Saturday, April 30, 2022

Outdated Malaysia - MINIMUM WORKER RIGHTS in Law guaranteed to workers earning less than RM2,000 > Singapore those earning less than RM8,189? ALL workers should be guaranteed MINIMUM rights

Workers who earn less than RM2,000 or are not involved in manual work(or supervision) are generally not entitled to the worker RIGHTS provided for in the Employment Act 1955.

For all other workers, their worker rights are what is found in their employment agreement/contract and nothing more. 

"employee" means any person or class of persons-

(a) included in any category in the First Schedule to the extent specified therein; or

(b) in respect of whom the Minister makes an order under subsection (3) or section 2A;

And, the First Schedule, amongst others say '... 1. Any person, irrespective of his occupation, who has entered into a contract of service with an employer under which such person's wages do not exceed two thousand ringgit a month....' , and '...Any person who, irrespective of the amount of wages he earns in a month, has entered into a contract of service with an employer in pursuance of which-(1) he is engaged in manual labour ...'

In short, generally if your wages is more than RM2,000 - you cannot say or rely on even the MINIMUM workers rights as provided for in the Employment Act 1955...

This is a MAJOR PROBLEM for workers - this is why the MINIMUM WORKER RIGHTS provided for in the Employment Act should be made into MINIMUM rights for ALL workers (or at the very least be extended to workers earning RM5,000 or less, ...

YES, a worker may start employment with RM1,500 but in time, his wages rise and it is sad that when it crosses the RM2,000 mark, the workers cannot anymore rely on even the minimum worker rights in the Employment ACT.

In an employer-employee relationship, sadly, the reality is that the EMPLOYER is the dominant party - and most workers may not even have the CHOICE to even ensure that the employment contract/agreement they sign even contains all the different MINIMUM workers rights... The  MALAYSIAN government using LAWS must protect all workers to ensure that all Workers in Malaysia receive at the very least BASIC MINIMUM WORKER RIGHTS - of course, workers can negotiate and get BETTER rights to be included in their employment contracts > but if they fail, at least, they still are GUARANTEED in law to MINIMUM worker rights as provided for in Malaysian laws.

Comparatively in Singapore, basic minimum worker rights are enjoyed by the following workers

  • A workman (doing manual labour) earning a basic monthly salary of not more than $4,500[RM14,173...].
  • An employee who is not a workman, but who is covered by the Employment Act and earns a monthly basic salary of not more than $2,600[RM8,189].

So, in Malaysia, workers earning less than RM2k, but in Singapore workers earning less than RM8,189 can automatically enjoy the BASIC Minimum Worker Rights as provided in law. 

SHAME...SHAME - let us in Malaysia all workers be entitled to the basic MINIMUM WORKER RIGHTS provided for in law, i,e  the Employment Act, etc...
$2,000 in 1955 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $21,172.84 today, an increase of $19,172.84 over 67 years.
Most workers entering the employment market is IGNORANT about worker rights - and what they should insist is contained in their employment agreement. If not, they may be CHEATED by their employers ...So, why does Malaysia not insist on standard form employment agreements...this will protect the 'ignorant worker' and ensure that workers are not CHEATED. It will ensure that the many different worker rights are covered....Annual Leave, Increments, Sick/Medical Leave, Employment Misconducts, Probation length, Right to be transferred to another site in another state?, the right to contract renewal or regular employment, right to protest/strike, right to join unions, freedom of speech, obligation to protect image of employer confined to working hours only?, disciplinary procedure and right to be represented by a lawyer, etc....Remedies for per-mature termination?...

To protect the consumer, now there are house purchase agreements and even bank loan documents which buyer/borrower must use - so, why not have similar standard form agreements for employment contracts > with of course, allows for added rights not covered to be added???

Is Malaysia concerned about WORKERS - or are they only interested in protecting employer/investor rights?

Friday, April 29, 2022

17,000(12,895 men, 3,211 women, 851 boys and 677 girls) detained in 21 Immigration Detention Centres in Malaysia ( as of 24/4/2022)


Immigration Dept denies allegations depots overcrowded, understaffed

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the total detention capacity at all 21 Immigration depots throughout Malaysia, including three temporary ones, was 21,150, while the total number of detainees at all the depots as of April 24 was about 17,000. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the total detention capacity at all 21 Immigration depots throughout Malaysia, including three temporary ones, was 21,150, while the total number of detainees at all the depots as of April 24 was about 17,000. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The Immigration Department (Immigration) has denied allegations that the Immigration Depot in Lenggeng, Negri Sembilan was overcrowded, and that three other depots were understaffed.

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the total detention capacity at all 21 Immigration depots throughout Malaysia, including three temporary ones, was 21,150, while the total number of detainees at all the depots as of April 24 was about 17,000.

He said they comprised 12,895 men, 3,211 women, 851 boys and 677 girls, with all the children placed with their respective guardians.

“The total detention capacity at the Lenggeng Immigration Depot in Negri Sembilan is 1,000 people, namely 800 men and 200 women.

“As of April 24 this year, the number of detainees at the Lenggeng Immigration Depot was 779 people comprising 583 men, 173 women, 15 boys and eight girls,” he said in a statement today.

Khairul Dzaimee said in terms of staffing, the department had reviewed its requirements at all depots in 2019, taking into account the actual number of officers required, and the matter had been agreed upon by the central agency including additional posts for four temporary detention centres (PTS) in Sabah, after they were taken over from the National Security Council.

