Sunday, October 17, 2021

Peoples' Power Party(Parti Kuasa Rakyat) led by PM's brother - a non-starter cause it is 'govt-friendly'? Register all NEW political parties?

Party Kuasa Rakyat(Peoples' Power Party) is a new multiracial Malaysian political party, which seems to do away ethnic-preferential policies, with a preferential option for the POOR.

It advocates free education (not sure about free healthcare) especially for the B40 and M40 households.

It talks also about housing rights, employment rights, ...

It talks about doing away with Student Loans(PTPN), and replacing it with scholarships - ODD - for, it should have just advocated FREE education until university/colleges...in all government education systems

Is it going to replace ethnic quotas - and replace it with socio-economic quotas, aimed at helping the poor improve their lifes and economy?

BIG PROBLEM with many Malaysian political parties is that nobody knows what is their stance on specifics issues

* Are they going towards implementation of a national pension scheme that will ensure the well-being of everyone in their old-age - so, at least they will continue to receive adequate monies to live?

* HEALTHCARE - are they going to move away the government's current policy towards privatization - will they keep government HEALTHCARE Free for all, and available to all?

* Are they going to abolish Detention Without Trial?

* Are they for GENDER EQUALITY - no discrimination on the basis of Gender, Women and Men have equal rights

* Their position on Environment and endangered species?

The BIGGEST FUMBLE of this new 'Peoples' Power' party, is the statement that they will be 'government friendly' - that kills it? 

People join a particular party because it is different from another party (or maybe because they are LED by different people?) - and, all political parties, unless they are part of government, should be independent, and be an effective check and balance to government..

In some issues they may on the same side with current government - but in others they have a different opposite position..

But, here the new Peoples' Power Party comes out saying it wants to be part of the Barisan Nasional(BN) ....note not PN or PAS?

Parti Kuasa Rakyat (Kuasa Rakyat) is yet to be REGISTERED - and Malaysia simply makes it very difficult for any NEW party to be registered - an HYPOCRISY in a country that claims to be DEMOCRATIC ..

Malaysia should not BLOCK the registration of any new political parties ...register them - if they later break laws, then take action against them..

So, many a new political parties have to search some 'already registered political parties' and PAY for them or come to some deals ????

By preventing registration of NEW POLITICAL PARTIES - Malaysia is not DEMOCRATIC, and denies people's right to join and form their own political parties...so sad...so sad...

The number of political parties matters not - as ultimately, it is the people that choose and vote in elections..

 



Kuasa Rakyat launched today, offers to be BN component

Bernama
Kuasa Rakyat launched today, offers to be BN component
Parti Kuasa Rakyat (Kuasa Rakyat) which was launched today, is leaving it to Barisan Nasional (BN) on whether to accept the party as a component of the coalition. - BERNAMA photo
 
KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Kuasa Rakyat (Kuasa Rakyat) which was launched today, is leaving it to Barisan Nasional (BN) on whether to accept the party as a component of the coalition.
 
Its founding president, Kamarazaman Yaakob said Kuasa Rakyat is a multi-racial party which could fill the existing void in the coalition.
 
"We are not replacing MCA, MIC... as we are a multiracial party and there is a void in BN and that depends on how far they are willing to accept us. It also depends on the political conditions and situation," he said.
 
He was speaking to reporters after the launching ceremony of Parti Kuasa Rakyat here today.
 
Kamarazaman when asked on when the party will be registered by the Registrar of Societies (RoS), he said Kuasa Rakyat is also discussing with a party which has been registered in the country to merge and form a new leadership.
 
Without naming the party he said Kuasa Rakyat would focus on the agenda to empower the B40 and M40 groups as well as the youth in the country apart from being a government-friendly party.
 
"Kuasa Rakyat will champion the policy of free education. Would abolish PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation), pledges to write off all forms of loans and replace it with scholarships, bursaries or something similar to that.
 
"The cancellation of debts only applies to the children of B40 and M40 groups. Similarly, on the matter of giving all forms of scholarships, it is only for B40 and M40 children, "he said.
 
Meanwhile, Kamarazaman also denied that the party was orchestrated by certain parties, including his brother who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
 
-- BERNAMA - Astro Awani, 10/10/2021


 

 

‘Left-leaning’ but govt-friendly, pundits predict new party Kuasa to split urban Malay votes from Pakatan

Parti Kuasa Rakyat president Kamarazaman Yaakob is seen at the launch of the political party in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2021. — Bernama pic
Parti Kuasa Rakyat president Kamarazaman Yaakob is seen at the launch of the political party in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The emergence of Parti Kuasa Rakyat (Kuasa) that promotes seemingly left-leaning policies but also touts a government-friendly stance looks set to split votes among urban Malay voters, political observers polled by Malay Mail have predicted.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political science professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said Kuasa is therefore likely to deprive critical support from the voting base of Pakatan Harapan (PH) components such as PKR and Parti Amanah Negara.

