...kalau secara lisan, masalahnya apa yang Menteri akan lihat adalah apa yang dicatat oleh pegawai IRD sebelum buat keputusan.. 

Mereka yang arif isu undang-undang dan proses keadilan adalah peguam kerana mereka ada pendidikan undang-undang dan pengalaman. Ada pemimpin atau wakil kesatuan juga yang mungkin ada pengetahuan sedemikian tetapi tak ramai...Orang lain - mungkin ini termasuk pesara yang dahulunya pegawai IRD atau Kementerian Sumber Manusia ...mereka mungkin tahu sikit tetapi adakah mereka arif? Peguam pun sama - ada yang arif isu undang-undang ...ada yang kurang arif TETAPI mereka ada IJAZAH undang-undang (kursus 4 tahun) termasuk juga ilmu apabila mereka jadi peguam... Jangan lupa bahawa majikan biasa ada pegawai HR atau sebagainya, di mana ada yang mempunyai pengetahuan mendalam isu undang-undang.

Pindaan terbaru tidak membuang masalah langkah rujukan kepada Menteri - di mana Menteri akan buat keputusan rujuk kepada Mahkamah atau tidak. Kini hanya Menteri diganti dengan 'Ketua Pengarah' - bererti jika tak ada penyelesaian di peringkat 'konsiliasi' di Pejabat IRD, kes itu tidak akan secara automatik dirujuk kepada Mahkamah. Selepas pindaan, masalah kekal kerana kes mungkin dirujuk ...mungkin tidak...Apa yang perlu adalah untuk kes terus dirujuk kepada Mahakamh dengan pantas...CARA TERBAIK ADALAH SELEPAS TUNTUTAN DIBUAT OLEH PEKERJA, IA TERUS DIRUJUK KEPADA MAHKAMAH. CARA TERBAIK TAK PERLU PERCUBAAN PENYELESAIAN DI PEJABAT IRD - TERUS RUJUK KEPADA MAHAKAMAH - Di Mahkamah, jika kedua pihak bersetuju, sebelum bicara penuh, Mahkamah boleh adakan "mediasi' atau percubaan penyelesaian...tak berjaya, BICARA..

Perwakilam Pekerja di semua peringkat - PEKERJA HARUS MEMPUNYAI HAK DIWAKILI PEGUAM PILIHAN...atau jika pekerja mahu, ia boleh diwakili pekerja lain, pemimpin atau wakil kesatuan, atau orang lain. Justeru PILIHAN di tangan pekerja...

PEGUAM - kini Majlis Peguam, yang ahlinya lebih 18,000 peguam di seluruh Semenanjung Malaysia, ...di hampir semua bandar. Majlis peguam juga kini ada 'Bantuan Guaman' yang percuma - hanya perlu bayar RM250 atau kurang untuk kos fotokopi, fi Mahkamah, dll...Bantuan Guaman yang diberikan adalah menyeluruh termasuk nasihat ...dan semesti juga untuk wakili pekerja dalam proses di IRD atau pejabat Buruh...RESOLUSI Majlis Peguam secara khusus mengenai isu ini dipaparkan di bawah... 

WAKIL KESATUAN DAN PEMIMPIN KESATUAN  - Hakikat kini adalah hanya lebih kurang 4-5% pekerja sektor swasta yang ada Kesatuan Sekerja > Maknanya adalah 95% pekerja tak berkesatuan atau ada Kesatuan. Tak ada kesatuan pun boleh minta wakil daripada Kesatuan lain termasuk MTUC...Masalah baru adalah wakil kesatuan atau pemimpin kesatuan kini minta bayaran daripada pekerja > ANIH sekali kerana bukankah mereka selaku pemimpin dan wakil kesatuan secara PERCUMA membantu sauda pekerja yang lain? [Ada kes, nak jumpa wakil MTUC untuk bincang kes pun kena bayar RM50 atau lebih setiap kali ada pertemuan...Di Mahkamah Perusahaan, ada pemimpin atau wakil kesatuan juga caj RM5,000 - RM10,000 yang pekerja perlu bayar...

ORANG LAIN - Ini tak tahu ...mungkin ada yang akan mengenakan caj kepada pekerja yang hilang pekerjaan..

BANTUAN GUAMAN - Kini kerajaan PH pun tidak sediakan bantuan guaman percuma kepada Pekerja dalam kes kerja...MENGAPA? Bantuan guaman kerajaan kini untuk kes cerai/nafkah...dan bau ini untuk kes Jenayah dimana orang yang disyaki atau tertuduh adalah warganegara Malaysia..

JUSTERU, pilihan terbaik untuk pekerja adalah PEGUAM melalui Pusat Bantuan Guaman Majlis Peguam..

ADAKAH MTUC DAN ATAU MEF(Persatuan Majikan) membantah pekerja diberikan hak diwakili PEGUAM dalam kes pekerja di pejabat Buruh dan pejabat IRD atau dalam Siasatan Dalaman(Domestic Inquiry)? 

MUNGKIN - jika Peguam dibenarkan wakili pekerja, periuk nasi mereka akan tergugat - Tak ada peguam bererti wakil MTUC (atau kesatuan lain) dan wakil MEF boleh terus mewakili pekerja atau majikan - dan mendapat bayaran untuk perkhidmatan mereka?

TETAPI, bukankah MTUC selaku wakil pekerja BERJUANG untuk menjaga kepentingan dan kebajikan pekerja - termasuk mempunyai bantuan dan perwakilan terbaik dalam apa-apa pertelingkahan atau proses memperjuangkan hak ...di mana PEGUAM adalah secara am paling arif..

AKHIRNYA, pilihan harus di tangan pekerja - Mereka berhak pilih siapa yang mereka mahu untuk membantu, beri nasihat, mewakili mereka --- sama ada Peguam, Pemimpin Kesatuan, Wakil Kesatuan, Pekerja Lain atau Orang Lain..