He said Immigration was actively filling vacancies, including those at detention depots, on an ongoing basis.

He was responding to a local media report today on a statement by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner at the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal claiming that the Lenggeng Immigration Depot in Negri Sembilan was overcrowded, while three other depots lacked staff.

Khairul Dzaimee said the department took the statement seriously which was deemed not based on facts and did not give a true picture of the current situation at Immigration depots throughout the country.

“In terms of managing the Immigration Depot, the Immigration always complies with the stipulations in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (The Nelson Mandela Rules), the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155), the Immigration Regulations 2003 (Administration and Management of Immigration Depots), The Immigration Director-General’s Standing Instructions on the Management and Administration of Immigration Depots and the ICRC’s (International Committee of the Red Cross) guidelines for health aspects,” he said. — Bernama - Malay Mail, 26/4/2022

Depot imigresen Lenggeng sesak, kurang kakitangan

Pemandangan luar depot tahanan Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia di Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan. - NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD
Pemandangan luar depot tahanan Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia di Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan. - NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Kanak-Kanak di Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (SUHAKAM) memaklumkan keadaan Depot Tahanan Imigresen Lenggeng di Negeri Sembilan sesak dengan tahanan, manakala tiga premis sama kekurangan kakitangan.

Pesuruhjaya Kanak-Kanak, Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal, berkata selain di Lenggeng, dua lagi depot tahanan yang dikesan mengalami kekurangan kakitangan itu ialah Langkawi dan Belantik masing-masing di Kedah.

Katanya, perkara itu dikesan berdasarkan pemerhatian pihaknya semasa lawatan pemantauannya di pusat tahanan imigresen.

Dalam pada itu, beliau berkata pihaknya berdukacita dengan kejadian di mana enam pelarian Myanmar termasuk dua kanak-kanak maut ketika cuba menyeberangi lebuh raya, semasa ratusan pelarian melarikan diri dari Depot Imigresen Sementara Relau Bandar Baharu pada 20 April lalu.

Katanya, kebanyakan tahanan migran dihantar pulang ke negara asal melalui campur tangan wakil kedutaan negara masing-masing,

"Namun pelarian Rohingya di Malaysia tidak boleh dihantar pulang ke Myanmar kerana peruntukan di bawah undang-undang adat antarabangsa, prinsip non-refoulement (melarang penolakan) memberi jaminan bahawa tiada sesiapa harus dihantar pulang ke negara asal di mana mereka akan mengalami penindasan.

"Malaysia tidak menandatangani Konvensyen Pelarian 1951, tetapi Malaysia sebuah negara pihak kepada Konvensyen Mengenai Hak Kanak-Kanak 1989 (CRC).

"Perkara 22 CRC menyatakan bahawa negara pihak harus memastikan kanak-kanak yang mencari status pelarian, atau kanak-kanak yang sudah disahkan sebagai pelarian hendaklah diberikan perlindungan dan bantuan kemanusiaan yang sewajarnya," katanya.

Beliau berkata, kanak-kanak pencari suaka atau yang diberikan status pelarian berhak mendapat hak mereka di bawah empat prinsip utama CRC iaitu tidak boleh didiskriminasi, perlu dilayan dengan kemanusiaan dan rasa hormat, suara harus didengari dan kepentingan terbaik harus diberi keutamaan.

Dalam pada itu, Noor Aziah turut menggesa kerajaan mengambil lima langkah bagi mengelak insiden seperti berlaku di Depot Sementara Relau pada 20 Mei berulang.

Antaranya termasuk memberi kebenaran kepada Suruhanjaya Tinggi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu bagi Pelarian (UNHCR) untuk mengeluarkan kad UNHCR kepada semua pelarian Rohingya, terutamanya yang terbabit dalam rusuhan baru-baru ini.

Beliau berkata, program penempatan semula UNHCR dicadangkan untuk mengutamakan pelarian Rohingya dalam aspirasi ke arah penyelesaian jangka panjang, dalam bentuk penempatan semula ke negara ketiga.

"Kerajaan juga perlu menubuhkan badan bebas terdiri wakil selain Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) bagi menyiasat kejadian terbabit, selain tidak menghukum pelarian Rohingya yang ditangkap semula atau menimbulkan ketakutan atau kebencian dalam kalangan penduduk tempatan di Relau terhadap pelarian Rohingya yang masih bebas.

"Akhir sekali, kerajaan perlu membabitkan kanak-kanak Rohingya dalam projek rintis alternatif kepada penahanan kerana mereka mempunyai hak untuk hidup dalam persekitaran lebih selamat dan kondusif, selain menambah lebih ramai kakitangan di depot imigresen yang kekurangan kakitangan," katanya. - Berita Harian, 25/4/2022



6,686 workplace accidents in 2021, 174 deaths, another 249 victims became disabled.


Work towards zero workplace accidents, urges NIOSH chairman

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 28 Apr 2022

PETALING JAYA: There should be zero accidents at workplaces, if possible, says National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong.

Wilson urged employers and employees to practise a safe and healthy working environment to prevent any mishaps.

Therefore, he urged stakeholders to work as a team and conduct activities related to safety and health to ensure a safe work environment.

“At least, we want zero accidents or casualties.

“Our goal is to reduce accidents at workplaces,” he said at the sidelines of the Occupational Safety and Health Day celebration.

