Saturday, August 26, 2017

MACC want more power? No need MACC Pledge? More independence for MACC?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seems to be doing more work - more investigations, more people getting charged, etc...and now they want more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

MACC have been pushing for State governments to take MACC's Corruption Free Pledge - which really is a waste of time, UNLESS the law is amended that will result in increased(or even doubled) penalty when persons who have taken the pledge commits a corruption or corruption related crime...

All Malaysians are expected to obey the law, and if they break the law, they will be charged, tried and, if found guilty, they will be convicted and sentenced. 

All Members of Parliament, Senators, State Assembly Persons, Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Ministers also takes an oath of office that already is a commitment to do their duties faithfully and cleanly. Likewise, even public servants takes similar 'oaths' or agrees that they would do no wrong. 

In short, in my opinion, MACC is wasting its time with this MACC Pledge - it is an exercise not required. MACC should increase efforts in investigation and prosecution.

Some in Malaysia believe that MACC (and even the police) may not be brave enough to investigate crimes of the rich and powerful... especially those who hold political power. 

MACC should also be more 'professional' 

There really is no necessity for remanding suspects during investigation period. Most suspects could simply be asked to turn up when MACC wants to question them...or when MACC needs them for some other reasons like being part of an 'identification parade', etc. 

Arresting and detaining a suspect for days is wrong, in my opinion. More so, when in Malaysia, we still do not have a law that provides for adequate compensation for the loss of liberty and freedoms. And we have allegations of torture, deaths in custody...and also poor lock-up conditions..


When a suspect is detained, but later is not charged, tried and convicted, should he/she not be COMPENSATED for the loss of liberties and rights, and for the extra monies he/she had to spend in getting lawyers, etc. Should he/she not be compensated for the damage to his/her reputation. Time for Malaysia to have a law that justly compensates persons who have been deprived their rights, freedoms and liberties wrongly by the relevant authorities. Persons arrested and remanded for days, and not charged should be compensated. Persons found not guilty after trial and/or appeals, who had been detained and/or restricted must be compensated.

Media now reports on arrests, detention, raids, etc ...and, many people, believe that such persons and/or companies are 'guilty'. Media and authorities seldom comes out later and say that the suspicions were unfounded, or that investigations disclosed insufficient evidence to warrant the charging of a person, etc. Even if the media does not report, the relevant department/agency/Ministry could post such notifications on their own websites. This would be just for the victims.

We all know that it is difficult to get sufficient evidence for all acts of corruption committed by the perpetrator. A police personnel could have been taking 'bribes' for years - but then he is caught and charged for just one crime - as such, when it comes to public servants and/or persons in government owned companies or GLCs, then the penalty imposed must be higher. Fines should also be increased to at least 10 times the amount involved, and maybe even doubled when the perpetrator is a public servant, member of the administration, government appointee and/or in a GLC. It is absurd that a person, who has 'taken' millions of ringgit worth of monies, to be simply fined a few thousand ringgit. Corruption and/or Kleptocracy and abetment of such offences by public servants, government appointees/nominees and Ministers must be penalised severely...

Investigation and prosecutorial authorities, from the start of investigation, must have the power to freeze accounts or prevent the disposal of the monies/properties. It was shocking that the billions of ringgit in Najib's personal account was no more there at the end of the investigation, when our Attorney General announced that he will not prosecute the case...That monies should have been 'frozen' and prevented from being taken out of Malaysia until investigation was over.

Kleptocracy - Maybe the MACC may want to propose new offences that cover all such actions. 

The Auditor General's report contains so many allegations, which MACC should really look into. MACC, the police and other relevant authorities must act each and every case mentioned in the Auditor General's report.

1MDB and matters related - What is MACC doing about this? Are they still investigating - or have they 'closed' all investigations? We know that earlier MACC was investigating but there were hurdles as this investigation was not simply confined to Malaysia ...but went beyond Malaysia's borders. Not everyone hide the monies in their homes. Corruption and/or 'Kleptocracy' is difficult to prove, as perpetrators of these crimes are also becoming more creative in hiding the crime. MACC asked for the Attorney General to give them the requisite permission needed for them to get a  Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) from foreign countries but it was not given because Malaysian AG then decided that investigation was 'closed'. Odd decision by AG because normally the prosecution authority will only decide whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute or not, and, if not, the matter reverts back to the enforcement and/or investigating authority to do more investigation and find sufficient evidence.

