Support Transparency in Malaysia

Dear friends,

Malaysian authorities just shut down two newspapers for doing their job: investigating a possible $1.8 billion scam. Citizens have a right to know — let’s sound the alarm on this attack on press freedom!

Earlier this month, bank accounts linked to Prime Minister Razak were frozen as part of an investigation into accusations that he was pocketing money intended for national development. Whether or not the allegations turn out to be true, silencing journalists when they raise uncomfortable questions isn’t the way to address the issue. An independent public inquiry can shed light on the case. And with people already planning to take to the streets over the issue, a massive call from citizens could make it happen.

That’s where Avaaz members in Malaysia come in. If everyone joins the call to protect press freedom and the country’s resources — and then uses email or social media to recruit just one friend to join in — we can create a call too loud to ignore. Sign now:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/1mdb_public_inquiry/?tDrehab

It seems absurd that the papers that raised the alarm are the first ones to suffer. Citizens want to know what their government is up to — and be able to build an informed opinion, especially with allegations of this magnitude.

It’s a knee-jerk reaction, and Malaysia can do much better — by opening a public enquiry and stopping censorship in its tracks.

If enough of us show that we are watching, we can pile on pressure to ensure a swift and truly independent inquiry. Sign now and share this campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/1mdb_public_inquiry/?tDrehab

Avaaz members across the world have called out corruption from Brazil to India — and won! And hundreds of thousands of us have stood up for brave whistleblowers, journalists and press freedom. Now let’s come together for Malaysia.

With hope,

Antonia, Danny, Rowena, Daniel, Luis and the whole Avaaz team

More information:

Malaysia Orders Suspension of Two Publications (WSJ)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysia-orders-suspension-of-two-publications-1437733153

Malaysia Suspends 2 Newspapers Covering Scandal at State-Owned Fund (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/25/world/asia/malaysia-suspends-2-newspapers-covering-scandal-at-stat…

The Scandal That Ate Malaysia (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-21/malaysia-s-najib-razak-feels-heat-as-state-owned-1…

Najib Razak’s links to Malaysia fund need transparency (Financial Times)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37e9824c-2635-11e5-9c4e-a775d2b173ca.html#axzz3h6vf1Iwz

Siapa peguam negara baru Mohamed Apandi?

Peguam negara yang baru dilantik, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali, 65, merupakan bekas hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan dan pernah berkhidmat sebagai timbalan pendakwa raya (DPP) di Terengganu dan Kelantan pada tahun 1977 hingga 1990.

Pelantikan itu menjadikan beliau sebagai peguam negara kesembilan selepas Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Mohamed Apandi merupakan graduan lulusan bidang perundangan di University of London, Iner Temple London serta di Institute of Advanced Ligel Studies, London.

Sebaik tamat pengajian, beliau pulang ke tanah air dan berkhidmat sebagai majistret dari tahun 1973 hingga 1975.

Di samping memegang jawatan kerjaya perundangan, beliau juga pernah dilantik sebagai pengarah biro perundangan bantuan guaman di Kota Bharu pada 1980.

Selain itu, beliau juga merupakan penasihat undang-undang kepada Kementerian Perdagangan dan Industri pada 1980 dan 1982. Selepas itu beliau membuka firma guaman sendiri dari 1982 hingga 2003.

Mohamed Apandi kemudiannya memasuki perkhidmatan kehakiman selepas dilantik sebagai pesuruhjaya kehakiman pada tahun 2003 dan disahkan sebagai hakim Mahkamah Tinggi pada 2007 yang berkhidmat di Kuala Lumpur.

Selepas itu, beliau menjawat jawatan sebagai hakim Mahkamah Rayuan pada 14 April 2010 dan pada 30 September 2013 dinaikkan pangkat ke Mahkamah Persekutuan.

Ketika di Mahkamah Rayuan, beliau mengetuai tiga panel mendengar isu penggunaan kalimah Allah yang disiarkan oleh penerbitan Roman Katolik, The Herald.

Selain itu, beliau juga mengetuai panel hakim dalam kes pembebasan Inspektor Azilah Hadri dan Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar dalam kes pembunuhan Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Jawatan dalam Umno

Dalam bidang politik, Mohamed Apandi merupakan bekas bendahari Umno Kelantan.

Disebabkan penglibatan beliau dalam Umno sebelum dilantik menjadi hakim, banyak pihak termasuk bekas ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah memohon supaya beliau tidak terlibat sebagai panel untuk mendengar kes mereka.

Sementara di Mahkamah Persekutuan, Mohamed Apandi merupakan panel hakim yang mendengar kes hak penjagaan anak yang kontroversi antara S Deepa dan N Viran atau Izwan Abdullah.