Statistics from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) showed that there were 6,686 workplace accidents reported as of December 2021, of which 174 were fatal. Another 249 victims became disabled.

The sector which contributed to the highest number of deaths during the period was construction, where 65 casualties were reported.

As at the first quarter of this year, there were 1,703 such accidents reported which claimed the lives of 48 while 54 became disabled.

The manufacturing sector contributed to the highest number of fatalities coming from manufacturing and construction which reported 16 deaths each.

Meanwhile, Wilson also advised the public to continue to observe standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb Covid-19, despite the announcement on relaxations.

“Children as young as two to three years old have yet to be vaccinated and only those aged five and above have been vaccinated. So if possible please observe the SOP while you are with your family,” he said.

“If there is a big crowd, why not use the SOP to be safe,” he said.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced a slew of relaxed measures on Wednesday (April 27). Among the measures were making MySejahtera check-ins and wearing face masks outdoors no longer compulsory.- Star, 28/4/2022

8 deaths Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot incident - Coroner's silence? Government's criminal liability?


Media Statement – 29/4/2022

Silence of the Coroner about the 8 deaths following the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot incident disturbing

Death of detainee at detention facility by reason of Covid may make government criminally liable

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is concerned about the silence of the Coroner on the recent 8 deaths, including one that allegedly died by reason of Covid-19. The Coroner must state whether he/she has decided to have an inquest or otherwise. Death by reason of Covid in a detention facility may place criminal liability on the government, Commandant of Detention facility, Minister and other relevant public officers.

At about 4am last Wednesday(20/4/2022), 528 Rohingya detainees, being men, women and children, escaped or broke out  from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot in Penang. 7, including 3 children, were killed when hit by a car while crossing the North-South Expressway at Kilometer 168. The seventh – a 14-year-old girl – succumbed to her injuries yesterday (NST, 27/4/2022).

Another died, allegedly because of Covid-19. Kedah police chief Commissioner Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad was reported saying, that the ‘…Police have ruled out foul play behind the death of a Rohingya detainee at the Temporary Immigration Detention Depot near Bandar Baharu last Wednesday. "The detainee's death was a separate matter. We have classified the case under a sudden death report (SDR) case. He had died from virus infection after contracting Covid-19," Wan Hassan told reporters…(New Straits Times, 28/4/2022). It looks like the detainee died at the depot, not at some hospital where he was admitted for treatment.

When a detainee is in a government detention facility dies by reason of Covid, the government including the Minister of Home Affairs, Director General of Immigration and the Commandant of the Immigration Detention facility may be criminally concerned or liable for the death.

Unlike a person not under detention, who can freely do the needful including compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to prevent being infected by Covid-19, which include doing the needed self-tests and seeking necessary healthcare, a person under detention is denied many of these freedoms, and the duty to keep free a detainee from being infected by Covid, and also getting the needed healthcare, reasonably falls on the detaining authority.

It has been more than 2 years since Malaysia been affected by Covid-19, and the question is whether the relevant authorities are making sure that detainees in government facilities are complying with the SOPs to prevent infection, detect infections and provision of the necessary speedy healthcare if found to be infected. Were there regular temperature checks, Covid testing and medical check-ups done at the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot? The fact that the detainee died in detention, not in some hospital whilst receiving necessary medical attention raises questions?

The Coroner is supposed to determine also ‘whether any person is criminally concerned in the cause of the death’ (Section 337 Criminal Procedure Code/CPC).

Criminal liability arises not simply by reason of actions, but also omissions. The failure to ensure detainees in a detention facility are not infected by Covid-19, the failure to detect infection amongst detainees and/or the failure to provide speedy healthcare to the infected are possible reasons why the government and/or other responsible persons may be found criminally liable and/or concerned with the death.

The Coroner must forthwith have an INQUEST(or inquiry into deaths) into this death in custody allegedly by reason of Covid-19, and also the other 7 deaths that resulted by reason of allegedly a vehicular incident.

In the currently applicable Practice Direction issued by the then Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum [Arahan Amalan Bil 2 Tahun 2019, Pengendalian Laporan Mati Mengejut Dan Siasatan Kematian Oleh Mahkamah Sesyen Koroner] it was emphasized that cases classified as ‘sudden deaths’ must be investigated by the Coroner, and, if need be, it should be reclassified as a case requiring inquest, or a death in custody case. The Coroner ought not simply or blindly accept police classification of ‘sudden deaths’.

All 8 deaths that happened, in MADPET’s view, are deaths in custody.

Noting that whilst the Coroner in Malaysia, now a Sessions Court Judge, is duty bound to determine the cause of death of all deaths in Malaysia, with or without an inquest. Section 334 CPC re-emphasizes the need for an inquest for deaths in custody, and this includes deaths of persons who were in custody at the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot.

Did the relevant officers/authorities adhere to the law, and immediately informed the Coroner of the deaths – ‘…shall immediately give intimation of such death to the nearest Magistrate, and the Magistrate or some other Magistrate shall, in the case of a death in the custody of the police, and in other cases may, if he thinks expedient, hold an inquiry into the cause of death…’.(s.334)

While public attention is now on the case of Sam Ke Ting who was recently sentenced to six years in prison for reckless or dangerous driving, resulting in the death into eight teenagers riding their bicycles on a road. The High Court allowed the appeal overturning the Magistrate’s Court decision to acquit and discharge the 27-year-old woman last October 2021. Will the driver/s of the car/s that caused the death of the 7 that ‘escaped’ from the Immigration detention facility be similarly charged?

