The Malaysian Bar reiterated its call for Putrajaya to take concrete steps in repealing and abolishing draconian laws, such as the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 that permit detention without trial for up to two years.
In a statement today, its president, A.G. Kalidas, said the 12th Malaysia Plan had “very tamely” stated that the government would review or amend laws related to crimes.
“The continued absence of meaningful due process protections may lead to one-sided hearings before their respective boards, which are not courts. This is clearly contrary to the idea of an open and fair trial,” said Kalidas.
He provided several examples of laws that needed to be looked at:
- Provisions in the Sedition Act, 1948, Printing Presses and Publications Act, 1984, and Sections 233 and 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, 1998 contain provisions for the authorities to undermine and restrict the right to freedom of speech and expression. Mere “annoyance” may be sufficient in certain circumstances.
- Sections 124B to 124J of the Penal Code are a threat to the democratic system of governance in Malaysia. Combined, they are a collective affront to the rule of law, basic human rights values, and various constitutional safeguards.
“Abolishing or repealing these laws will demonstrate the government’s resolve to upholding the rule of law and democratic principles, as measured by international norms and standards.”
He added over the past year, Malaysians had been exposed to the importance of human rights, bearing witness to events where our constitutional freedoms of speech, assembly, and association, have come into focus.
“We have seen workers’ rights advocates, bloggers, cartoonists, journalists and satirists being investigated by the police. Their alleged offence? Drawing, saying, or writing something that has hurt the feelings of some other person, or for gathering in support of work-related issues, to protest against corruption, or in defence of elections and Parliamentary democracy.
“The Malaysian Bar reiterates our stand that the authorities should exercise restraint when these rights are being legitimately exercised in good faith. These rights cannot be taken for granted and must be actively used and upheld.
“The Federal Constitution is a living, dynamic document – guaranteeing the rule of law to all persons and affording them fundamental liberties. This must be borne out in the government’s policies and actions on the ground. This is especially so, now that Malaysia will sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council (for the 2022-2024 term).”
Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.
MYSEJAHTERA SAYS NO PERSONAL DATA ACCESSED OVER UNSOLICITED OTP TO USERS
MySejahtera users who received unsolicited one-time passwords (OTPs) in the early hours of the morning have been told that it was due to malicious scripts.
The mobile application developer, in a statement, acknowledged having received numerous complaints by users who received SMS messages with OTPs for them to verify their phone number.
“Since then, these API (Application Programming Interface) endpoints have been blocked and a fix to enhance security will be moved tonight,” the statement read.
Users were assured that no personal data was accessed by these scripts.
5,516 COVID-19 CASES TODAY
A total of 5,516 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Malaysia today, bringing the cumulative infections in the country to 2,407,382.
Some 94 per cent of the adult population in the country have been fully vaccinated, while 97.2 per cent had received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, 604,100 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine were delivered to Malaysia today.
AstraZeneca Malaysia country president Dr Sanjeev Panchal, in a statement, said the latest shipment was part of the company’s bilateral commitment to deliver 6.4 million doses directly to the country.
OVER RM9.7 MILLION COLLECTED FROM AES FINES SINCE 2018
The Automated Enforcement System (AES) is still in operation and had collected RM9,759,300 in fines between Sept 1, 2018, and Sept 30, this year.
The Dewan Negara was also informed that the AES, operational since 2016, had been rebranded as the Automated Awareness Safety System, and had been taken over by the Transport Ministry, through the Road Transport Department, since Sept 1, 2018.
The system, using cameras deployed along major highways and expressways in the country, takes images of vehicles that are being driven above the speed limit.
FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS SHAFEE’S APPEAL IN DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST MALAYSIAN BAR, TWO OTHERS
The Federal Court allowed senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s appeal over his defamation suit against the Malaysian Bar, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, and former Court of Appeal judge, Tan Sri V.C. George.
This was in relation to his conduct as the deputy public prosecutor in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial.
A three-member bench, comprising Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf, and Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, also set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision, and directed the case to be reverted to the High Court for assessment of damages against the Malaysian Bar as the third respondent.
Justice Abdul Rahman said the court did not make the same order against Thomas and George as they were not statutory bodies bound by Section 99 (1) of the Legal Profession Act, 1976.