JUSTERU mengapa hak pekerja untuk diwakili PEGUAM masih dinafikan Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan?

Biar pekerja lemah...dalam perjuangan dengan majikan > Adakah kerajaan PH masih PRO-MAJIKAN sama saperti kerajaan terdahulu..

Pekerja lemah, kurang pembelajaran, gaji rendah dan tidak ada banyak wang...HILANG KERJA - lagi susah - tak ada kerja dan pendapatan > MEREKA ADALAH GULUNGAN YANG SANGAT MEMERLUKAN BANTUAN 

Kerajaan PH juga harus sediakan Bantuan Guaman KERAJAAN untuk semua pekerja, warganegara atau bukan warganegara. Kini hanya ada BANTUAN GUAMAN MAJLIS PEGUAM, yang tak dapat apa-apa bantuan kerajaan, yang sediakan bantuan guaman untuk SEMUA pekerja - wargagara atau bukan warganegara..

MTUC telah membantah pindaan Akta Perhubungan Perusahaan yang dibentangkan di Parlimen - kata mereka ini dibuat tanpa perbincangan terdahulu dan sokongan MTUC, selaku wakili pekerja Malaysia kini..

Saya percaya, MTUC juga membantah hak pekerja diwakili PEGUAM

Pindaan tersebut menafikan hak pekerja di wakili peguam adalah saperti berikut:-

12. Seksyen 20 Akta ibu dipinda—...


(c) dalam subperenggan (6)(a)(ii), dengan memotong perkataan “or”; 
(d) dalam subperenggan (6)(a)(iii), dengan menggantikan perkataan “and” dengan perkataan “or”; 
(e) dengan memasukkan selepas subperenggan (6)(a)(iii) subperenggan yang berikut:“(iv) be represented by any other person except an advocate and solicitor, duly authorized by the employer in writing and subject to the permission of the Director General; and”; 

(f) dalam subperenggan (6)(b)(ii), dengan memotong perkataan “or”; 
(g) dalam subperenggan (6)(b)(iii), dengan menggantikan tanda noktah dengan perkataan “; or”;
(h) dengan memasukkan selepas subperenggan (6)(b)(iii) subperenggan yang berikut:“(iv) be represented by any other person except an advocate and solicitor, duly authorized by the workman in writing and subject to the permission of the Director General.”;
 
Seksyen 20(6) mengenai perwakilan semasa pembuangan kerja kini (termasuk pindaan cadangan untuk seksyen 20(6)(b) dalam warna biru khusus mengenai perwakilan untuk pihak pekerja yang kena buang kerja

20  Representations on dismissals


(6) In any proceedings under subsection (2)-
(a) an employer may-
(i) represent himself or be represented by his duly authorized employee;
(ii) where he is a member of a trade union of employers, be represented by any officer or employee of such trade union of employers; or
(iii) notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law relating to the registration of trade unions, be represented by any official of an organization of employers registered in Malaysia (not being a trade union of employers); and
(b) a workman may-
(i) represent himself;
(ii) where he is a member of a trade union of workmen, be represented by any officer or employee of such trade union of workmen; or
(iii) notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law relating to the registration of trade unions, be represented by any official of an organization of workmen registered in Malaysia (not being a trade union of workmen).
(iv) be represented by any other person except an advocate and solicitor, duly authorized by the workman in writing and subject to the permission of the Director General.”;(Pindaan yang akan dimasukkan)


(7) Save as provided in subsection (6), a workman or employer shall not be represented by an advocate, adviser, consultant or by any other person whatsoever.
Lihat RESOLUSI Majlis Peguam, yang secara khusus, melanjutkan bantuan guaman, termasuk kepada bantuan dan perwakilan semasa proses 'consiliasi' di Pejabat IRD -  Jika ada Kesatuan membantu hak pekerja diwakili peguam(advocate and solicitor), persoalan adalah adakah Kesatuan sedemikian sokong perjuangan hak pekerja atau tidak?

Resolutions Adopted at the 69th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar Held at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel (Saturday, 14 Mar 2015) 




Whereas:

(1)   Workers in Malaysia whose rights are violated have the right to lodge claims with the Human Resource Department (“HRD”) (formerly known as the Labour Department), the Industrial Relations Department (“IRD”) or other available avenues, but workers need legal advice and assistance to be able to effectively determine and document their claims, which would also include identifying and preparing the requisite evidence, be it documentary evidence or available witnesses, to support their claim.  Workers generally do not have the capacity, legal knowledge or know-how to be able to do this.

(2)   Less than 5 per cent of workers in the private sector are unionised, and as such the majority of the about 13 million workers in Malaysia, of which about 2.9 million are migrant workers, will not have even have access to union assistance.  Most unions also do not have the capacity and legal knowledge needed to assist workers with their claims.

(3)   After the lodging of complaints, if the matter cannot be resolved by conciliation in the HRD, it proceeds to a hearing before the Labour Court, whereby proceedings are akin to any court proceedings, whereby the workers have the right to be represented by a lawyer.  Most employers are currently represented by lawyers but most workers are not.  This is an unjust situation.

(4)   The workers’ claims at the HRD generally are small and not very large, and employing the services of a lawyer would mean paying more than the amount claimed for, or a significant percentage of the total claim.  Lawyers ordinarily will not be likely to take up such cases.

(5)   At present, when a worker is successful in a claim at the HRD or Labour Court (“HR Court”), what he will get is only the amount that the employer should have originally paid him but failed to.  In proceeding with the claim, the worker loses monies in terms of transport and even lost days of work.  Hence, at the end of the day, the worker loses out.  When an employer cheats the workers by, amongst others, the non-payment of monies due, the law should provide deterrence in the form of maybe requiring the said employer to pay double or triple the amount payable to the worker.