What was the protest or grievance of the detainees the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot that led them to run away from detention? Was it simply a ‘riot’ or an exercise of the right to peaceful assembly that led these 500 plus to escape? Is there a need for an independent inquiry by a Royal Commission of Inquiry, a Parliamentary Committee, SUHAKAM(Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission), EAIC(Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission) or some other independent body. MADPET calls for an independent public inquiry into the incident at Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot that to date has resulted in at least 8 deaths.

MADPET calls for a report by the Coroner as to his/her findings, including as to whether a public inquest will be done. If the government and/or relevant persons are criminally liable for the deaths, action including criminal prosecution must be taken without fear or favour, and indiscriminately as stated in Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution, ‘All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.’

MADPET also reiterates the call for enacting of a law that clearly recognizes the asylum seeker and/or refugees, as current law only recognizes foreigners in Malaysia with the proper documentation and those without. As such, asylum seekers and/or refugees may be treated the same as any foreigners found in Malaysia without proper documentation, and this is not just.


Charles Hector

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

Depot escape: No foul play behind detainee death; police probing all angles, including negligence

GURUN: Police have ruled out foul play behind the death of a Rohingya detainee at the Temporary Immigration Detention Depot near Bandar Baharu last Wednesday.

Kedah police chief Commissioner Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said a post-mortem examination conducted on the detainee revealed that the he had died from Covid-19 infection.

However, Wan Hassan stressed that investigations into the rioting incident was still ongoing and this includes possible elements of negligence by the depot management.

"Our investigations are taking into account all possible elements. How it happened, why it happened, who were the masterminds in the rioting element, we take into account everything and will submit the investigation papers to the Deputy Public Prosecutor's Office.

"It is up to the DPP or the state Prosecution director to decide whether it is proper to charge anyone (for negligence).

"The detainee's death was a separate matter. We have classified the case under a sudden death report (SDR) case. He had died from virus infection after contracting Covid-19," Wan Hassan told reporters after launching the state-level Op Selamat for the Hari Raya festive season at the North-South Expressway rest area in Gurun here today.

He explained that was why police had classified the case under Section 223/224 of the Penal Code for escape from confinement negligently suffered by a public servant and also under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.

"We are probing from all possible angles. I have called for a meeting earlier today and we have identified a few things that need to be done and follow up actions.

"We have also recorded a statement from the depot management. If there is an element of negligence, we will zoom on to establish how bad it was but for now I can't divulge the details as investigations are still underway," he said.

In a related development, Wan Hassan said the number of escapees still at large remained at 61 as of today.

Yesterday, he was reported as saying police believed the Rohingya detainees had made their way to Seberang Perai Selatan in Penang.

In the 4am incident last Wednesday, 528 Rohingya detainees staged a riot before breaking out from the depot.

However, six of them including two children were killed when they were hit by a car while crossing the North-South Expressway near Jawi in their attempt to flee. A seventh – a 14-year-old girl – succumbed to her injuries yesterday.

Police have since recaptured over 400 of the detainees with 61 more still at large.

It was reported that several hours prior to the rioting incident, one of the detainees, in his 30s, had died in the depot.

The detainees had claimed that the camp management had failed to provide medical treatment for the sick detainee.- NST, 28/4/2022


Another Rohingya detainee in NSE crash dies

GEORGE TOWN: The death toll from last week's North-South Expressway crash that saw several escapees from an Immigration temporary detention depot in Kedah killed increased to seven yesterday.

This was as a 14-year-old girl who was seriously injured in the crash succumbed to her injuries at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

State police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain confirmed the victim's death, adding that another victim, a 21-year-old man, was still being treated at the same hospital.

"Investigations into the incident are ongoing. We have recorded statements from several witnesses to assist investigation into the crash," he said after the launch of the state-level Op Selamat at the Bayan Baru Ramadan bazaar here this afternoon.

About 4.30am last Wednesday, 528 Rohingya detainees broke out from the detention centre in Bandar Baharu after staging a protest.

Local villagers managed to recapture 88 of them before surrendering them to the Immigration Department.

Subsequently, Penang police managed to rearrest 229 of them at Km168 of the NSE.

In their haste to flee, a group of Rohingya attempted to rush across the NSE, and a passing vehicle rammed into them, leading to six being killed and several injured.

The dead were two men aged 20 and 36, two women aged 14 and 18, a 9-year-old boy and a girl, 8.

Meanwhile, Shuhaily said police are still on the hunt for another 61 Rohingya detainees who fled, with the latest two arrests made in the state on Monday.

Asked if that meant the detainees may have fled from Penang, Shuhaily said there was a possibility as the borders of the neighbouring states were nearby.

"What I am concerned about is the possibility that the Rohingya detainees may have assimilated with the locals.

"It has been one week after their escape and they may have gotten help in terms of food, which is why they are able to resist being arrested," he added.- NST, 27/4/2022

Woman previously acquitted of reckless driving now gets six years’ jail for mowing down eight teens on JB road

Sam Ke Ting is pictured at the Johor Baru High Court April 13, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan
Sam Ke Ting is pictured at the Johor Baru High Court April 13, 2022. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, April 13 — Sam Ke Ting was today sentenced to six years in prison by the High Court for crashing into eight teenagers riding their bicycles on a road here about five years ago.

