Charles Santiago

Posted by : Unknown | Isnin, 5 Disember 2011 | Published in

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Charles Santiago

The Observatory – Press Release – Malaysia: Peaceful assembly bill inconsistent with international human rights standards

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 11:08 PM PST

Malaysia: Peaceful assembly bill inconsistent with international human rights standards
Paris-Geneva, December 6, 2011. The peaceful assembly bill passed by the lower house of the Malaysian Parliament on November 29 contains a number of defects that render the legislation restrictive, discriminatory and inconsistent with international human rights standards. If promulgated in its current form, the bill will gravely undermine freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by domestic and international standards and instruments, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said today.
The bill was tabled on November 22 and the text was not made available in advance for input from civil society groups. Although the Government consulted with the Malaysian Bar Council on this bill, the version the Council was consulted on differed from the version tabled later in Parliament. The Malaysian Senate is due to review the bill on December 7.
Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia guarantees the freedom of peaceful assembly, which is also enshrined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Articles 5 and 12 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Governments have an obligation to protect and promote the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and any restrictions on this right must meet the strict requirements necessity and proportionality.
The Observatory is deeply concerned that a number of provisions of the bill restrict, rather than promote and protect, the constitutional right to peaceful assembly. Most glaringly, Article 4 in Part II of the bill expressly prohibits "street protest" which is defined by the bill as an assembly in motion. This provision contradicts Part IV of the bill itself regarding notification procedures which recognises assembly in the form of a procession (Article 10(e)(viii)).
In addition, the bill prohibits anyone under the age of 21 to participate in an assembly, in contravention of the protection of freedom to peaceful assembly provided for by Article 15 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Malaysia ratified in 1995.
Part IV of the bill also grants significant power to district police chiefs to impose restrictions and conditions on an assembly. The Home Minister is given the ultimate authority to approve or reject appeals of restrictions and conditions. Granting the Home Minister exclusive discretionary power to decide on appeals precludes recourse to meaningful and adequate judicial safeguards against arbitrary denial of the freedom of assembly. In her commentary on the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defender urges States to "ensure access to courts to appeal against any decision to restrict an assembly"[1].
"The hasty tabling of such a restrictive bill without any meaningful consultation with civil society contradicts recent announcement of legal reform by the Prime Minister and bolds ill especially for the work of human rights defenders, who have been victims of preventive detention, arbitrary arrest, and excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel, especially in recent months before and during the peaceful Bersih rallies calling for electoral reform", said Ms. Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.
"Malaysian civil society and human rights lawyers have pointedly laid out the defects of this bill. The authorities should heed their concerns and recommendations, and delay its promulgation until it is brought into full compliance with the Constitution and international human rights standards", said Gerald Staberock, Secretary General of OMCT.
For more information please contact:
·       FIDH: Karine Appy, Arthur Manet: + 33 1 43 55 25 18

·        OMCT: Delphine Reculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39

Selangor Lantik Perunding Antarabangsa Siasa Punca Pencemaran Loji Syabas

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 08:32 PM PST

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor bimbang dengan kenyataan Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) tentang kemungkinan berlakunya gangguan bekalan air di lapan wilayah Syabas di seluruh negeri dan Kuala Lumpur akibat kandungan kekeruhan luar biasa di Sungai Selangor.

Empat loji yang terlibat air Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Selangor Fasa 1 (SSP1), Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Selangor Fasa 2 (SSP2), Loji Rawatan Air Sungai Selangor Fasa 3 (SSP3), dan Loji Rawatan Air Rantau Panjang sehingga mengakibatkan pengurangan pengeluaran air bersih kepada pengguna.

Sehubungan itu, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim telah mengarahkan pengawal selia air negeri serta juruaudit operasi dari perunding antarabangsa Halcrow untuk memeriksa empat loji rawatan bersama pegawai operasi Syabas bagi menyiasat punca pencemaran yang menyebabkan kekeruhan berlaku di empat loji berkenaan.

Satu laporan juga akan disediakan untuk dibentangkan pada mesyuarat majlis kerajaan negeri (MMKN), Rabu ini.

Lembaga Urusan Air Selangor dan Jabatan Alam Sekitar Negeri Selangor juga akan dipanggil untuk memberi penjelasan penuh tentang kejadian ini serta mencari jalan penyelesaian supaya perkara ini tidak berulang.

Kerajaan Negeri tidak teragak-agak untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap mana-mana pihak yang cuai sehingga menyebabkan pencemaran ini berlaku.

Kerajaan Negeri menyeru agar Syabas membuat persediaan yang secukupnya sekiranya berlakunya gangguan bekalan air dan menasihatkan pengguna supaya berjimat cermat menggunakan air.