(6)   The Bar Council Legal Aid Centres have the capacity and the ability to assist, provide legal assistance and even representation for workers from the point before the worker lodges any complaints/claims to the point of the final settlement of the claim, and this legal aid should be provided to all workers, including migrant workers, especially those whose basic wages do not exceed RM3,000. 

(7)   National Legal Aid Foundation, at present, does not extend its services to claims for worker rights.


We hereby resolve:

(1) That the Malaysian Bar, through its Legal Aid Centres, extends the services of providing advice, assistance and legal representation for workers from the point of intending to file a complaint at the Human Resource Departments (Labour Offices) or other avenues of justice, to the full settlement of the said cases.

(2) That the Malaysian Bar shall also do the needful to make the National Legal Aid Foundation extend its services to also worker rights violations.

(3) That the Bar Council also do the needful to create awareness of, and if possible, provide training on, worker rights, including how to use all available channels to access for justice for workers, including providing necessary training for lawyers, workers and trade unions.

(4) That the Bar Council shall call upon Malaysia to review all existing labour legislation, also with a view of providing more deterrent penalties for employers and just remedies for workers who have been exploited or cheated by employers. 


MTUC says never consulted on amendments to Industrial Relations Act

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Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-general J Solomon.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today denied that it had been consulted over labour law reforms including amendments to the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) which were tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

In a statement, MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran had lied about consulting with stakeholders before tabling the amendments.

He also accused Kula of unilaterally deciding to submit proposed amendments to the IRA, Employment Act and Trades Union Act to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for approval.

“None of the proposals that were sent to the AGC, including the IRA amendments tabled in Parliament on Monday, were endorsed by the technical committee or NLAC,” he said, referring to the National Labour Advisory Council and the committee comprising officials from the ministry, MTUC and Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Kula recently said that the amendments to the IRA would be debated and are expected to be approved by Parliament in the current session.

He also said the views of stakeholders including NLAC, MEF and MTUC had been taken into account.

However, Solomon said the minister had rushed the proposals to the AGC without waiting for MTUC to submit its proposed amendments to the NLAC.

He said an NLAC meeting had been held on Sept 27 during which MTUC asked why the ministry had “sidelined” the council and technical committee with regard to the labour law reforms.

He said MEF had also urged the ministry to convene an urgent technical committee meeting to discuss the final proposals by MEF and MTUC on the reforms. However, this never took place.

“Kula did not attend the NLAC meeting,” he added. “His deputy and the ministry secretary-general washed their hands of the matter, insisting it was Kula who wanted to table the amendments in the current Parliament sitting, hence the ‘rush’.

“Having portrayed himself as a champion for labour law reforms when he took office, the minister of human resources has unfortunately turned into the proverbial wolf in sheep’s skin, endangering the future of workers with his high-handed and unilateral decisions.” - Free Malaysia Today, 9/10/2019
 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Peoples' Money - Was there 'kleptocracy' and abuses on monies MPs get? RM5 mil? RM1.5 mil? Should MACC investigate?

BN used to give their MPs at least RM5 million every year -  it was criticized by Lim Kit Siang who said ... '...as if taxpayers’ money are the private funds of the Umno/BN ministers and MPs,...' - 'this “moral blind spot” is the root of grand corruption in the top echelons of the ruling government...' read Malaysiakini report below. 

Now Pakatan Harapan is also giving their MPs money - 'RM1.5 million plus RM300,000 for service centres'
He [Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong] said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers. 
WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW IS WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING? HOW IS IT SPEND? WHERE ARE THE ACCOUNTS? WHERE ARE THE AUDITED ACCOUNTS? 

The government every year allocates monies to the different Ministries, government departments and agencies which is meant for them to do all that comes within their responsibilities all over the country. Hence this MP's moneys should really not be used for works already supposed to be done done by these Ministries, departments or agencies...so, what exactly has the MPs been doing with this money?

Do the various MPs publicly display their accounts - TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. No, why then are they 'hiding'?

Are some of the monies received getting lost by reason of 'kleptocracy' or abuses? Are they taking the monies themselves? Are they giving it to their friends and family? ARE THEY 'buying votes' or maintaining their popular support using these monies? Is there discrimination in how the funds are being used? Are Opposition members and supporters also being assisted?

They repaired drains - How was the Contractor selected? Was there an 'open tender'? Was it given to just friends and party members? Was the contract price 'inflated' to enrich some wrongly?

Money for service centers? Are they paying 'higher rent' than normal? Are they paying 'very high salary' to some of their staff? Are they paying EPF and SOCSO? Are their employees even registered? Are they paying for just the phone bills of their 'service centres'...or also their own home and other personal phones?


MPs are famous for making 'donations' for this and that...When ordinary people make donations, it is their own money > so, are MPs donating their own money, after all they earn more than RM16,000 being the salary of an MP, or are they not being truly generous, but in fact is merely handing out this 'government allocations'?

In the past, from personal experience, when you do not invite the BN man to your organisational function, and usually also to give a speech - well, then you do not get any 'donations' from him or her? So, people invited MPs or ADUNs really for these 'donations' rather than for some other more honorable reasons...If there is no chance of getting donations or 'financial contributions', will many of these even invite MPs or party leaders? I wonder...

So, the 'money' really diminishes respect for MPs and leaders, and also confuses the true role of the MP? Is this what Pakatan Harapan want? 

By the way, how many Pakataan Harapan leaders have been having regular 'town hall' sessions with their own constituents, that is open to all constituents? How can one be a peoples' representative without having regular consultation with the people...? Smiling, waving, shaking hands, giving 'donations' or even giving speeches...is just not enough...Do our MPs now adopt the view "LISTEN...LISTEN...I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND THE PEOPLE?'

Anyway, time for disclosure of ACCOUNTS by MPs, ADUNS..
Time for all these Accounts to be AUDITED by the Auditor General...