The decision was made by High Court Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar after the prosecution succeeded in their second appeal against the Magistrate’s Court decision to acquit and discharge the 27-year-old woman last October last year.

Sam had been charged with reckless or dangerous driving, resulting in the death of eight cyclists on Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Baru on February 18, 2017.

Sam, a clerk, was also ordered to serve six months in prison if she did not pay a RM6,000 fine, apart from being disqualified from driving for three years effective after the completion of her prison sentence.

In his judgment, Abu Bakar said the Magistrate’s Court has erred in failing to decide the respondent’s defence without being under oath.

“The respondent, in her defence, stated that she did not see the group of cyclists at the scene of incident and there were other vehicle that hit the deceased bicycles and drove away. This version had never been raised by the respondent during the prosecution case.

“The Magistrate’s Court made a mistake when it accepted the respondent’s defence for not knowing there would be ‘basikal lajak’ activity during the time of the incident as an excuse to drive dangerously, which resulted in the victims’ deaths.

“The respondent should have drove carefully instead driving fast, causing the incident and she should have realised that the area’s lighting was not bright at around 3.20am,” he said before sentencing.

Sam had earlier appeared at the Johor Baru High Court compound at about 9am wearing a white striped shirt and brown long pants. She looked calm after the sentence was handed down.

Defence counsel Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar urged the High Court to grant a stay of execution on Sam as they would be appealing the case at the Court of Appeal.

However, Abu Bakar rejected Sam’s appeal for stay of execution as they have yet to receive approval from the Court of Appeal.

Johor prosecution director Tengku Amir Zaki Tengku Abd Rahman and deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali prosecuted the case.

On October 10 last year, the Johor Baru Magistrate’s Court upheld the decision of the accused to be acquitted and acquitted of the charges which occurred on February 18, 2017.

Based on the charge sheet, Sam who at the time of the incident was 22-years-old, was accused of driving a car with registration number JQB 9984 along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam recklessly or dangerously resulting in the death of eight cyclists at 3.20am.

The eight victims involved were Mohamad Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14 (at the time of the incident);  Muhamad Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14;  Muhammad Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16;  Fauzan Halmijan, 13;  Mohamad Azhar Amir, 16;  Muhammad Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14;  Muhammad Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14 and Haizad Kasrin, 16.- Malay Mail, 13/4/2022


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Minister's statement that detention is a DETERENCE to refugees coming to Malaysia? - ARTICLE 19 statement

Find below an Article 19 statement - it is their view on the subject

Malaysia: End hateful rhetoric against Rohingya refugees

The Malaysian government’s perpetuation of malicious narratives against Rohingya refugees has heightened since the escape of 528 detainees from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot on 20 April. The Malaysian government must immediately drop its deeply damaging narrative towards Rohingya refugees in order to protect their security and wellbeing, said ARTICLE 19.

The reckless and discriminatory comments of Hamzah Zainudin, the Minister of Home Affairs—including a senseless call for refugees to leave Malaysia ‘if they want freedom’—raises urgent concerns about the government’s commitment to protect human rights, including the rights to equality, non-discrimination, non-refoulement, life, liberty, and security of person. Hamzah Zainudin’s words likely contributed to the wave of hate speech towards Rohingya refugees that subsequently circulated on social media.

“The use of hateful rhetoric by authorities following the events of 20 April highlights the persisting discrimination and xenophobia perpetuated by people in power against migrants, including Rohingya refugees,” said Nalini Elumalai, ARTICLE 19’s Senior Malaysia Program Officer. “It is dangerous to underestimate the risk that discriminatory and dehumanising language poses to Rohingya refugees. Public figures should set an example by condemning, not promoting, the discrimination that Rohingya refugees face in Malaysia.”

On 20 April 2022, 528 Rohingya refugees escaped from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot in Northern Malaysia following a protest. Tragically, the events led to the accidental death of six refugees as they fled. The refugees had been held in the centre for up to two years since arriving in Malaysian waters in 2020. The incident raises serious concerns about conditions in immigration detention centres and the ability of detainees to effectively raise concerns about these conditions. There have been previous reports of deaths in immigration detention due to lack of access to healthcare and poor conditions. The Sungai Bakap centre was housing 664 refugees including 137 children. Villagers reported some of the escaped refugees approaching them for water, complaining of thirst—escalating concerns about the treatment of the refugees in the centre.

ARTICLE 19 is deeply concerned by the statements of the Minister of Home Affairs following the break-out, including his assertion that detention is a deterrent to warn other refugees from entering the country. His words show a complete lack of empathy for the plight of refugees forced to flee their home countries and a fundamental misunderstanding of Malaysia’s obligations under international law to protect refugees. The rights to equality, non-discrimination, non-refoulement, life, liberty, and security of person are rights protected by customary international law, binding on all states, and reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Minister hypothesised that being held in a cramped space was a possible reason for the break-out, raising further concern about the conditions of detention. However, he has thus far failed to address the treatment of refugees within the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot (and other centres) that led to the events of 20 April, nor has he provided any assurance that the rights of the refugees—including the right to access adequate healthcare—are being upheld. The Minister went further and said that he will review the issuance of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards to the Rohingya refugees that are seeking asylum in Malaysia.