“I regard the sudden appearance of Kuasa as an attempt to snatch urban middle-class Malay votes away from PKR and Amanah and therefore from PH, leaving PH as ultimately a coalition dominated by non-Malays,’’ he told Malay Mail.

Concurring with Fauzi’s assertion is also a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs Oh Ei Sun, who said Kuasa will present yet another alternative for those inclined to vote for social democratic policies.

Oh further explained that Kuasa aims to appear to be more left-leaning compared to PH, but due to its government-friendly image, a vote for the former may as well be a vote for the ruling government.

“Kuasa is a vote-splitting party or vote splitter. Its idea is to present a viable alternative to voters who are inclined to support the opposition so if they are to support this party then they are not going to vote for PH, therefore, PH will lose some seats to this party or one of the incumbents (ruling government parties).

“It also represents an image of being more left-leaning than the Opposition who are slightly social-democratic so people might believe it and vote for the party and therefore you would accomplish the role of vote splitting,’’ he said.

On October 10, Kuasa was officially launched, headed by Kamarazaman Yaakob, a former member of the Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia and also the elder brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Kamarazaman said the party will be open to all ethnic groups and East Malaysians, and it will push for free education, housing and health as well as jobs for the bottom 40 per cent (B40) and middle 40 per cent (M40) households.

Apart from that, Kuasa is also seeking the abolishment of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) and replacing it with scholarships for the B40 and M40 groups.

During its launch, Kamarazaman said the party aims to be friendly to the government to achieve its goals, but insisted that it has no links either to Ismail Sabri and the ruling Umno, or PKR defectors Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Kamarazaman has even positioned Kuasa as a credible alternative to MCA and MIC and to fill a void in Barisan Nasional, saying it is now up to the former ruling coalition dominated by Umno whether it wishes to accept his party into its fold.

Malay Mail has requested an interview with Kuasa to clarify its position, but has yet to secure a slot.

Zooming in on Kamarazaman’s political credential, Fauzi suggested the former may be able to position Kuasa on the right path to be a viable political party with a focus on clean politics.

“Its founder Kamarazaman Yaacob is not only the PM's brother, but he also has a noteworthy history of political activism including a stint with Semangat 46,” he said, referring to short-lived Umno splinter party formed by Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

“So with his vast networks and leftist pedigree, it would be premature to rule him out just as yet.

“With socialism as a political project being more of a spent force globally, he would need to rebrand his socialist ideals though. With all sorts of revelations alluding to corruption among the country’s ruling elites (eg. Pandora Papers, 1MDB scandal), he stands a good chance provided he can skillfully capitalise on such disclosures.

“The emphasis should be on clean politics; a theme that would resonate among the Malay middle classes which provide the bulk of support for parties like PKR and Amanah,’’ he said.

Fauzi also stated that Kuasa would be able to provide a proper platform for former PKR lawmakers who defected to the government but may not be too comfortable with joining parties such as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia due to its race-based policies.

“Kamarazaman's reputation in the hall of fame of Malay grassroots activists of the 1970s — one that purportedly rivals Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s, will be crucial here. Kuasa will also become the cushion that can accommodate ex-PKR stalwarts who jumped over to Bersatu as part of the Sheraton move in February 2020.

“Many I suspect will not be able to find proper space in Bersatu, which is at heart still a right-wing Malay nationalist party with Umno-like characteristics. Politicians such as Kamarudin Jaffar and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah don't have profiles that match Bersatu’s ideological make-up. Kuasa would fit them better,’’ he said.

Other names leading Kuasa so far include former PKR’s Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan, G25 member Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Hassan, and former Pahang Amanah chief Hamzah Jaafar.

Another political analyst, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia geostrategist Prof Azmi Hassan also agreed that other more established political actors should not downplay Kamarazaman’s ability to manoeuvre Kuasa appropriately.

However, Azmi added that Kuasa must be able to attract other experienced politicians to show that it is a viable contender within the political circuit.

“Whether it is significant or insignificant, it depends on how it can attract other politicians and most importantly how it can attract new members to join the party.