Or maybe, there need to be REFORMS - allocations for MPs only to cover service centres, staff (or should they be made into 'civil servants'?), meet the people events including 'town hall sessions', forums, consultation sessions, ...websites and social media costs, rights education programs, etc..How many service centers and staff be based on size of constituency?

Maybe no more allocation for constituency funds for development, maintenance, welfare, wheel chairs,   - all will flow directly from relevant Ministries and departments.

Uproar in Dewan Rakyat over allocations for MPs

Nation
Monday, 01 Apr 2019 10:57 AM MYT

By HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM and MARTIN CARVALHO & TARRENCE TAN






KUALA LUMPUR: A shouting match erupted in the Dewan Rakyat, after Opposition lawmakers questioned the allocations that were promised to them under the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) urged the Pakatan government to keep its promise in its election manifesto.

The manifesto had said there would be funding based on a transparent formula to all Dewan Rakyat lawmakers, so that they can carry out their responsibilities in their respective constituencies and operate their service centres.

“Pakatan was seen as being positive in giving equal funding for all, which is why the people chose Pakatan.


“I want to know, when YB Langkawi (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) became the Prime Minister, he announced (RM100,000) allocation for all Opposition lawmakers; that was his first announcement.

Dr Mahathir had announced in June last year that Pakatan lawmakers would be given RM500,000.

“Who cancelled that (earlier) announcement, not even one cent was given to us,” said Dr Wee.

He said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers.

Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) said that it was a form of discrimination and is unfair for the people.

“The people chose their MPs but the government has provided a very small allocation for the Opposition lawmakers, this is discrimination and unfair to the people who voted for the Opposition,” he added.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said the allocations should be given based on the needs of a particular constituency.

“If Kangar needs more, or Pasir Gudang needs more, then give them, but if Pasir Salak asks, also give Pasir Salak an allocation,” he quipped.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik said in response that the allocations for lawmakers were released last week and can be used.

He added that this was a first step to a good beginning, as it is the first time such allocations have been implemented.

“We can have improvements from time to time, based on the economy as well as based on the discretion of the Prime Minister,” he said in his winding up debate on the Royal address for his ministry on Monday (April 1).

He said that the allocations given to Pakatan MP are special allocations totalling RM1.5mil for this year.

“Last year, there was RM500,000 and an additional of RM500,000 given to (Pakatan) MPs.

“The Pakatan lawmakers were also given RM300,000 to manage their service centres,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had lodged a police report over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He said the MACC had lodged a report on Feb 28 this year.

“The police report is regarding the leak of investigation papers of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

“It is under police investigation and it is still being probed,” he said.

Dr Wee had earlier took the government to task for not confirming or revealing any information on MACC’s report lodged over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He urged the government to reveal the content of the report and authenticity of information leaked.

“We want to know whether it is true or not, as we want to correct what is wrong.

“This is not something that we can play around,” he added.

The Ayer Hitam MP also urged the government to state how can the investigation papers got leaked as it involved the integrity of MACC.

“The most important thing is the reputation of MACC and why no action was taken,” he asked.

To this, Hanipa said a police report is a public document and can be acquired from the police.

“It is a public document, and anybody is entitled to look into the report,” said Hanipa.

It was reported that political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted several articles on his blog, said to contain the leaked information.

The blogger alleged that several Penang state exco members were being scrutinised in the MACC’s probe into the project.

The 7.2km undersea tunnel is part of a RM6.3bil, which also includes three paired roads.  - Star, 1/4/2019


'Najib buying support with more MP funds?'

Published:  |  Modified:
An opposition veteran has slammed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on his move to increase the allocation for BN parliamentarians as a move to “buy” their support in the face of his political crisis.

“On Sunday, Najib announced that more money will be provided for Umno/BN MPs next year, with financial allocations to BN parliamentary constituencies increased from RM5 million for each Umno/BN MP.

“Imagine a more than 50-fold increase for Umno/BN MPs allegedly for their constituency development from four decades ago - which is denied to opposition MPs, as if taxpayers’ money are the private funds of the Umno/BN ministers and MPs,” Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang said in a statement today.

Lim said this “moral blind spot” is the root of grand corruption in the top echelons of the ruling government.

“Here is where corruption started - the fatal moral blind spot to distinguish between right from wrong,” said Lim.

Opposition MPs have been attempting to redress the disproportionate allocations that the BN government gives to opposition MPs compared to their own, without success.

In particular, Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj challenged the allocations in court in 2010 but eventually failed after appealing up to the Federal Court level in 2013.

Najib lon Sunday promised his MPs an increase , in the face of an alleged plot to remove him from office through a no confidence vote or MP declarations.

"Before it (the constituency allocation) was RM1 million, now it is RM5 million but next year there will be more.

“I will make an announcement about what we can do," Najib told Umno members at the Gerik Umno meet on Sunday according to Bernama .

‘Can’t tell right from wrong’ 
 
Lim, commenting on the present fiasco over the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal accounts, now claimed to be a political donation, said giving extra MP allocations was a form of corruption.

“Political corruption takes many forms and has many causes.

“For instance, the annual allocation of RM100,000 a year for BN parliamentary constituencies for minor development projects is a form of political corruption.

“Yet the government cannot recognise it for what it is, which shows that it has a moral blind spot which prevents it from discerning what is morally right and what is morally wrong,” the DAP parliamentary leader said.

“This moral blind spot, which prevents government leaders from distinguishing between what is right and wrong, politically and morally if not yet legally, has worsened over the years.”

Lim also referred to how his challenge this week to Umno leaders whether they had received any money from Najib’s RM2.6 billion had met with near total silence, with the exception of Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

“Malaysians are intrigued why Anifah is the only one out of 69 ministers and deputy ministers (senators will have to be excluded) who dared to declare that he has not received any funding from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts for the 13th GE campaign,” noted Lim.