Of serious concern, the UNHCR has not received approval from Malaysian immigration authorities to access any immigration detention centres in the country since August 2019. The prolonged detention of detainees, including children, is an acute concern. According to the International Detention Coalition, ‘under international law, immigration detention is only meant to be used as a last resort and where it is necessary, reasonable, and proportionate to a legitimate government objective.’

ARTICLE 19’s Hate Speech Toolkit provides a guide to identifying ‘hate speech’ and how to effectively counter it while protecting the rights to freedom of expression and equality. The toolkit highlights the importance of government officials in recognising and responding to intolerance and discrimination, including instances of ‘hate speech’.

UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 calls on states to speak out ‘against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.’ On 14 October 2021, the UN General Assembly elected Malaysia to join the Human Rights Council from 2022 to 2024. Malaysia should show its commitment to human rights by implementing the resolutions of the Council, including those made in Resolution 16/18.

“The government could enhance the public’s understanding of refugees by using an inclusive narrative instead of cultivating public hostility through the isolating dichotomy of ‘us vs them’ that it currently perpetuates,” said Nalini Elumalai. “Authorities must ensure the rights of all people, including refugees, are upheld on its soil and in its waters. They must immediately allow humanitarian actors access to immigration detention centres and permit SUHAKAM to carry out an independent investigation into the concerning conditions at the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot.”

For more information contact Nalini Elumalai, Senior Malaysia Program Officer at ARTICLE 19,

Samantha Holmes
Asia Advocacy and Communications Officer

ARTICLE 19 Defending freedom of expression and information 
Twitter: @article19asia
Facebook: @article19org
LinkedIn: ARTICLE 19
Pronouns: she/her

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Breakout from Immigration Detention - Hunger strike before? Minister says 'refugees' treated well? Why are they now treated as 'criminals'?

Our Minister says that Malaysia treats REFUGEES well - but Malaysia, in law, still do not recognize refugees or asylum seekers. Enact please that legally recognize asylum seekers and refugees.

Rohingya refugees treated well in Malaysia, says Home Minister  (see below for full report)

In Malaysia, we classify people as 'LEGAL' or "ILLEGAL', i.e. with documentation or without documentation. So, is the Minister talking about the treatment of 'illegal'[better term is undocumented] migrants? 

But what was their grievance...what was the protest about... the hunger strike...and was it a failure of government to respond to legitimate demands that led to the 'ESCAPE"  

Instead, there had been unrest days before the riot took place, with many detainees going on a hunger strike, villagers claim.

“During their escape on Wednesday morning, I heard some of them say that they were willing to walk and die rather than live at the detention centre,” she said.

Break-out? ESCAPE? Why?

It seems that there was some protest...discontent.... and that is why the 'illegal migrants' broke out from the Immigration Detention, women and children fled - some 

The the media says "RIOT" - but I have not seen any media report clearly what was the grievance of these 'refugees' - reading the media reports, one believe that these are all 'criminals' - and now, the police is arresting the 'masterminds' of this breakout.

Come on, refugees struggled to escape persecution from their counties, Myanmar in terms of the many asylum seekers and refugees. To do this, they take great risk over land/sea in their plight...and they reached Malaysia... and Malaysia seems to be "KIND" to refugees especially the Rohingyas. So, if all is well, why did they DESPERATELY break out of the Immigration Detention Centre.

Should SUHAKAM do a public inquiry? Malaysia needs to know the truth....

When it comes to REFUGEES, many countries are 'hypocrites' - they expect the country where these asylum seekers/refugees run to to take care of them - but should not the UN be responsible financially and otherwise to provide proper housing,food, healthcare, etc - and not expect Malaysia to bear it all. Once, identified as refugees, they are sent to THIRD Countries who are willing to accept them, and here is the 2nd hypocrisy as many countries pick and choose rather than welcoming all refugees...and nowadays, there is lesser countries that are willing to take refugees. What the government like Malaysia should be required to do is just 'help' UN look after the refugees...

Mastermind behind Immigration depot riot, breakout nabbed

BANDAR BAHARU: Police have nabbed the main mastermind behind the rioting at an Immigration detention depot in Relau here on Wednesday, which saw some 500 Rohingya ethnic detainees fleeing the facility.

Kedah police chief Commissioner Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad said the 34-year-old suspect was detained with another detainee on suspicion of conspiring to provoke other detainees to stage the riot.

"These two are the primary suspects who masterminded the riot and we are looking for two more prime suspects," he told reporters here today.

Wan Hassan said police were tracking down the other two suspects who are among the 96 detainees still at large.

He said investigations revealed that the mastermind had been detained at the depot for over three years.

"He was transported here from Semenyih Depot three years ago."As for now, we believe his major motivation behind orchestrating the riot was to create an opening to flee from the depot. That was the same reasons for the other detainees to take part in the plot," he said.

Wan Hassan added police were also investigating the other aspects behind the incident. - NST, 22/4/2022

Hunger strike before riot at camp?

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Apr 2022

Telltale signs: Norliza showing her shoe rack from where the three pairs of shoes went missing. The shoes are believed to have been taken by the refugees who escaped after the riot incidents in Bandar Baharu, Kedah. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

BANDAR BAHARU: The riot that took place at the Sri Impian Immigration depot in Relau here was not something that erupted overnight.

Instead, there had been unrest days before the riot took place, with many detainees going on a hunger strike, villagers claim.

Kampung Sungai Rambai villager Zainab Awang, 62, said she heard some detainees had refused to eat the food at the centre.