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PKFZ embroiled in corruption poser again

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 06:14 PM PST

Source: Malaysiakini

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
5:07PM Dec 5, 2011
Fresh allegations of corruption have risen over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), with Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairperson Teh Kim Poo saying the corruption allegations hurled at him are the work of a PKFZ senior manager who has been receiving bribes.NONETeh (left), an MCA politician who took over the helm of PKA, the statutory body governing PKFZ, accused the senior officer of making at least RM18,000 in "under-table money" every month from his cronies, over the past five years .He said the officer has been overseeing the PKFZ tender board and granting tenders to his proxies at higher prices.

"He earns a monthly salary of RM6,000 to RM7,000, but owns a big bungalow and drives a Mercedes Benz," Teh told Malaysiakini when asked about the corruption allegations against him.

Recently, several media organisations received an anonymous email saying Teh had breached the tender procedures in granting landscaping and housekeeping work to two unqualified companies.

The companies were said to have been formed this year, and allegedly had no experience in landscaping and housekeeping and had been absent during the site visit, which is a tender condition.

Other allegations include that the companies belong to the same owner, who has close relationship with Teh, and the tender prices offered were too low to allow for decent work to be carried out.

port klang free zone pkfz auditTeh, who is now overseas, vehemently denied the allegations and stressed that his decision to grant the tenders had significantly reduced PKFZ's costs.

"I'm very clean, I'm a big time businessman, why do I want this kacang putih (peanut) thing?

"How can he accuse me of corruption when I made a decision that saves PKFZ RM1.2 million every year?"

Teh admitted that the owners of the two companies were his friends. As a former Pandaraman state assemblyperson whose constituency includes the area where PKFZ operates, he added, he knew many local people there.

'They are all local people'

"They are all local people. The price they tendered is so much lower than his (the senior officer's) proxies and cronies… (I gave the tender) as long as they can do the job at a low price. I don't have any personal interest in the companies.

"I won't get myself involved with any corruption. There had been a scandal before, so I don't want to to be involved in any scandal," Teh said, stressing that he could show this reporter all the relevant documents to prove his words.

Teh also said that a special board meeting would be called next Monday to discuss the action to be taken against the senior officer over the alleged bribery and for making false allegations against him.

PKFZ made headlines in 2007 when it was reported that the cost of the mega project could balloon to RM7.5 billion, and eventually to RM12.5 billion.

An investigation into the scandal was launched when the then MCA president, Ong Tee Keat, took over the Transport Ministry in 2008, which led to charges being brought against several key personnel, including former PKFZ general managers and two former transport ministers. The trials are still going on.

Register and vote or don’t complain, says MCCBCHST

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 05:39 PM PST

Source: Free Malaysia Today

By Clara Chooi
December 05, 2011

File photo of a voter registration exercise in a church compound in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — If you do not register and vote in the election, you have "no right" to complain about unfavourable government decisions, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said today.

The non-Muslim inter-faith body added a person's failure to participate in the election was tantamount to saying he or she does not care about how the country is run.

"If you don't care, what gives you the right to complain when something happens that you don't like?" MCCBCHST president Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow said today in a press conference.

He said in Election 2008, of the 15 million eligible voters in Malaysia, only eight million turned up to cast their voters. A total of 11 million were registered voters.

"Seven million (voters) were missing in action," he said.

Tan said the council plans to embark on a nationwide voter registration drive on Sunday, December 11, at places of worship in 11 states and one Federal Territory.

"Just from the statistics, we know there are 4.384 million eligible voters who are not registered.

"We hope we can choose a government that is clean and transparent and people-centric, a government that can continue this prosperity, stability and harmony," he said.

Tan denied the council's registration drive was politically-driven, saying that as a non-governmental organisation it was duty-bound to ensure voters are registered.

"This is non-political. It is more about awareness," he said.

MCCBCHST Rev Dr Thomas Phillip agreed, saying religious leaders had a duty to help raise awareness on the importance of ensuring the country is led the right way.

"Our involvement is as religious leaders. It is our civil duty and responsibility to help people to be aware," he said.

"To add, I think all religions teach us two things — duty and responsibility. And this is what we want to encourage," said MCCBCHST secretary-general Prematilaka KD. Serisena.

The council, a signatory to Bersih 2.0, the election watchdog that staged the July 9 march for free and fair elections, also urged the government to implement the first round of recommendations made by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) for electoral reforms before the coming 13th general election.

The council's nationwide drive will be held from 9am to 2pm at Pertubuhan Buddhist Perlis, Perlis; Malaysia Hindu Sangam, Sungai Petani, Kedah; Malaysia Buddhist Association, Ipoh, Tokong Hock Soon Keong, Teluk Intan, and SMK Perempuan Perak, in Perak; Kelantan Buddhist Association, Kelantan; Punjabi Language Centre, Seremban, Negri Sembilan; St Peter Church, Malacca; Sacred Heart Church, Taman Sri Tebrau and Sri Mariammaman Temple, Batu Pahat in Johor; Malaysia Hindu Sangam, Jalan Beringin, off Jalan Temerloh, Pahang; and Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya.

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