He said if such moral blind spots over corruption are not eradicated and persist among the government ministers and leaders, any attempt by Najib to propose his political funding reform is “doomed to failure”.- Malaysiakini, 20/8/2015






Sunday, October 13, 2019

Special 'treatment' for DAP wakil rakyat and leaders? MPs really need to understand SOSMA?

When Lim Guan Eng told us that the police assured him that no more DAP  leaders or wakil rakyat will be targetted..., this is very wrong - is the police going to give special treatment to MPs and party leaders?

“I was also informed that whilst more people will be arrested for alleged links to LTTE, no more leaders or wakil rakyat from DAP will be targeted,” the Bagan MP said.
Then, media report concerning what  Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy and MP Lim Lip Eng is saying about SOSMA also raises worries that they may not understand what SOSMA is - it is not a Detention Without Trial law - if it is resorted to, police can hold in remand a suspect for 28 days, compared with the normal maximum of 14 days...

When ordinary people are constantly being arrested and detained under SOSMA, our 'wakil rakyat'(MP/ADUN/Senators) and the various political parties seems disinterested...but when politicians and 'personalities' get arrested, media reports and all is concerned..
DISTURBING, when a media report said that police gave assurance that there will be no more arrests of DAP peoples' representatives ....What is this? Are politicians a 'special class' still who will accorded special treatment in police/MACC/etc...investigations even now under the new government of HOPE - Pakatan Harapan.

We all now see how even the former Prime Minister, Ministers and even politicians seem to have been given a 'special treatment' by the persons responsible for the administration of justice under the former BN government - Remember, then the Attorney General took the position that Najib was not guilty of ...matters connected to 1MDB, SRC, etc ...and now we see these people being investigated and charged in the courts...

Is the Pakatan Harapan government now doing a similar thing by protecting its politicians and 'friends' - interesting that no cases yet against some of the former BN MPs who joined Pakatan Harapan parties before General Elections ...and even later? It would be reassuring if these persons are also being investigated ...by the police and the MACC. There is no limitation for crime - so, even Anwar Ibrahim, when he was in the BN Cabinet commited crimes, he should be now charged in court...? No corruption...no kleptocracy...no tax evasion - no money laundering...no abuse of power? 

Why did the police resort to SOSMA - the police have an Option to resort to SOSMA but they need not do so...they can still produce before a Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest, and make the usual application for remand orders by Magistrate... 

After 24 hours, section 4(5) of SOSMA states, ‘(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), a police officer of or above the rank of Superintendent of Police may extend the period of detention for a period of not more than twenty-eight days, for the purpose of investigation.’.- Release 2 Wakil Rakyat (Elected Peoples’ Representative) Detained under SOSMA

The law uses the word 'may' - so the police can follow normal criminal procedure...

It is sad that some of our Ministers and even politicians still do not understand SOSMA - and is talking as though it is 'Detention Without Trial' - It is not. 

In normal criminal cases, police can arrest...and thereafter they need to apply, and they can get up to 14 days of remand purpose for investigation. With SOSMA, the remand period is 28 days ...and they do not need to get a Magistrate's order...all they need is a senior police officers authorization...[For a better understanding, see statement in ___- Release 2 Wakil Rakyat (Elected Peoples’ Representative) Detained under SOSMA and other posts about SOSMA in the blog(use the Search function)

In my opinion, when a person is arrested as a suspect for committing any one of the 'security offences' listed in SOSMA, they can follow normal criminal procedure - bring before a Magistrate within 24 hours, make remand application as usual...

BAIL - Well, SOSMA states clearly that anyone charged with any of the about 100 'security offences' listed in SOSMA shall not have bail - hence they will be detained until their trial is over... The word used is 'shall' not 'may'..
13(1) of SOSMA states that 'Bail shall not be granted to a person who has been charged with a security offence.'
USE normal Criminal Procedure - Police should CHOOSE to use the SOSMA powers for all arrested for the 70-100 'security offences' listed in SOSMA...Most are after all offences under the Penal Code and others are under other Acts...

DAP: Our two reps innocent, no link to extremist activities

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in a statement today, called the arrests ‘shocking’. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in a statement today, called the arrests ‘shocking’. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — DAP said today it trusts that its two leaders who were arrested for alleged activities in November 2018 tied to the now-defunct terror group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are innocent.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also said the political party would ensure legal representation for the duo, who are both state lawmakers and were arrested today by the police.

“DAP believes in the innocence of our two DAP assemblypersons, who were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) today over their alleged connections with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“Their involvement in the DAP so far, has shown no indication that the two were involved in any activities that departed from the party’s stand of moderation, non-violence and peaceful resolution,” he said in a statement today.

“The arrests were shocking and I have expressed to the authorities that the party stands firmly behind our two state legislators, Melaka exco member and assemblymen for Gadek G. Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyperson P. Gunasekaran,” he added, referring to the Melaka and Negri Sembilan lawmakers.
Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Sungai Buloh October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM
Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Sungai Buloh October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM
Lim said he was told that the Sosma arrest of the duo means that they can be detained for up to 28 days for investigation, adding however that the police have promised a speedy probe to enable investigation papers to be sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers and to enable the two to be released early.

He said the police have claimed that there was concrete proof before the arrests were made and that the matter was referred to all relevant authorities before action was taken.

“I was also informed that whilst more people will be arrested for alleged links to LTTE, no more leaders or wakil rakyat from DAP will be targeted,” the Bagan MP said.

“DAP will provide a legal team to represent our two DAP leaders with lead counsel led by Bukit Gelugor MP Ram Karpal and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer,” he said, adding that the police has promised to allow the two who were arrested to have access to their family and lawyers.
Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Segamat October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM
Counter-terrorism police carry out an operation against suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathisers in Segamat October 10, 2019. — Picture courtesy of PDRM
Lim added that the police had allegedly praised the two DAP lawmakers that were arrested for their full and calm cooperation during the arrests.