“Kuasa needs seasoned politicians or well-known politicians to instill confidence in the people that it is not just a fly-by-night political party but is here to stay and when it says it is government-friendly, it shows a lot about the direction of the party,’’ he said.

He however added that it is still unknown whether Kuasa will join forces with government parties in the next polls, but allying with Umno, PAS or Bersatu will lead to further squabbles in seat allocation

“This will create some turmoil within the older parties but again Kamarazaman being a savvy politician and being the brother of the PM really help Kuasa to alleviate in a faster manner compared to other parties such as Muda.

“I think if Kuasa is given the go-ahead by the Registrar of Societies, then it could become a significant player in an already crowded political scene,’’ he said.

So far, Bersatu splinter Parti Pejuang Tanah Air has been approved by the Registrar of Societies, but not the youth-based Malaysian United Democratic Alliance or Muda. - Malay Mail, 13/10/2021

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Anti-Hopping laws for people - NOT for party to 'enslave' or gag further their members who are MPs? Malaysian Bar Resolution

Beware - that our government and MPs do not deceive us by changing the very reason for anti-party hopping laws, and making it laws to allow GREATER Control of party members chosen as peoples' representative.


Speaking up and/or voting against party leadership is not a reason to disqualify a MP. If that be the case, when Muhyiddin, Shafie and Anwar were expelled from UMNO, they would have lost the MPship? Such laws, give more power to political parties to 'Control' MPs - we do not want that. As far as the people want is that we peoples' representatives that truly (or trully STILL represent the people)

Anti-Party Hopping laws is about PEOPLE'S RIGHT to be represented by their representative in Parliament and/or State Legislative Assembly. One significant factor, when people vote for a candidate is the party he is in, and/or whether he stands as an independent - which also means his election promises/manifestos. 



- Note the intention is for the immediate disqualification of MPs who leave one party and join another party or become an Independent. It is also to disqualify MPs that stood and won as Independent candidate but subsequently joins a political party. The only INTENTION is give PEOPLE(Voters) the right to be represented by a person of their choice through another by-elections. Remember, the same person may be re-elected or maybe the people will chose another.

It is not to give power to any political party the power to EXPEL a MP - simply to get a chance to get another party member a chance of becoming a new MP. Hence, no disqualification if it is a party expels a member - but YES, there will be disqualification if that MP joins another party thereafter.

Now, in the media, some MPs and politicians want something else - not a anti-party hopping law, but something that gives political parties greater ability to 'enslave' MPs from their party. - see Azalina Othman, not voting as party 'orders' is NOT Party Hopping? Neither is being 'expelled' from your party? 

To understand better Anti-Party Hopping laws, see the most recent Malaysian Bar Resolution (September 2021 EGM)

 

Resolution On ‘Party Hoping’, Removal of MPs and Restoration of Peoples’ Rights in determining who their peoples’ representative MPs and ADUNs are at all times.

WHEREAS

1. Of late, events in Malaysia, have raised again the issue of party hopping in Malaysia of elected people’s representative, which to many is seen to be a betrayal of the people, who many a time voted a particular candidate based on their promises and/or positions usually found in the party’s or ‘coalition of parties’ proclaimed promises or undertakings as contained in Election Manifesto’s and/or other public positions taken by the party under whose ticket that particular candidate contest to be elected the peoples’ a Member of Parliament(MP) and/or State Assemblyperson(ADUNs).

2. When the Barisan Nasional MPs hopped over after GE14 to parties they contested against during the last General Elections, and thereafter some MPs of Pakatan Harapan coalition of 4 parties, or when PKR MPs/ADUNs left the party, the voters of the respective constituency feel betrayed. Voters voted for the BN candidate and against the PH, PAS or other candidates, and now their MP jumps to join one of the PH component parties. Same applies for all party hoppers – the ‘katak’(frogs).

3. The question that reasonably arises is whether these sMPs and/or ADUNs still even have the required support of the majority of registered voters in that particular constituency to continue to remain as the peoples’ representative of that particular constituency. It must be noted that the party under which a candidate contests, and the election manifestos made by the said parties/coalitions is an important factor for the voter when it comes to choosing their representative.

4. It is unjust and a denial of peoples’ rights to allow any such peoples’ representative to continue to be MP or ADUN of the particular Constituency, when in fact he/she most likely no longer have the required mandate or support of his constituents, and his/her continued functioning as the peoples’ MP or ADUN is a lie or a farce.