In any event, now that United States Department of Justice has commenced several legal actions, whereby it has also been disclosed copious amounts of facts, the question is whether the MACC and the Malaysian police are doing anything. Are they looking at the new information provided, and liaising with the US authorities, and authorities of other countries, to determine whether any crimes were committed. YES - both the police and MACC, together with other enforcement agencies in Malaysia, need to be looking closely to see whether any crimes have been committed that can be prosecuted(or acted upon) by the Malaysian authorities in Malaysia. It will be good if the MACC and the Malaysian police tells us in Malaysia whether they are doing anything... or what is the status of their investigation.

22 July 2016 - that was the last time MACC told is about their cooperation with DOJ in US, what has happened. It has been more than 13 months... Any updates. Has MACC focus expanded - or is it still focused on just one businessman.

Berhubung laporan Jabatan Kehakiman (DOJ) Amerika Syarikat (AS) mengenai 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) mengesahkan telah menjalinkan kerjasama dengan Biro Siasatan Persekutuan (FBI). Ini kerana keduadua pihak telah mempunyai hubungan kerjasama yang lama sebelum ini. 

Berkaitan kerjasama yang dinyatakan di atas, ia tertumpu kepada kemungkinan perbuatan penyelewengan dan pengubahan wang haram oleh seorang ahli perniagaan yang dikatakan menipu 1MDB. 

22 JULAI 2016

It is good that the MACC wants  wants more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

It must take into account the recent High Court judgment(see media report below), the court seem to suggest that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and Public Secretaries are not public servants...and these means that all provisions in law providing for crimes done by public servants will not be applicable to the PM and 'members of administration'. As such MACC, must either seek for an amendment that will include specifically all these 'members of administration' as being public servants...OR create new offences to cover these 'members of administration' to prevent corruption, kleptocracy and abuses of power..

...the High Court has ruled that the Prime Minister is not a public officer in public office.It held that the premier is also not in public services as defined under the Federal Constitution but “a member of administration”...“The court agreed that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and political secretaries are not in public services or public officers but members of administration,”
Should MACC be made more independent - with the ability to charge and prosecute without the requirement of the Attorney General(or Public Prosecutor)'s permission? Should MACC also be vested with the power to issue its own Certificate of "Mutual Legal Assistance" - no more the need to ask the AG

Now, for the purposes of investigating corruption, kleptocracy and similar offences, there is a need to get assistance from institutions and agencies in other countries for the purposes of completing investigation and securing necessary evidence

MACC wants more muscle

Saturday, 29 April 2017

PETALING JAYA: The anti-graft body wants more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.

There is a loophole in the existing law that needs to be plugged so that no one can escape punishment.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said many politicians were being appointed into government bodies, including government-linked companies (GLCs).

“Public officials awarding contracts to immediate family members and tender abuses are a very serious problem in the country, especially in GLCs.

“So we need to tighten the law, specifically Section 23 of the MACC Act,” he said in an interview with Sin Chew Daily.

Section 23 prohibits “an officer of a public body or public officials” from abusing their power for any gratification for themselves or for their relatives.

Offenders face a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of RM10,000 or five times the amount of bribes involved, whichever is higher.

Azam said Section 23 needed to be worded clearly to prevent immediate family members, relatives, cronies or proxies of public officials from being awarded government contracts.

He said besides the amendment, a new law – the Corporate Liability Act – is being mooted to crack down on government officials and private sector employees who are guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

Among others, this new law aims to prevent the private sector from bribing public officials.

In addition, companies implicated in a corruption scandal will be blacklisted or face other legal action.

“We’ve discussed the legal details with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“The Bill has also received the go-ahead from the Cabinet and is expected to be tabled in the coming Parliament session in October,” said Azam.

He said the main objective of the Bill was to compel the private sector to stay away from corruption.

“If the employer or an employee is implicated in a graft charge, the company should bear the responsibility,” he said.- Star, 26/8/2017

‘The PM is not a public officer’

KUALA LUMPUR: In a landmark judgment, the High Court has ruled that the Prime Minister is not a public officer in public office.

It held that the premier is also not in public services as defined under the Federal Constitution but “a member of administration”.

High Court judge Abu Bakar Jais made this observation in allowing an application by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to strike out a lawsuit against him for misfeasance in public office.

Najib succeeded in striking out a lawsuit by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others against him for alleged wrongful exercise of authority in public office.

Justice Abu Bakar ordered the plaintiffs to pay Najib RM30,000 in legal costs.

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings in chambers yesterday, Najib’s lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said it was a landmark judgment.

“The court agreed that the Prime Minister, Minister, Deputy Minister and political secretaries are not in public services or public officers but members of administration,” said Mohd Hafarizam yesterday.

In a written judgment to the media later, Justice Abu Bakar said the suit was obviously “unsustainable”.

“There is actually no reasonable cause of action and as a whole, on the facts and laws, the claim is frivolous and vexatious.