She, however, has no idea why the detainees had behaved that way.

“During their escape on Wednesday morning, I heard some of them say that they were willing to walk and die rather than live at the detention centre,” she said.

Another villager from Kampung Paya Semambu, Zaitun Embi, 43, feared her house could become an easy target for detainees looking for food.

“My house is in the plantation and quite far from other villages.

“If the detainees come and ask for food, I’ll give them food. Still, I will report to the authorities about their presence.”

She said she had seen footprints behind her house.

“At night, we heard dogs barking incessantly. Some of them were probably at the plantation to find shelter,” she said.

She hopes the authorities can locate the escapees soon for the safety of the villagers.

Another villager claimed she lost three pairs of footwear after the escapees passed by her house on Wednesday morning.

Norliza Ahmad, 49, said she was preparing sahur meals when she heard loud noises outside her house.

“I saw hundreds of men, women and children running along the road.

“By then, the shoes were missing. I believe the detainees stole them as they had escaped barefooted.”

Plantation worker Rosdi Abu Seman, 48, said he also saw two sets of footprints at the plantation yesterday morning, adding that the prints could belong to stragglers who had broken from the main group and were now looking for food.

He said the detainees might seek refuge at the hills around the villages and at several durian farms.

Meanwhile, Kampung Paya Semambu Village Development and Security Committee (JPKK) member, leader Harun Ahmad said the villagers should report to authorities if they come across any suspicious figures.

“Please let the authorities know, and be extra careful,” he said.

Kedah Rohingya Society in Malaysia (RSM) chairman Yusof Ali, meanwhile, said the Malaysian government and United Nations must deliberate on the matter to ensure such an incident does not recur in any other detention centre.

“The authorities must find the best way to solve this problem. They must not keep undocumented migrants too long before sending them to third countries,” he said. - Star, 22/4/2022

Rohingya refugees treated well in Malaysia, says Home Minister

  Friday, 22 Apr 2022 11:41 PM MYT

SELAMA: Rohingya refugees in Malaysia are treated well, even though Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).

The Home Minister said that based on humanitarian grounds, Malaysia had provided basic necessities to the refugees for a long time, even though neighbouring countries declined to do so and no third country was willing to accept them.

"They are given free food and shelter so what else do they want us to provide?

"As for now, there is no third country that wants to take them so we have to hold them first,” he told reporters after a breaking-of-fast event at the Selama District Council Hall here Friday (April 22).

He was responding to allegations by certain quarters that the government was treating refugees in detention badly.

On Thursday (April 21), human rights group Lawyers for Liberty reportedly blamed the government for the deaths of Rohingya detainees who escaped from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Depot on April 20.

They claimed there was no reason to cram them in temporary detention centres because they could not be deported due to the "non-refoulement" principle.

Hamzah advised the public not to panic because the escapees were not terrorist groups.

"Please don’t look at Rohingyas as if they are criminals. They are refugees. If you chance upon them, inform (the authorities) immediately so that we can arrest them and send them back to detention centres,” he said. - Bernama - Star, 22/4/2022

27th April - Nagaenthran scheduled to hang? Singapore to 'MURDER' another?

Murder is the premeditated killing of another - and when Singapore decided to execute NAGAENTHRAN Dharmalingam, a Malaysian, found guilty of drug trafficking on WEDNESDAY (27/4/2022).

Yes, it the LAW in Singapore that allows for death penalty > BUT, who makes the law, it is the Parliament, and the people in Parliament are the people elected representatives. Thus, it is the PEOPLE that makes the law - so, Singaporeans cannot simply place blame on the government but should also acknowledge that they are the ones that imposed DEATH PENALTY in law. 

Hence, when after the court process is over, and a person is sentenced to death and later hanged to death, the people cannot say that they did not KILL or murder the said person. 

Death Penalty is a lawful sentence in Singapore and some other countries, and the people of Singapore can decide to abolish it or NOT. The courts just follow the law that the people made. 

HENCE, when(and if) Nagaenthran gets executed, the people in Singapore is not blame-free. They made the laws - they carry out executions.

Now, Nagaenthran did not KILL anyone, it is merely a drug trafficking offence. Is it even right to maintain the death penalty for offences  where no one is killed??

INTELECTUAL DISABILITY with an IQ of 69(normal is 100 or more) - this was the point raised by the accused in the recent court hearing, which was rejected but then the question is whether the court even ordered an INDEPENDENT evaluation of his mental status by a professional medical practitioner, and it seems that it did not.  

A minor cannot be found guilty and sentenced - the reason is mental capacity. It plays a key part in our legal system. If one do not have the required mental capacity, he cannot even be charged and tried. How can a person with a low mental capacity even exercise his right to 'defend himself'. Likewise, even after conviction and sentence, mental capacity is needed for the carrying out the sentence in full > if not sentence may be commuted, and he/she may even be send to the required medical facility...

See earlier relevant posts:- 

Commute mentally challenged Malaysian Nagaenthran’s death sentence to imprisonment. Hearing 30/11/2021

PM Ismail Sabri ask Singapore for leniency for Malaysian scheduled to be hanged for drug trafficking? Will PH Plus, DAP, PAS, MIC, MCA,...?

Execution of Malaysian in Singapore on 10/11/2021 during Covid-19 pandemic VIOLATES family RIGHTS and opportunity to meet for last times?