5. Therefore, in the event of any MP or ADUN, who won an election standing as a candidate of any particular political party or coalition of parties leaves their party to join another party, or to be an independent MP or ADUN, he/she must be considered as automatically no longer the MP or ADUN of that particular constituency, and an Election shall be called to allow the people in the said constituency to choose again their NEW peoples’ representative.

6. Only an immediate elections will suffice, for it is absurd for an MP or ADUN, who have in fact loss the support of his/her constituents to continue to act and/or speak as though he still has the peoples’ mandate and/or support, when he reasonably no longer does.

7. There is also no justification for the peoples’ monies to be used to pay such an MP/ADUNs in the form of salary, allowances and various other benefits. They are no longer the peoples’ representative in the Constituency he claims to represent unless a new Elections proves that he/she still have the support of their constituents.

8. There may be an exception where the said MP or ADUN, did not leave but was expelled by the said political party, and thereafter choose to remain an independent MP or ADUN still committed to the promises and undertaking of the said party as contained in their former party’s or coalition of parties’ Election Manifesto and otherwise.

9. However, the moment that any such independent MP or ADUN chooses to join or publicly support other parties that were opposed to his/her party or coalition of parties on election day, that MP or ADUN ought to be automatically disqualified, and the people should be given the right to choose their NEW MP or ADUN for their constituency.

10. There shall be no BAR for the MP or ADUN, disqualified for these reasons, from contesting again in the elections to choose the new peoples representative in the same constituency or some other.

11. An example of such provisions that disqualifies MPs that jump parties could be seen in Uganda in Article(83) of their Constitution, where it is stated that ‘…a Member of Parliament may lose his or her seat in any of the following instances—
 

 - On resignation in writing to the Speaker;

- If he or she subsequently ceases to qualify to be a Member of Parliament;

- If he or she is absent from 15 sittings without permission of the Speaker;

- If he or she is found guilty of violation of the Leadership Code of Conduct;

- If he or she joins another party or leaves the party and decides to remain an Independent member;

- If a member was elected as an independent and joins a party; or


- On appointment as a public officer….’

12. Thus, a similar law can and ought to be enacted in Malaysia which will return the power to the Rakyat to choose their new people’ representative, when their elected MP or ADUN changes his/her party affiliation or status to become independent or no longer be an independent.

13. As, it is the Federal Constitution, being Article 48 Disqualification for membership of Parliament, that need to be amended, specifically Art. 48(1) to add on 2 additional situation that results in disqualification. being a new clause (g) and (h)

48 (1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if -

(a) he is and has been found or declared to be of unsound mind; or

(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt; or

(c) he holds an office of profit; or

(d) having been nominated for election to either House of Parliament or to the Legislative Assembly of a State, or having acted as election agent to a person so nominated, he has failed to lodge any return of election expenses required by law within the time and in the manner so required; or

(e) he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon; or

(f) he has voluntarily acquired citizenship of, or exercised rights of citizenship in, any country outside the Federation or has made a declaration of allegiance to any country outside the Federation.

(g) If he or she joins another party or leaves the party and decides to remain an Independent member; or

(h) If a member was elected as an independent and joins a party



14. Hence, an Act of Parliament alone is insufficient, but there is a need for the Constitution to be amended.


REMOVAL OF MP/ADUN BY THE CONSTITUENTS

15. Now, in Malaysia today, a Prime Minister cannot remain Prime Minister if he has lost the confidence of the majority of MPs.

16 Likewise, a similar principle should apply to every peoples’ representative – it must be the people in the relevant constituency who then decides whether the same person or some other should thereafter be their people’s representative in Parliament and/or State Legislative Assembly.

17. There can be laws enacted to specifically provide the people, in particular constituencies, the right to remove their elected representative by reasons of loss of confidence and/or support.

18. Similarly, registered voters should also be accorded the right to remove their elected MP or ADUN, or at the very least the right to have another elections to choose a new MP or ADUN. This could be by a signed petition submitted by maybe by more than 50% of the registered voters, or by a number higher than the number of votes obtained by the said MP or ADUN at the last elections. On receipt of the said Petition by the King, Ruler, Election Commission or some other appropriate person or body, the seat will immediately be deemed vacant and a new elections shall be held.

19. There should be no bar to any person so removed as MP or ADUN that prevents them contesting again in the elections, to let the people decide who they ought to be their peoples’ representative.

20. Laws that bar resigning MPs or ADUNs from contesting again should be repealed. After all, it is the people who ultimately decides who they want to be their MP or ADUN.