“It is fundamental to appreciate that a suit can only stand based on the law that is applicable.

“Our laws, no matter how unreasonable they may be perceived, do not permit the plaintiff’s suit,” added Justice Abu Bakar
The defence team, led by Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, had argued that Najib is a member of the administration and that Article 160 (2) of the Constitution excludes members of the administration to be in the public service.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said his clients would file an appeal.

In the lawsuit filed in March last year, the plaintiffs wanted the High Court to order Najib to pay RM2.6bil in exemplary damages to the Government.

Dr Mahathir, former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy head Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin also wanted Najib to pay RM42mil in aggravated damages.

In an immediate response, Anina said she would support the appeal.- Star, 29/4/2017


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Malaysia: a worrying year for freedom of expression (Article 19)

Malaysia: a worrying year for freedom of expression

In the first half of 2017, the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and information both on- and offline continued to be curtailed in Malaysia.

In April 2017, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, speaking at the WAN-IFRA 16th Asian Media Awards, stated that “free speech is thriving in Malaysia”, and appeared to lay blame on foreign activists for creating the “perception” of crackdowns on free speech in the country. However, much of the criticism of Malaysia’s violations of freedom of expression are based on concerns raised by civil society organisations, independent journalists and other members of the public at the national level. ARTICLE 19 has highlighted these concerns, as arrests and incidences of harassment against human rights defenders, journalists and Internet users continue.

This analysis reviews the situation as of the end of June 2017, reiterating ARTICLE 19’s recommendations for the government to address the situation in three priority areas: (i) human rights defenders, (ii) digital rights, and (iii) media freedom.

Freedom of expression in the law

Malaysia has not signed or ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression under Article 19. Though this right is guaranteed under Article 10(a) of the Malaysian Constitution, those protections fall short of what is required by international human rights law. In practice, human rights defenders, journalists, opposition politicians, artists and social media users continue to face arrest, investigations (which often lead to no further action and can be viewed as harassment), criminal charges and protracted trials for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression.

No progress has been made towards ratification of the ICCPR, in spite of commitments made by the Malaysian government during its 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in 2013. Likewise, commitments to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 (an Act which provides for the punishment of sedition)  have not been fulfilled, and there has been backsliding on promises to improve the freedom of expression situation for bloggers and human rights defenders by reliance on other legislation.

While the Malaysian government consistently claims that its practices are in conformity with its international human rights obligations, requests for an official country visit from the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion to make an independent assessment in this regard remain outstanding.

The increased use of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) in 2017 is of particular concern, and has overtaken the Sedition Act 1948 as the major legal obstacle to freedom of expression in Malaysia. ARTICLE 19’s legal analysis of the CMA found that the Act contains overly broad content-related offences, and urged the Malaysian government to make amendments to the Act to ensure offences are narrowly defined and comply with international human rights standards.

Other legislation including the Sedition Act 1948, the Penal Code, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, the Film Censorship Act 2002 and the Official Secrets Act 1972 continue to be utilised by Malaysian law enforcement authorities to silence legitimate expression.

Legal Harassment of Human Rights Defenders
Human rights defenders regularly face harassment, arrest, and criminal charges due to their work, particularly when defending the right to freedom of expression in Malaysia.
In previous years, the Sedition Act 1948 was regularly invoked against human rights defenders, but monitoring of cases in 2017 shows that recent charges have more often been brought under provisions of the Penal Code. Section 505 of the Penal Code was used to investigate three human rights defenders in May, who to date have not been arrested or charged and Section 186 of the Penal Code was invoked to charge a human rights defender in June.
In 2017, there have also been instances of human rights defenders barred from entering and leaving the country. It is deeply concerning that Deputy Home Minister, Nur Jazlan Mohamad has stated that “those that ridicule the government” can be barred from leaving the country as traveling overseas is “a privilege and not a right”.
Some of the most worrying cases of harassment of human rights defenders in 2017 include:
·       Lena Hendry – Sentenced under Film Censorship Act 2002

In March 2017, human rights defender Lena Hendry was sentenced to a fine of RM10,000 or one year in prison under Section 6(1)(a) and (b) of the Film Censorship Act 1998 for possession or exhibition of a film not approved by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia. Hendry paid the fine and the case is currently pending appeal. Hendry was originally charged in September 2013 for the screening of “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka,” a documentary about the Sri Lankan armed conflict. In March 2016, the Magistrates Court of Kuala Lumpur dismissed the case, but the dismissal was overturned in September 2016 by the Malaysian High Court.