Rights groups question Singapore’s process for Nagaenthran’s appeal

Human rights organisations are demanding that Singapore halt the execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, who is on death row in the republic, and conform with international human rights law on executing persons with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities. – Pic courtesy of Nagaenthran’s family, April 20, 2022.

NAGAENTHRAN Dharmalingam, a Malaysian with an intellectual disability on death row in Singapore for drug trafficking, has not received any independent psychiatric assessment, human rights organisations said in a last-ditch attempt to stop his execution next week.

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) and Transformative Justice Collective (TJC) in a joint statement demanded the republic halt the execution, scheduled for next Wednesday, and conform with international human rights law on executing persons with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities.

“Singapore has even dismissed the issue of psychosis based solely on the statement and feedback from the Singapore Prison Services.

“To provide Nagaenthran with an independent psychiatric assessment at this stage would cause no prejudice to the State; rather it would demonstrate that Singapore takes its obligations under article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, namely that they “take appropriate measures to provide access by persons with disabilities to the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity,” the groups said.

It was reported today that Nagaenthran will be executed next Wednesday, according to his lawyer M. Ravi.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran had  also confirmed the matter to The Malaysian Insight.

Nagaenthran, 34, has an IQ of 69, a lower than average score that qualifies for intellectual disability.

Nagaenthran’s final legal challenge was dismissed on March 29. 

On March 31 – after Nagaenthran’s final court hearing – the Singapore President’s office said it had not shifted its position and that the death sentence remained in place.

ADPAN and TJC said the timeframe in which Nagaenthran’s legal challenge and clemency application were dismissed raises substantial questions as to whether the clemency process outlined under article 22P(2) of the Singapore Constitution was complied with. 

“Under the said article, the clemency process is not a discretionary power afforded to the president, but a layered process where the trial judge, the appeal judges, and the attorney-general provide their respective opinions and feedback to the cabinet before an advice is made to the president.

“If the process was complied with, there is a question as to what was the opinion provided by all the stakeholders involved, particularly in relation to the information that arose during Nagaenthran’s legal challenge on the possibility he suffered from declining mental health, including psychosis, during his detention,” said the group.

Nagaenthran was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to death in 2011 under the Misuse of Drugs Act for illegally importing 42.7g of diamorphine.

He was caught with a bundle of heroin strapped to his thigh when entering the city-state from Malaysia via the Woodlands checkpoint in April 2009.

He was originally scheduled to be hanged in November but the plan sparked criticism due to his IQ level and his lawyer mounted an 11th-hour challenge at the Court of Appeal.

In November, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong wrote to the president of Singapore, appealing for clemency for Nagaenthran.

In the same month, Nagaenthran had his stay of execution extended after he tested positive for Covid-19.

On March 29, Nagaenthran lost his final appeal against the death penalty when his case was dismissed by the Singapore Court of Appeal. The court had ruled that international laws on the execution of disabled persons do not apply. – April 20, 2022 - Malaysian Insight

Press Release | Spare the Life of Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam 17 Nov 2021 9:02 am

On 1 November 2021, the Presidents of the Malaysian Bar, the Advocates Association of Sarawak, and the Sabah Law Society, co-signed two letters, one addressed to HE the President of the Republic of Singapore, and another addressed to HE the Prime Minister of Singapore.  Both letters essentially called upon the Government of Singapore to exercise its power of clemency to commute the death sentence imposed upon Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, a Malaysian national who had been convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore, and who was scheduled to hang on 10 November 2021.  The letters were personally delivered by the President of the Malaysian Bar on behalf of his fellow Presidents and himself to HE the High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia, who was gracious to receive him and his small delegation, in person.

Fortuitously, the execution did not proceed as scheduled, because Nagaenthran contracted COVID-19 in prison.1  Nevertheless, the death sentence remains. 

On 12 November 2021, the Government of Singapore replied to the letters.  In essence, the Government of Singapore reiterated that Nagaenthran had enjoyed the full benefit of legal due process within the criminal justice system in Singapore.  He had received legal representation at trial, and his medical condition — he has been identified as having an IQ of 69 — had been fully taken into account in subsequent appeals and other legal proceedings.  The courts had decided that his intellectual capacity was not diminished, and that he was fully cognisant of his actions and fully appreciated their legal consequences.  As such, there was no reason to disturb the finding of guilt and the imposition of the death penalty. 

Our call to the Government of Singapore was in relation to the issue of clemency.  This is a process that is extra-judicial that takes place after all judicial processes are exhausted.  We note that an earlier application for clemency had been rejected.  Given the reported further deterioration of Nagaenthran’s mental condition, we believe that a reconsideration of clemency is warranted.2  

We note that many international,3  regional4  and national organisations, governments,5  civil society bodies,6  and individuals7  have written to the Government of Singapore in support of the abolition of the death penalty and the commutation of Nagaenthran’s death sentence.  Many that have done so, including the three Bars in Malaysia, have noted that Singapore has signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”).8  As such, we hope that Singapore will give effect to commitments that it has made under the CRPD. 

We sincerely and strongly urge the Government of Singapore to give this all due and necessary consideration.  We have always had a close relationship with Singapore — our neighbour to the south.  We respect its sovereignty and laws, but what we are merely asking for is compassion to be extended to our citizen who has been medically diagnosed as being of impaired intellectual ability and has been languishing in a cell for more than ten years in a foreign country.  All we are asking for is humanity.


Malaysian Bar

17 November 2021