Lim said he has asked DAP national vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran to represent the party in liaising with the relevant authorities, the two lawmakers and their family members.

Earlier today, Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-terrorism Division (E8) principal assistant director, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay confirmed that the two assemblymen were arrested for participating in an LTTE “Heroes Day” celebration in Melaka on November 28, 2018.

Ayob Khan had said that the two allegedly “delivered speeches that contained elements that showed support towards LTTE” and had also allegedly distributed materials related to the group.

The police said five other suspects were nabbed in Malaysia for allegedly promoting, supporting and sourcing funds meant for the LTTE.
Principal assistant director of the Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) of the Special Branch Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay addresses a press conference at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Principal assistant director of the Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) of the Special Branch Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay addresses a press conference at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
- Malay Mail, 10/10/2019



‘Why use Sosma on the seven’


Nation
Saturday, 12 Oct 2019

GEORGE TOWN: The seven people arrested for their alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group should be charged under the Penal Code, says Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy .

He said they should not be detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012 for 28 days.

“The police should show evidence and bring them to court.

“Use the Penal Code on them, where they would have a chance to defend themselves.

“The Penal Code provides bail, legal representation and evidence which could be scrutinised in a court of law.


“Sosma and the Sedition Act are draconian laws which have yet to be repealed by the Pakatan Harapan government, ” Ramasamy said when met at his office at Komtar.

On Thursday, Melaka exco member G. Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasegaran were among seven people nabbed for their alleged links to the LTTE in simultaneous operations launched by the Bukit Aman Counter-Terrorism Division (E8).

Press members swarmed Ramasamy’s office on the 52nd floor of Komtar yesterday amid rife speculation that he and Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy would be picked up in the morning.

However, there was no sign of any E8 operation at the building housing the state administration.

Ramasamy said he was not aware of the activities of Saminathan and Gunasegaran prior to their arrests.

“All I know is they attended a war memorial for war victims in Melaka last year, which is not tantamount to a crime.

“Is it a crime to attend a war memorial for war victims or be sympathetic to the Rohingya, Tamilians and Hamas?” he said.

He added that there were no attempts to revive the defunct LTTE in Malaysia.

Ramasamy, who is also Penang DAP vice-chairman, added that he was mulling over filing a defamatory suit against PAS’ Kuala Nerus MP Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali who had called for his arrest.

Khairuddin, in an interview with an online portal, said Ramasamy had provoked the Tamils to confront the government and he should be arrested and investigated under Sosma.

In Kuala Lumpur, Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said DAP should not interfere with police investigations after its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed that the police had assured him that there would be no more arrests of its party leaders over alleged connections with the LTTE.

“The Opposition bloc expresses dissatisfaction over Lim’s statement, which is seen as interfering with police matters, ” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby.Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera MP, said “investigations and arrests must continue even if high-ranking government officials are involved”.

The Opposition, he added, also expressed regret over remarks comparing the LTTE to the Palestinian people who fought for their own land.

Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau urged the police to take stern action against anyone who broke the law, especially those involved in terrorism.

On the arrests of the two DAP assemblymen, Lau expressed worry that the LTTE might have penetrated a Malaysian political party.

“This is a very serious issue, ” he said.

Meanwhile, former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan questioned the move by the authorities to use Sosma to detain the two assemblymen.

“I’m quite shocked. The basis has been given, but I don’t see why it has to be Sosma.

“There is no need to use it. I’m appalled that this is happening under this government, ” she was quoted as saying by online portals after attending a forum yesterday. - Star, 12/10/2019

2 more Melaka DAP members nabbed in LTTE probe

“DAP vice-chairman M Kula Segaran with the wife and family members of Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran, who has been arrested under the Sosma security law.”
PETALING JAYA: Two more members of Melaka DAP were reportedly arrested by police under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) today over suspected links to a now-defunct Sri Lankan separatist group. Three others, two in Penang and one in Selangor, were also reportedly arrested.

State DAP chairman Tey Kok Kiew, told Berita Harian that the chief executive of a state-owned company and a municipal councillor, were nabbed in the morning.

“I am made to understand that they were detained at their homes in Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah, around 10am,” he told the Malay daily.

Melaka police chief Mat Kasim Karim confirmed that the duo were arrested over their alleged ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“They were detained under Sosma by Bukit Aman police. It is related to the arrest of a Melaka exco member recently,” Berita Harian quoted Mat Karim as saying.

On Thursday, Police detained Malacca exco member and Gadek assemblyman G Saminathan and Seremban Jaya assemblyman P Gunasekaran.

They were arrested over their alleged involvement in LTTE activities.

Bukit Aman’s anti-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said a total of seven men were arrested, adding that police had been monitoring their movements since November last year.

The DAP’s national vice-chairman, M Kula Segaran, visited the families of Saminathan and Gunasekaran at their homes today. He said: “They are shaken over the incident.”

He said he had been entrusted to represent the party in liaising with the relevant authorities, legislators and family members concerning the arrests.

Kula Segaran, who has himself been linked to the LTTE, has denied having any connection with the Sri Lanka militant group, after a photograph was circulated widely showing him posing with a Tamil Nadu politician and LTTE sympathiser Senthamizhan Seeman.

He said anyone could post photographs on the internet, and he urged the police to investigate.- Free Malaysia Today, 12/10/2019


DAP MP wants parliamentary committee to haul up cops on Sosma use over defunct LTTE

The Kepong MP said the parliamentary watchdog must demand the police explain their use of Sosma. ―  Picture by Hari Anggara
The Kepong MP said the parliamentary watchdog must demand the police explain their use of Sosma. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has asked a parliamentary select committee on Defence and the Home Ministry to hold an emergency meeting following the arrest of seven people suspected of trying to revive a defunct Sri Lankan militant group.