The judgment has set a dangerous precedent for the right to freedom of expression in Malaysia, where screening a film on a human rights issue considered sensitive to the government without their permission can be met with imprisonment or a serious fine several years after the screening took place. Hendry is the first human rights defender to be charged and convicted under the Film Censorship Act.

·       Rama Ramanathan, Sevan Doraisamy and Thomas Fann – Investigated under Penal Code 

In May 2017, human rights defenders Rama Ramanathan (steering committee member of pro-democracy movement BERSIH 2.0), Sevan Doraisamy (Executive Director of human rights NGO, Suara Rakyat Malaysia – SUARAM) and Thomas Fann (Chairperson for human rights organization Engage), were investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for making statements with “intent to cause fear or alarm to the public”.

The investigations followed statements by the three activists referring to recent abductions in the country as “enforced disappearances”. The statements referred to the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, as well as social worker Amri Che Mat.

The statements were made in their capacity as members of the newly established Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearances (CAGED), which has been vocal in calling for transparency over investigations into the enforced disappearances of the individuals. Malaysia’s Inspector General of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, has previously stated that the group has made “serious” and “baseless allegations” and that they should be investigated.

According to the activists, while they have not yet been charged, they were questioned over their individual roles as members of CAGED, why the coalition had been established, and if there was “foreign interference”. It demonstrates how vague provisions to prevent “public mischief” within the Penal Code, such as Section 505, can be abused to harass human rights defenders and grass-roots protest movements in an attempt to intimidate them into silence.

·       Siti Kasim – Charged under Penal Code

In June 2017, charges were brought against lawyer and human rights defender Siti Kasim for “obstructing a public servant in discharge of his public functions” under Section 186 of the Penal Code, in connection with a transgender event she attended on 3 April 2016. The event was raided by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) based on allegations that it violated a 1996 fatwa prohibiting Muslim women from joining beauty pageants in Malaysia. Siti Kasim has been a staunch defender of human rights and in particular the rights of individuals belonging to minority groups, in particular the LGBT community and indigenous peoples in Malaysia. Siti was detained by JAWI officials at the event and taken to a police station after questioning the legality of the raid.

On 13 June 2017, more than a year after the event and arrest took place, Siti was notified of the charges under Section 186 of the Penal Code, which carry a penalty of two years imprisonment and/or a RM10,000 fine. In November 2016, Siti had filed a court order to ask for information relating to the raid, for the purpose of suing the government and JAWI officers for unlawful arrest.

Siti Kasim has been a staunch defender of human rights and in particular the rights of individuals belonging to minority groups, in particular the LGBT community and indigenous peoples in Malaysia.

Attacks on Digital Rights

ARTICLE 19 is concerned that the CMA has been invoked frequently in the past year, in particular Section 233(1)(a), which has been used to restrict social media users in Malaysia. Section 233(1)(a) criminalises the “improper use of network facilities or services”, creating an extremely vague offence. The provision has been regularly used by law enforcement authorities and the Attorney General of Malaysia to arrest, investigate and charge individuals expressing progressive or dissenting views.

At present, a constitutional challenge is being mounted against Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA at the Federal Court, on the basis that it violates the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed under Article 10(a) of the Federal Constitution.

In March 2017, the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression, added his voice to those criticizing the CMA as in violation of international human rights law. He highlighted the CMA as an example of vague legislation that does not meet the requirement of legality, and noted the broad powers given to the King to determine a state of emergency and thus require disclosure of communications under the law.

In April 2017, ARTICLE 19 highlighted concern over the targeting of four social media users in the space of just two days under the CMA for comments made on social media deemed insulting to national leaders:

·       On 10 April 2017, an unnamed individual was arrested and charged under Section 233(1)a of the CMA and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for a Facebook post deemed to have “the purpose of maligning the government”. The investigation was believed to be over a photograph showing the individual carrying a placard while wearing a yellow BERSIH T-shirt. The individual was remanded for four days after his arrest and his mobile phone, SIM card and other unnamed items were seized.
·       On 11 April 2017, a second unnamed social media user was arrested and detained for a statement on Facebook deemed offensive to the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and the Johor Royal Institution. The woman was arrested and held in police custody for investigation under Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA.

·       Cases of Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA being invoked against social media users who allegedly posted comments deemed offensive to national leaders were also frequently reported in the subsequent months of May, June and July.

Attempts to co-opt Internet users as private censors 

In May 2017, a new “advisory for group admins” released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) appeared to seek to co-opt social media users to censor third-party content which the government considers “inappropriate”. The MCMC advisory is a clear reminder to Internet users that they are expected to abide by and enforce Malaysia’s tough restrictions on freedom of expression online, and expects them to act as private censors of other Internet users’ content.