21. Laws that disqualifies persons after they have served their sentence or paid fines following a conviction for any further period should also be abolished. The people, after all, should be free to elect their representative to Parliament, etc.

22. Current election laws also do not give the Election Commission the power to investigate and prosecute is lamentable. This should be remedied, and the Election Commission should have the power of investigation and prosecution when it comes to crimes related to Elections and/or elected representatives.

Therefore, it is hereby resolved

A) That Malaysia enacts laws now that automatically disqualifies the elected peoples’ representative, including MPs and ADUNs, who leave political parties or change their independent status, AND thereafter there ought to be a new election giving the people the right to choose their NEW peoples’ representative.;

B) That Malaysia enacts laws that gives the people the right to remove their MP or ADUN by reason of loss of confidence, akin to the right of MPs to change the Prime Minister, resulting in an immediate elections for the people to democratically choose their new MP and/or ADUN;

C) That the peoples’ right as to who should be and/or remain the peoples’ representative be respected;

D) That Malaysia amend and reform current Election Laws, including also the repealing existing provisions that bar persons from running for elections for years after they have already served their sentence, be it a prison sentence, paid the fine or some other sentence as ordered by court, which are not only unjust but also encourages discrimination against ex-convicts after they had already served their sentences;

E) That the Election Commission be given the right to investigate and prosecute persons, including subsequently elected representatives, when it comes to crimes related to Elections and/or Election laws

Source: Malaysian Bar Website - Resolutions Adopted at the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar (Held Virtually on Saturday, 25 Sept 2021)

* For information, this motion was proposed by Charles Hector

See earlier posts:-

 Azalina Othman, not voting as party 'orders' is NOT Party Hopping? Neither is being 'expelled' from your party? 

'Lompat Party'/ Party Hoping Motion to be discussed at Bar EGM

 

If interested in the recent Bar resolution on child rights and against gender discrimination, see

Malaysian fathers and Malaysian Mothers must be accorded equal rights - No discrimination based on gender - Bar Resolution

 

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Suhakam reiterates call for abolition of death penalty, and ask government to disclose study that PH Plus initiated but kept 'secret'?

Pakatan Harapan Plus, before they came into power talked about TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY - but sadly, that government did not disclose  'the report by the Special Committee to Review Alternative Sentences to the Mandatory Death Penalty and recommendations it made.'

Hence, it behaved like the previous Barisan Nasional government who 'hid' the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) findings on the mass graves discovered in Wang Kelian, Perlis more than five years ago. Sadly, when PH Plus was government, they also did not disclose this Royal Commission of Inquiry report.

See relevant earlier posts:-  

BN, PH Plus and BN-PN-GPS governments and the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia - 10/10/2021 (World Day against The Death Penalty)

Abolish death penalty, suspend pending executions, say groups, MP(FMT)

Suhakam reiterates call for total abolition of death penalty in Malaysia

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KUCHING (Oct 11): In conjunction with the World Day Against the Death Penalty, commemorated annually on Oct 10, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) reiterates its call for the total abolition of the death penalty in the country.

According to its press statement, this is in line with the belief in a person’s fundamental right to life.
Suhakam has continuously advocated for the total abolition of the death penalty, through various stakeholder engagements and programmes, including conferences, debates and exhibitions to raise public awareness and support on this issue.

The statement said Suhakam supports the continued moratorium on the death penalty since its adoption in 2018 and encourages the government to initiate processes to implement its commitment to abolish the mandatory death penalty, as announced in 2019, which is seen as a positive step towards total abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia.

In 2020, it said the Malaysian government was among 120 UN member states which voted in support of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) resolution regarding the moratorium on the use of the death penalty during the 75th session of the UNGA.

“It is important to highlight that the resolution recommended that states should guarantee the right to a fair trial, and to limit the imposition of the death penalty to the most serious crimes, pending the abolition of the death penalty,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the study conducted by the Special Committee to Review Alternative Sentences to the Mandatory Death Penalty appointed by the late Datuk Liew Vui Keong (the former minister in the Prime Minister’s department in charge of legal affairs in the PH administration under former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) has been completed and the report submitted to the previous government.

In view of the weight and urgency of the issue, Suhakam urges the government to release the report of the Special Committee and its recommendations.

“It is Suhakam’s view that the recommendations and transitionary measure for current death row prisoners should be made public, thereby allowing for legislators, policymakers and the society to undertake the needful to expedite the abolishment of the death penalty in Malaysia.