The DAP lawmaker who is also a lawyer said the parliamentary watchdog must demand the police explain their use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), a law that allows for detention without trial that the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) had promised to repeal.

“I have asked the chairman of the Select Committee, member of Parliament for Nibong Tebal Prof Madya Datuk Dr Mansor bin Othman for the said meeting to be held on an urgent basis due to the seriousness of the accusations,” he said in a statement today.

“The police will have to answer to the Select Committee the need to use Sosma, a repressive and draconian law which the Pakatan Harapan government has pledged to repeal, on the seven who can be detained without trial for up to 28 days,” Lim added.

Federal police arrested two DAP state lawmakers yesterday under a security law that allows for preventive detention, purportedly over their attendance in an alleged LTTE “Heroes Day” celebration in Melaka on November 28, 2018.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-terrorism Division principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay told a news conference yesterday that Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan who is also a Melaka state executive councillor and Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaren had “delivered speeches that contained elements that showed support towards the LTTE” and had also allegedly distributed materials related to the group.

The duo was among five other suspects nabbed in Malaysia for allegedly promoting, supporting and sourcing funds meant for the LTTE.

A number of PH have also condemned the arrest under Sosma, reminding the government of the coalition’s electoral pledge to repeal the law.

Veteran DAP MP Lim Kit Siang today reiterated in a statement that his party abhors violence and terrorism and urged for the release of the Sosma seven if they were not to be charged in court. - Malay Mail, 11/10/2019

Friday, October 11, 2019

Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty should happen in this Parliamentary Session - 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Rights of Children of those on Death Row and those executed


* This statement was carried by Malay Mail, 10/10/2019


Media Statement – 10/10/2019 (World Day Against Death Penalty)


Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty should happen in this Parliamentary Session


17th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Rights of Children of those on Death Row and those executed


On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, which falls on 10th October, MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) notes sadly that Malaysia has yet to abolish the Death Penalty, let alone the mandatory Death Penalty.


In 2018, on the World Day Against Death Penalty, it was announced that the Malaysian Cabinet had decided to abolish the death penalty not just the mandatory death penalty.


This abolition would have facilitated the return of Sirul Azhar Umar, now in Australia, an abolitionist nation, that refuse to repatriate him back to Malaysia as he faces the risk of execution. Sirul was seen by many as an important witness that may lead to the identification and prosecution of the other persons who were behind the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian mother of two.  


The abolition of the death penalty would also eliminate the possibility of execution of innocent persons - miscarriage of justice. The police, prosecutors, judges and even lawyers of the accused, all being human beings, are not infallible and could cause the wrongful execution of persons. We recall the case when in January 2011, when Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice admitted that Chiang Kuo-ching, a private in the Air Force, had been executed in error in 1997 for a murder committed 15 years previously.


In Malaysia, it has also been shown that death penalty, even the mandatory death penalty has not deterred crime. In 2017, it was revealed in Parliament that there was an increase of drug cases every year despite the drastic measures taken by the police, which we could take as including the fact of the existence of the mandatory death penalty for section 39B DDA 1952 – drug trafficking. It may be same for murder, but it is difficult as Malaysia stopped revealing actual statistics under the previous government.


The failure of government resulting in poverty may also be the cause of many crimes including those that now carry the death penalty.


On 10 October 2019, the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness on the rights of children whose parents have been sentenced to death or executed. Malaysia, a party of the Child Rights Convention, now should have the best interest of the child as a major concern. The execution of a parent, sibling or relative of any child is certainly never in the best interest of the child.


The abolition of the death penalty is also consistent with the Malaysian policy with crime and sentencing. We believe in second chances. When one pleads guilty, the sentence is reduced by a third. For those in prison, good behavior and rehabilitation will lead to remission of sentence and early release. All these values and principles cannot apply when one is sentenced to death or mandatory death penalty.


U-Turn on Decision To Abolish Death Penalty


However, on 13th March 2019, Malaysian cabinet did a U-turn on abolishing the death penalty for all 33 offences, and instead agreed to only abolish the mandatory death penalty for all 11 mandatory death penalty offences.


Since the Pakatan Harapan is a coalition government made up of 4-5 parties, it would be interesting to know which party changed its position on abolition and why. Through its MPs, we believe that DAP was an abolitionist party, but its current position now is a mystery.


Sadly, we have yet to see any tabling any Bills in Parliament to date that will effectively abolish the mandatory death penalty. The earlier indication was that these Bill/s will be tabled in the current Parliamentary session which began in October 2019.


MADPET was concerned about the recent setting up of a special committee in September 2019 to look into alternatives to the death sentence which may end up just being yet another excuse to delay abolition of the mandatory death penalty. Such committees or task force could have been set up last year since the decision to abolish the death penalty. It could have been even earlier, for the abolition of the mandatory death penalty was an election promise of Pakatan Harapan.


We reiterate that the mandatory death penalty could be immediately abolished, which will mean that judges will then have the discretion to sentence people to imprisonment or death. For the time being, it could simply be life imprisonment or natural life imprisonment. Later, if a better ‘alternative sentence’ comes from this or that ‘committee’, ’task force’  or consultations, the Act can always be further amended later.


The abolition of the mandatory death penalty should not be further delayed by the government.


Accused persons now on trial or whose trial starts before the abolition will be greatly prejudiced as both prosecution and defense lawyers may be adducing evidence only towards finding of guilt or innocence. They will not be adducing evidence as to why a person should receive a lesser sentence since the courts have no discretion as to sentence when they can only provide the one mandatory sentence.


MADPET is also against all mandatory sentences, as it removes judicial discretion when it comes to sentencing. Laws should only provide for maybe maximum sentences, and trust in our judges to impose a just sentence on each and every convicted after taking all facts and circumstances into consideration.


