Friday, 9 November 2012
Malaysia-Royal Malaysian Customs Seminar on the Proposed Goods and Services Tax ("GST") (3 Dec 2012)
Royal Malaysian Customs Seminar on the Proposed Goods and Services Tax ("GST") (3 Dec 2012)
Malaysia-Management Training Workshop for Small Firms | Thinking Like a Business Ninja — Revenue Generation (22 Nov 2012)
Management Training Workshop for Small Firms | Thinking Like a Business Ninja — Revenue Generation (22 Nov 2012)
This circular may also be accessed here.
MALAYSIA-SHAH ALAM HIGH COURT CIVIL SUIT NO. 22-1433-2008 AIRSQUARE SDN BHD v ENG KEAT SENG-GROUNDS OF JUDGMENT
Note: Both the plaintiff and defendant have appealed to the Court of Appeal against the aforesaid judgment.
Malaysia-Press Release: The Struggles of the Orang Asli and Other Minorities in Malaysia | Seminar in Conjunction with Human Rights Day 2012
Press Release: The Struggles of the Orang Asli and Other Minorities in Malaysia | Seminar in Conjunction with Human Rights Day 2012
The Struggles of the Orang Asli and Other Minorities in Malaysia:
Seminar in Conjunction with Human Rights Day 2012
The Bar Council Committee on Orang Asli Rights, together with the Bar Council Human Rights Committee and the National Human Rights Society ("HAKAM"), is organising a seminar on the challenges faced by the Orang Asli and other minorities in Malaysia. This seminar is being organised in conjunction with Human Rights Day 2012, and will be held in Kuala Lumpur (venue to be confirmed) on 7 and 8 December 2012 (Friday and Saturday).
The aim of the seminar is two–fold. Firstly, it is intended to create awareness of the critical threats that continue to jeopardise the Orang Asli's customary way of life and their very existence as indigenous peoples of the land. The focus will be on the Orang Asli's struggle to protect their ancestral lands from exploitation and deprivation, both in West and East Malaysia. There will also be a special session on the right to education of Orang Asli children.
Secondly, the seminar will provide a platform for a discussion on the contemporary issues that plague minority groups in Malaysia and the many human rights challenges that remain unresolved.
The constitutional fundamental right to life means more than mere existence. It includes the right to land, the right to dwelling and the right to livelihood. These rights must be protected for all peoples of our land, including the Orang Asli.
The presentations and discourse at the seminar will be led by experienced local and foreign speakers. The speakers will address recent developments in the law and the need for law reform in light of attempts to diminish constitutionally-protected fundamental rights. There will also be interesting case studies on a number of ongoing disputes throughout Malaysia, which will give context to the deliberations at the seminar and will serve to highlight the enormity of the challenges faced by minorities, particularly the Orang Asli.
It is also the objective of the seminar to encourage Members of the Bar to volunteer their services to represent the underprivileged and downtrodden members of our society, in the latter's efforts to assert their constitutional rights. We want to raise an army of volunteer lawyers who will be willing to step up and stand in the gap for them. This seminar will also be open to members of the public, and we hope that it will lead to more awareness and edification on these important issues.
Details of the seminar are as follows:
Date: 7 and 8 December 2012 (Friday and Saturday)Time: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (Friday); 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (Saturday)Venue: Kuala Lumpur (location to be confirmed)
Members of the Bar and the public who wish to know more about issues affecting the Orang Asli, and want to be involved in the pursuit of justice for them, should not miss the opportunity of attending this seminar.
For more information on this event, please contact Christina Gomez, Officer, Bar Council, by telephone at 03-2050 2087 or by email at email@example.com.
Steven Thiru and Hon Kai Ping
Bar Council Committee on Orang Asli Rights
7 November 2012
Press Release: Avoid Quick Fixes That Stifle Judicial Discretion and Independence
Avoid Quick Fixes That Stifle Judicial Discretion and Independence
The Malaysian Bar welcomes the announcement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, that the government has agreed in principle to the establishment of a sentencing council. This has long been suggested by the Malaysian Bar. The establishment of such a council would greatly assist in reducing inequities and disparities in sentencing for the same offence.
The question of sentencing should always ultimately be left in the hands of our judges. We rely on their experience in hearing cases, and in being familiar with the facts and circumstances of each case that comes before them. With the coming into force of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code that have introduced victim impact statements, namely reports on the effect that a particular crime has had on its victim, our judges are now better placed to dispense justice in a more comprehensive manner, taking into account all the circumstances of the case.
This respect for the discretion of the judge is also one of the reasons why the Malaysian Bar welcomes recent public statements by various parties calling for the abolition of the mandatory death sentence for drug-related offences. Apart from questions relating to the efficacy and effectiveness of mandatory death sentences as a means of deterrence, the resort to mandatory sentences is an unnecessary fetter on the discretion of the judge and an unwarranted impediment to the free flow of justice.
It thus comes as a sad and significant departure from this sensible approach recently taken by the government that the Minister has now announced that this judicial discretion is to be removed in cases of sentencing for statutory rape. The recent controversy surrounding its use in two recent cases cannot, in and of itself, be the raison d'être for the Minister's proposed amendments to exclude the applicability of section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code in cases of statutory rape.
The general insinuation by the Minister that the Judiciary is not capable of exercising discretion appropriately is unjustified. Laws are just words. It is the application of the law by judges, who exercise their judgment and discretion in individual cases, which does justice. The law is not merely about protection; it is about justice being achieved in the circumstances of each case.
The Malaysian Bar therefore opposes this quick-fix remedy, which neither addresses the root cause of statutory rape nor adequately answers questions as to how offenders should be dealt with. It is a regressive step, out of line with the government's intention to return sentencing discretion to the judges. Such a short-term action merely serves to undermine long-term efforts to restore and promote respect for the independence and integrity of the Judiciary.
8 November 2012
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