“Further, Suhakam encourages the initiative announced by the government in 2020 to set up a Law Reform Commission to study existing laws as well as sentencing procedures and if found to be outdated or archaic, to recommend for the necessary amendments or repeals and thereby enabling Malaysia to be in line with international human rights standards,” added the statement. - Borneo Post, 11/10/2021

Suhakam calls for release of report by Special Committee on death penalty

PETALING JAYA: The government has been urged to release a report by the Special Committee to Review Alternative Sentences to the Mandatory Death Penalty and recommendations it made.

The study was conducted by the Special Committee appointed by former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, the late Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pix) and the report was submitted to the previous Government.

In making this call, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today said in 2020, the Malaysian Government was among 120 UN Member States, which voted in support of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) resolution regarding the moratorium on the use of the death penalty during the 75th session of the UNGA.

“It is important to highlight that, the resolution recommended that states should guarantee the right to a fair trial, and to limit the imposition of the death penalty to the most serious crimes, pending the abolition of the death penalty,” Suhakam said in a statement.

“It is Suhakam’s view that the recommendations and transitionary measures for current death row prisoners, should be made public, thereby allowing for legislators, policy makers and the society to undertake the needful to expedite the abolishment of the death penalty in Malaysia.

“Further, Suhakam encourages the initiative announced by the government in 2020, to set up a Law Reform Commission to study existing laws as well as sentencing procedures and if found to be outdated or archaic, to recommend for the necessary amendments or repeals and thereby enabling Malaysia to be in line with international human rights standards.”

It reiterated its call for the total abolition of the death penalty in the country in conjunction with the World Day Against the Death Penalty which is commemorated on Oct 10 annually. - The Sun Daily, 10/10/2021

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Abolish death penalty, suspend pending executions, say groups, MP(FMT)

 

MADPET issued a statement, which was reported in part by FMT. For the full statement, see BN, PH Plus and BN-PN-GPS governments and the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia - 10/10/2021 (World Day against The Death Penalty)

Some points made by MADPET :-

* All governments starting with BN, then PH Plus and now the PN-BN-GPS Plus governments are all moving towards the abolition of death penalty. BN stands out, by the abolition of the mandatory death penalty for Drug Trafficking. Whilst, the other more recent 2 governments failed to act in amending the law.

* 2 kinds of Death Penalty which State carries out. 1st is where an accussed, tried, convicted, sentenced to death and hung. The 2nd is EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING where the State and state agents kill 'suspects' - hence without according the right to a fair trial. MADPET calls for the abolition of both kinds of death penalty.

*  Pardon Powers rest with State Rulers, and today different states are ruled by different political parties/coalitions. After sentencing, the King or State Ruler can pardon and commute the death sentence into imprisonment - but alas, the lack of pardons by the different States, despite an acknowledgement that many in death row for drug trafficking are mere 'mules', sometimes people 'conned' Why did Pakatan Harapan Plus, Warisan, BN or PAS state governments pardon such persons commuting the sentence to imprisonment.

* Remember a former BN Minister, convicted of murder and sentenced to death was pardon the 1st time resulting the commutation of sentence from death to life imprisonment. Then, there was a second pardon that saw him released from prison. [Is this a discrimination in favour of politicians? Do ordinary people don't matter?]

Abolish death penalty, suspend pending executions, say groups, MP

The groups have urged the federal and state governments to push for the Rulers to grant pardons and commute the sentences of those on death row. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: Two groups and an MP have spoken up on the need to abolish capital punishment and for a moratorium on all pending executions until a decision is made by the government on this.

In their statements in conjunction with the World Day Against the Death Penalty today, they said it had been proven globally that this punishment had failed to deter criminals.

In recognition of this year’s theme, “Women sentenced to or facing the death penalty”, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto highlighted the 129 women on death row in Malaysia as of last year, adding that this was about 16% of all the women sentenced to death globally.

“Of the 144 countries that have abolished the death penalty in practice and law, Malaysia remains one of the few countries among the 51 that still believe that executing people will cause crime rates to reduce, to act as a deterrent or, worse, for justice to be served.



Kasthuri Patto.

“Over the years, the number of men and women on death row in Malaysia has increased. But there is no sign of a reduction, with the crime rate still remaining high.”

She said that while abolition rarely received overwhelming support, the government must not avoid the issue in favour of “fame and popularity”, and must invest tirelessly in reforms to prevent the crimes that have long been punished with the death penalty, like drug trafficking offences.

Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) meanwhile said that while positive progress had been made towards that end, such as the country voting in December 2020 for a moratorium on the use of capital punishment at the United Nations General Assembly, more work still needs to be done in pursuit of total abolition.