Malaysia created history in December 2018, when it voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the abolition of the death penalty.


MADPET hopes that the abolition of the mandatory death penalty is just the first step, towards a total abolition of the death penalty which we hope will happen soon, certainly before the next General Elections.


MADPET calls for the immediate tabling of the Bill/s to abolish the mandatory death penalty in this current Parliamentary session, for any other additional amendments could very easily be brought in by subsequent amendments later on;


MADPET calls for the passing of an Act of Parliament that will have the effect of commuting the death sentence of about 1,200 on death row, especially those that have exhausted their appeals in court;


MADPET also calls for further amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, where mandatory death penalty has already been abolished, to allow judges to consider all mitigating and aggravating circumstances and remove the limitations/conditions now in that law;


MADPET calls for a moratorium on all executions, pending the total abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia.



Charles Hector

For and on behalf of MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)



Abolition of mandatory death penalty should happen in this parliamentary session ― Charles Hector

OCTOBER 10 ― On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, which falls on October 10, MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) notes sadly that Malaysia has yet to abolish the death penalty, let alone the mandatory death penalty.

In 2018, on the World Day Against Death Penalty, it was announced that the Malaysian Cabinet had decided to abolish the death penalty not just the mandatory death penalty.

This abolition would have facilitated the return of Sirul Azhar Umar, now in Australia, an abolitionist nation, that refuse to repatriate him back to Malaysia as he faces the risk of execution. Sirul was seen by many as an important witness that may lead to the identification and prosecution of the other persons who were behind the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian mother of two.

The abolition of the death penalty would also eliminate the possibility of execution of innocent persons ― miscarriage of justice. The police, prosecutors, judges and even lawyers of the accused, all being human beings, are not infallible and could cause the wrongful execution of persons. We recall the case when in January 2011, when Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice admitted that Chiang Kuo-ching, a private in the Air Force, had been executed in error in 1997 for a murder committed 15 years previously.

In Malaysia, it has also been shown that death penalty, even the mandatory death penalty has not deterred crime. In 2017, it was revealed in Parliament that there was an increase of drug cases every year despite the drastic measures taken by the police, which we could take as including the fact of the existence of the mandatory death penalty for section 39B DDA 1952 – drug trafficking. It may be same for murder, but it is difficult as Malaysia stopped revealing actual statistics under the previous government.

The failure of government resulting in poverty may also be the cause of many crimes including those that now carry the death penalty.

On October 10, 2019, the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness on the rights of children whose parents have been sentenced to death or executed. Malaysia, a party of the Child Rights Convention, now should have the best interest of the child a major concern. The execution of a parent, sibling or relative of any child is certainly never in the best interest of the child.
The abolition of the death penalty is also consistent with the Malaysian policy with crime and sentencing. We believe in second chances. When one pleads guilty, the sentence is reduced by a third. For those in prison, good behaviour and rehabilitation will lead to remission of sentence and early release. All these values and principles cannot apply when one is sentenced to death or mandatory death penalty.

U-turn on decision to abolish death penalty

However, on March 13, 2019, Malaysian cabinet did a U-turn on abolishing the death penalty for all 33 offences, and instead agreed to only abolish the mandatory death penalty for all 11 mandatory death penalty offences.

Since the Pakatan Harapan is a coalition government made up of four to five parties, it would be interesting to know which party changed its position on abolition and why. Through its MPs, we believe that DAP was an abolitionist party, but its current position now is a mystery.

Sadly, we have yet to see any tabling any Bills in Parliament to date that will effectively abolish the mandatory death penalty. The earlier indication was that these Bill/s will be tabled in the current Parliamentary session which began in October 2019.

MADPET was concerned about the recent setting up of a special committee in September 2019 to look into alternatives to the death sentence which may end up just being yet another excuse to delay abolition of the mandatory death penalty. Such committees or task force could have been set up last year since the decision to abolish the death penalty. It could have been even earlier, for the abolition of the mandatory death penalty was an election promise of Pakatan Harapan.

We reiterate that the mandatory death penalty could be immediately abolished, which will mean that judges will then have the discretion to sentence people to imprisonment or death. For the time being, it could simply be life imprisonment or natural life imprisonment. Later, if a better “alternative sentence” comes from this or that “committee”, “task force”  or consultations, the Act can always be further amended later.

The abolition of the mandatory death penalty should not be further delayed by the government.

Accused persons now on trial or whose trial starts before the abolition will be greatly prejudiced as both prosecution and defence lawyers may be adducing evidence only towards finding of guilt or innocence. They will not be adducing evidence as to why a person should receive a lesser sentence since the courts have no discretion as to sentence when they can only provide the one mandatory sentence.

MADPET is also against all mandatory sentences, as it removes judicial discretion when it comes to sentencing. Laws should only provide for maybe maximum sentences, and trust in our judges to impose a just sentence on each and every convicted after taking all facts and circumstances into consideration.

Malaysia created history in December 2018, when it voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the abolition of the death penalty.

MADPET hopes that the abolition of the mandatory death penalty is just the first step, towards a total abolition of the death penalty which we hope will happen soon, certainly before the next general elections.

MADPET calls for the immediate tabling of the Bill/s to abolish the mandatory death penalty in this current Parliamentary session, for any other additional amendments could very easily be brought in by subsequent amendments later on;

MADPET calls for the passing of an Act of Parliament that will have the effect of commuting the death sentence of about 1,200 on death row, especially those that have exhausted their appeals in court;

MADPET also calls for further amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, where mandatory death penalty has already been abolished, to allow judges to consider all mitigating and aggravating circumstances and remove the limitations/conditions now in that law;

MADPET calls for a moratorium on all executions, pending the total abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia. - Malay Mail, 10/10/2019