MALAYSIA NOW – January 2015



Election Commission ‘helping BN consolidate power’

“THE new delineation exercise has dispelled doubts the EC is helping BN consolidate its position and power base,” Sarawak DAP Chief Chong Chieng Jen said, commenting on the proposed 11 new state seats for Sarawak. FULL STORY

Penang acts as commission proposes 11 new seats in Sarawak

THE Election Commission’s redelineation proposal for Sarawak saw 11 new constituencies and a 215% variance in the number of voters in two seats. Seeking an urgent meeting with the commission to prevent a repeat in the opposition-led Penang state, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said: “It is a mess in Sarawak and we don’t want Penang to be like this.” FULL STORY

Poll hearings must be public, Bersih tells EC

HEARINGS of objections to the redelineation process in Sarawak should be public and open to scrutiny by media and lawyers, says Malaysia’s election watchdog, Bersih 2.0. The call came after the Election Commission reportedly told political parties that objections had to be made without legal representation and were limited to 30-minute sessions. FULL STORY

The truth behind constituency redelineation – COMMENT

Sarawak PKR takes Election Commission to court over redelineation



Bersih vindicated, Putrajaya accountable for rally damage

MALAYSIA’S High Court dismissed Putrajaya’s attempt to get Bersih 2.0 to pay for the damage caused at its 2012 rally. Justice Datuk John Louis O’Hara also ruled that “…acts and omission of the cops contributed to the damage”. FULL STORY

Damages, costs awarded to Wong Chin Huat



GE13 whistleblower discharged from military

MAJOR Zaidi Ahmad exposed a major flaw in the conduct of Malaysia’s 13th federal election, and was summarily dismissed from the armed forces. “Malaysia has lost a fine soldier,” polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 said. FULL STORY

See you in Allah’s court, sacked soldier tells accusers




My father would be shocked: Former PM’s son speaks

NAJIB Razak’s brother says their father and former prime minister would be shocked at the racial and ethnic divide in Malaysia today. FULL STORY


Citizenship delayed again for Malaysian-born teen

M. NAVIN, a Malaysian-born teenager of Indian descent, remains unable to claim he is a citizen after the Home Ministry was granted a stay on an earlier court order that called for Navin to be issued citizenship and an identification document. FULL STORY

Catholic weekly denied right to use ‘Allah’

THE Federal Court again rejected the Catholic Church’s bid to appeal for its right to use the word “Allah” in its Herald weekly, bringing an end to a long running fight over what many consider a constitutional right. FULL STORY

Muslim group demands Catholic weekly stop publishing in Malay

THE Catholic Church must no longer use the Malay language in its weekly publication, a Muslim coalition demanded today. FULL STORY

COMMENT: Allah ruling a case of expediency outweighing what is universally right



Activist guilty of sedition, spared jail

RIGHTS activist Hishamuddin Rais was spared a jail sentence when the Sessions Court fined him RM5,000 declaring him guilty of sedition. Judge Azman Mustapha determined public interest would not be served by sending the accused to prison. “His action did not influence his audience to demonstrate in the streets… There was also no act of violence as a result of his utterances.” FULL STORY


Intolerance, intimidation reign under Najib

“NAJIB and his government have doubled down on their bet that intimidation and intolerance is the best way to hold on to power,” said Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch, following the arrest of Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Eric Paulsen. FULL STORY


Criticism is no crime: Bar Council

THE government should not criminalise the statements by activist lawyer and founder of Lawyers for Liberty Eric Paulsen regarding the Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Malaysia Bar Council president Christopher Leong said. “It must be emphasised that an allegedly adverse statement directed at a government authority or agency, such as Jakim, should never be criminalised. A government authority or agency is not beyond public scrutiny or comment, nor can it be immune from criticism. This is part and parcel of the nature of accountability of public authorities in democratic societies.” FULL STORY

We need a new IGP, not the Sedition Act

VIEWPOINT by Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung – Very little has been done by the police and the government to monitor and counter the spread of terrorist propaganda and activities in the country, despite public condemnation of IS as a terrorist organisation. The latest remarks by the Inspector-General of Police to urge for the retention of the Sedition Act in light of the Paris attacks are totally out of place, and irrelevant. What Malaysians want, is for the police to stop playing politics and take their policing job more seriously in tackling and countering militant activities and propaganda. We do not need the Sedition Act, we need a new IGP. FULL COMMENTARY

Three Days of Terror in ParisBBC World News


Canada concerned about Sedition Act in Malaysia

CANADA urged the Malaysian government to ensure enforcement of its laws does not run contrary to its democratic principles by selectively prosecuting individuals for expressing views critical of the government or its policies. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the statement in response to recent arrests and convictions of Malaysians under the country’s continued use of the Sedition Act, which followed an announcement that the act will be strengthened rather than repealed. FULL STATEMENT


Global Bersih gratefully acknowledges the use of material previously published by The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Malay Mail Online, BBC News Service and the Government of Canada.



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