It called on the federal and state governments to push for the Rulers to grant pardons and commute the sentences of those on death row until all forms of capital punishment — mandatory and discretionary — can be officially abolished.

The group also said that inquiries must be conducted into cases where police kill a suspect to determine whether it was an “indirect death penalty” performed by the state or its agents.

It said while the last three governments had made some improvements, they were not as wide-reaching and comprehensive as many had hoped for, and called upon the new government to “finally abolish the death penalty, and until then continue to maintain a moratorium on executions”.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) reiterated its call for an end to executions too, “in line with the belief in a person’s fundamental right to life”.

It encouraged the government to follow through on its plans to scrap the death penalty, as stated by former law minister Liew Vui Keong, who in 2019 said a bill to do so was being prepared for tabling in Parliament.

The group called for the release of the report and recommendations developed by the special committee, established by the late Liew, to allow legislators and policy makers to do what’s necessary to expedite an end to capital punishment.

“Further, Suhakam encourages the initiative announced by the government in 2020, to set up a Law Reform Commission to study existing laws as well as sentencing procedures and, if found to be outdated or archaic, to recommend for the necessary amendments or repeal, thereby enabling Malaysia to be in line with international human rights standards.” - FMT, 10/10/2021

 

See full MADPET statement - 

BN, PH Plus and BN-PN-GPS governments and the Abolition of Death Penalty in Malaysia - 10/10/2021 (World Day against The Death Penalty)

Mosque/Surau External Speakers - Saudi Arabia imposes restrictions on usage and volume? What is the law in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, it is time for the religious authorities to create clear laws about usage of external speakers in mosques and suraus. 

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh issued a circular on Sunday to all of the ministry’s branches in the Kingdom’s regions, instructing the employees in mosques to restrict the use of external loudspeakers to calling the faithful to prayer (Adhan) and Iqamat-ul-salah (the second call for congregational prayer).

As more and more in Malaysia during this Covid-19 pandemic have had to resort to working online - be it for attending online classes(education), participating in online court sessions, participating in online meetings and even conferences, the sensitivity to background noises is an issue - as it is picked up by computer microphones, and it also can impede hearing if external speakers of religious places of worship is simply too loud.

The other problem that can emerge is the usage of external speakers(which now are rather powerful) for reasons other than the call to prayer(azan and iqamat). 

Dr Al Sheikh said in an interview on Monday that the use of loudspeakers in mosques is a modern trend and banning them should not be raising concerns among Muslims. “Loudspeakers in mosques are modern practices and not something derived from Sharia.

"There is no doubt that people in the kingdom are accustomed to the sound of prayers through loudspeakers and have made this a habit, but it is not part of worship," Dr Al Sheikh said in an interview with Al Ekhbariya TV channel.

Yesterday, a mosque made a call for prayer at 4.58am [but then, on looking online, the correct call for prayer time is  5.49am - although this 'mistake' have been going on weeks, one wonders why other Muslims and/or the religious authorities]. After the call to prayer, the mosque continued using the external speakers until about 5.30am, and then another surau started at about 5.40am..

Respect for other religions is a fundamental part of Malaysian attitude. We have all accepted the call for prayers(which is usually about 3 minutes) but the use continues on it can cause problems - disruption of sleep affects productivity of workers, and even education of children.

In every constituency, the are hundreds of mosques and suraus, and the relevant authorities need to consider whether use of external speakers is allowed for mosques alone(or for both mosque and suraus). Nowadays, one condition for approval of housing development projects seems to be the need to provide suraus - and this has increased the number of suraus - making the number of suraus and mosques in close proximity high. Suraus for tamans should be allowed to use external speakers with volume sufficient for its taman residents. A surau near here in a Taman is about 200-400 meters from the Mosque - and call for prayer from the mosque is loud enough to be heard in Tamans...

Now, there are even Apps that can be installed in smartphones/computers that automatically broadcast calls to prayer.

After the restrictions imposed in Saudi Arabia(the motherland of Islam), some amendments allowing use of external speakers for Friday Prayers - Why? Because numbers who attend the mosque is large, so many attendees end up having to be outside the doors in the mosques - so external speakers allowed so that those outside can follow the proceedings inside the Mosque - this is reasonable.

In Malaysia, mosques and suraus come within the jurisdiction of the State(not the Federal Government generally). Federal government only have authority with regard to Federal Territories - KL, Putrajaya and Labuan.