The advisory is for “administrators” of group pages hosted on communication platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Wechat, Viber, and Telegram, or on similar services, and advises them to take a proactive role in monitoring and removing content posted by others to their pages.

While not a legally enforceable regulation in itself, a warning on MCMC’s Facebook page accompanying the advisory stated that Internet users should “be wise in using social media for their own protection.” This implies that failure to comply with the advisory may make group admins liable for the posts of others, even though this type of liability for third-party content is not currently provided for in Malaysian law.

Undermining Media Freedom
Media personnel continue to face obstacles while performing their duties, particularly when reporting on public interest cases such as the government-linked corruption scandal, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), or other issues considered ‘sensitive’, such as religion.
Journalists reporting from Parliament have also faced restrictions with a new decision by Parliament speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia prohibiting media from carrying out their work in the lobby of Parliament. Laws including the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Sedition Act 1948 are regularly invoked against members of the press, as can be illustrated by the cases below in 2017.

  • Journalists barred from reporting at Parliament lobby

In March 2017, Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) Speaker, Pandikar Amin Mulia, issued a decision prohibiting journalists from carrying out their work in the lobby of Parliament. The ban was supposedly issued to prevent MPs from being misquoted. It is deeply concerning that journalists are now prevented from accessing elected MPs at Parliament, and is a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression and the public’s corresponding right to information.

  • Malaysiakini – Charged under Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
In May 2017, the CEO of the independent online news portal Malaysiakini, Premesh Chandran,
was charged under Section 244(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) for posting footage of a July 2016 press conference critical of the Attorney General’s decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption allegations.

Section 244(1) criminalises offences by corporations. Earlier, on 18 November 2016, Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan was also charged for the same offence, while KiniTV Sdn Bhd was charged for “improper use of network facilities or services”, an offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the CMA.

·       Journalists from The Star – Investigated under Sedition Act 1948 and Penal Code

In May 2017, five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper were investigated under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code, after publishing a  photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath the headline “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”. Editors Rozaid Abdul Rahman, Brian Martin, Dorairaj Nadason, M. Shanmugam and Errol Oh and photographer Mohd Sahar Misni were investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act and Section 298(a) of the Penal Code. Section 298(a) of the Penal Code criminalises offences related to incitement of religious hatred, framed as “causing, […], disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, […]etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion”.

The Home Ministry also issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. While no charges were brought as a result of the investigations, this Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, particularly given the broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable.

Editors Rozaid Abdul Rahman, Brian Martin, Dorairaj Nadason, M. Shanmugam and Errol Oh and photographer Mohd Sahar Misni were called for questioning on 31 May at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and investigated under Section 4 of the Sedition Act and Section 298(a) of the Penal Code. Section 298(a) of the Penal Code criminalises offences related to incitement of religious hatred, framed as “causing, […], disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing, […]etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion”. They have not been formally charged with any offence.

Conclusion and Recommendations

As illustrated by the above cases, persons exercising their rights to freedom of expression in Malaysia continue to face significant obstacles in 2017. The space for dialogue and dissent both on- and offline is increasingly closing, most notably through the use of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.

Frequent use of the CMA is part of a broader trend that must end and urgent amendments must be made to bring the Act into line with international freedom of expression standards. Provisions in legislation such as the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Penal Code, the Film Censorship Act and the Official Secrets Act that conflict with the rights to freedom of expression must equally be reviewed and bought into line with international human rights standards.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Malaysian government to immediately and without hesitation:

-      Drop the charges against human rights defenders Lena Hendry and Siti Kasim, as well as the investigations into human rights defenders Rama Ramanathan, Sevan Doraisamy and Thomas Fann;

-      Drop the charges against Pramesh Chandran, Steven Gan and KiniTV Sdn Bhd;

-      Drop all investigations into The Star newspaper and its journalists under the Sedition Act and Penal Code;

-      Drop all investigations and charges against social media users for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression;

-      Repeal the Film Censorship Act 1998 and reform the Penal Code, including Sections 186 and 505, to ensure that they are not abused to unjustifiably restrict the right to freedom of expression;

-      Reform the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to ensure it fully complies with international freedom of expression standards, in particular Section 233(1)(a);

-      Retract the MCMC advisory for group admins and make clear to social media users that they cannot be held responsible for content created by third parties.

-      Repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, as neither serve a legitimate aim under international human rights law and both are routinely applied to violate the right to freedom of expression.

-      Reform the Penal Code provisions on incitement to religious hatred, to ensure that they are consistent with international human rights law, in particular Articles 19(3) and 20(2) of the ICCPR and the Rabat Plan of Action.