SENSITIVE - the issue is sensitive, that even Muslim leaders/politicians and even MPs/ADUNs are simply 'too scared' to intervene and correct wrong practices - like usage of external speakers for matters beyond the Azan call...

Hence, whether the Malaysian government or the State Governments will address this issue is DOUBTFUL - but I hope that clear policies and laws are enacted to deal with this issue.

But, today with more people working/studying from home, the usage and volume of these external speakers in places of worship need to be addressed fast.

RESPECT should not turn into TOLERANCE...or later worse.

 

Saudi minister defends volume limit on mosque loudspeakers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Islamic affairs minister defended a contentious order restricting the volume of mosque loudspeakers, saying it was prompted by complaints in the conservative Muslim nation about excessive noise.

In a major policy last week in a country home to the holiest Muslim sites, the Islamic affairs ministry said the speakers should be set at no more than one-third of their maximum volume.

The order, which also limited the use of loudspeakers mainly to issue the call to prayer rather than broadcasting full sermons, triggered a conservative backlash on social media.

Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh said the order was in response to citizens' complaints that the loud volume was causing disturbance to children as well as the elderly.

"Those who want to pray do not need to wait for... the imam's" call to prayer, Sheikh said in a video published by state television.

"They should be at the mosque beforehand," he added.

Several television channels also broadcast prayers and Quran recitals, Sheikh said, suggesting the loudspeakers served a limited purpose.

In a country home to tens of thousands of mosques, many welcomed the move to reduce the decibel levels.

But the decision also stirred resentment on social media, with a hashtag calling for the banning of loud music in restaurants and cafes gaining traction.

Sheikh said criticism of the policy was being spread by "enemies of the kingdom" who "want to stir public opinion."

The policy follows de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's sweeping liberalisation drive, which has pushed a new era of openness in parallel with what observers call a de-emphasis on religion.

The young prince has eased social restrictions in the ultra-conservative kingdom, lifting decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers while allowing gender-mixed music concerts and sporting extravaganzas.

The relaxed social norms have been welcomed by many Saudis, two-thirds of whom are under 30, while riling arch-conservatives.

Saudi Arabia has clipped the powers of its religious police, who once elicited widespread fear, chasing men and women out of malls to pray and berating anyone seen mingling with the opposite sex.

Prince Mohammed has promised a "moderate" Saudi Arabia as he attempts to break with its austere image, while simultaneously cracking down vigorously on dissent.

Over the past three years, the kingdom has arrested dozens of women activists, clerics, journalists as well as royal family members.--AFP - New Straits Times, 1/6/2021

Use of external loudspeakers at mosques to be restricted to Adhan and Iqamat

May 24, 2021
The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh.
The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —
The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh issued a circular on Sunday to all of the ministry’s branches in the Kingdom’s regions, instructing the employees in mosques to restrict the use of external loudspeakers to calling the faithful to prayer (Adhan) and Iqamat-ul-salah (the second call for congregational prayer).

Furthermore, the volume must not exceed one-third of the full volume of loudspeakers. The minister warned that regulatory measures would be taken against anyone who violates this circular.

This circular issued Monday by the minister comes in the wake of the ministry noticing that external loudspeakers are used during the performing of prayers. This harms patients, old people, and children in the houses in the vicinity of the mosques.

In addition, there is interference in the recitations and rites by the imams of mosques. This causes confusion for the worshipers in the mosques and the residents of houses in the surroundings of these mosques, (especially the sequence of rites?).

The circular is also based on evidence from the Shariah, most important of which is the Prophet’s saying that all worshipers are praying and supplicating to Allah Almighty, so they should not harm or cause inconvenience for one another by loud recitations during prayer.

This is in implementation of the jurisprudential (Fiqhi) principle, “Do not harm others, nor should others harm you.”

The reason is that the imam’s voice during prayer must be heard by all inside the mosque, and there is no need, according to the Shariah for the imam’s voice to be heard in the neighboring houses outside.

Moreover, there is disrespect for the Holy Qur’an when it is recited loudly using external loudspeakers, while no one is listening to and pondering on its verses.

The circular is also in conformity with the religious edict (fatwa) by the late religious scholar Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Othaimeen (May Allah have mercy on his soul) that external loudspeakers should not be used except for Adhan and Iqamat-ul-salah.

The circular is also based on the fatwa by the member of the Council of Senior Scholars and member of the Permanent Committee Dr. Saleh Al-Fowzan, and several other religious scholars. Saudi Gazette, 24/5/2021