Gani Patail’s removal as AG reckless and unconstitutional

28 July 2015

Lawyers for Liberty views with extreme concern the sudden removal of Attorney General Gani Patail by the Prime Minister in a wide ranging reshuffling move that included members of his Cabinet. While it may be the PM’s prerogative to appoint and remove members of his Cabinet, the position of the AG is governed by the Federal Constitution.

Under article 145(6) of the Constitution, the AG’s security of tenure is protected and he “shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.”

Under article 125(3) of the Constitution, a federal court judge (and therefore the AG) can only be removed through a tribunal that is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for breach of code of ethics, inability, infirmity of body or mind or any other cause, to properly discharge the functions of his office.

The sudden removal of Gani Patail as the AG at the whim of the PM is shocking to say the least, and can only fuel public suspicion of interference, that this was done in bad faith as he had then headed the high level task force investigating the massive 1MDB scandal that is currently engulfing the PM’s administration.

We call on the PM not to act recklessly and in contravention of the Constitution. If Gani Patail is unable to properly discharge the functions of his office, the right thing to do is to set up a tribunal in accordance with the Constitution, so that he can properly defend himself against any charges and if warranted, he can so be removed.

Released by:
Eric Paulsen
Executive Director
Lawyers for Liberty

Malaysia hadapi krisis yang semakin parah

Malaysia terjerumus ke gaung krisis yang makin parah dengan penyingkiran Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dari kabinet hanya beberapa hari selepas beliau memberi kenyataan Perdana Menteri perlu memberikan jawapan kepada skandal 1MDB.

Pemecatan Abdul Ghani Patail selaku Peguam Negara, salah seorang anggota panel menyiasat skandal 1MDB, memberikan gambaran Perdana Menteri bertindak untuk mempertahankan kedudukan dan regimnya dari disiasat oleh panel bebas atas pelbagai salahguna kuasa dan rasuah yang melibatkan berbilion ringgit.

Negara memerlukan reformasi menyeluruh untuk memulihkan keyakinan rakyat dan masyarakat antarabangsa demi menyelamatkan ekonomi negara dan menjamin kesejahteraan rakyat.

Ahli-ahli parlimen tanpa mengira parti perlu bersatu padu untuk menyelamatkan Malaysia. Rakyat tidak memberikan dukungan kepada mana-mana ahli parlimen untuk duduk diam dan membiarkan negara menjunam ke dalam gaung krisis yang semakin parah.

Dalam pertemuan saya selama lebih dua jam pada Jumaat lalu, Dato’ Seri Anwar menyampaikan pesan agar rakyat Malaysia dan NGO bersatu untuk bersama dalam membawa perubahan.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat telah memulakan siri jelajah Amanat Presiden sejak seminggu yang lalu untuk memupuk perpaduan dalam parti sebagai asas untuk menggembleng kekuatan rakyat dan semua kekuatan politik dalam negara untuk melaksanakan perubahan.

YAB MOHAMED AZMIN ALI

Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor |

Timbalan Presiden, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan)

ROMBAKAN KABINET BERTUJUAN MENUTUP SIASATAN KE ATAS 1MDB

28 Julai 2015

Tindakan Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak merombak kabinet beliau pada hari ini menimbulkan pelbagai persoalan dan motif tersembunyi. Dalam tempoh beberapa jam setelah kerajaan menamatkan perkhidmatan Tan Sri Gani Patail sebagai Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pula digugurkan sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Pendidikan.

Pada masa yang sama, Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) di bawah Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Timbalan Perdana Menteri yang baru) turut bertindak melantik Dato’ Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun sebagai pengarah Cawangan Khas yang baharu, bagi menggantikan Dato’ Seri Akhil Bulat.

Manakala rakyat menuntut penjelasan berkaitan skandal penyelewengan dana awam melibatkan 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Dato’ Seri Najib secara tiba-tiba mengumumkan rombakan kabinet sehingga menyaksikan penyingkiran Tan Sri Muhyiddin yang sebelum ini antara pemimpin yang bersuara lantang dalam menuntut ketelusan siasatan berkaitan skandal tersebut.

Ternyata tindakan Dato’ Seri Najib ini bukanlah didasari dengan semangat mengutamakan kebajikan rakyat dan kepentingan negara namun sekadar wayang untuk menutup kepincangan dan menguburkan hasil siasatan 1MDB daripada diumumkan kepada rakyat.

Justeru, saya menggesa Tan Sri Gani agar mendedahkan hasil siasatan pasukan khas (task force) terhadap 1MDB yang sebelum ini diketuai oleh beliau kepada rakyat. Komitmen serta ketegasan beliau dalam mengendalikan siasatan berhubung skandal ini tidak sewajarnya dibayar dengan penyingkiran beliau dari jawatan.

Tindakan terdesak Dato’ Seri Najib dalam percaturan politik terbaru beliau hari ini jelas mengulangi apa yang telah dilakukan oleh Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad 17 tahun lalu tatkala bertindak menyingkirkan Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim ketika masing-masing berdepan dengan dakwaan penyelewengan dan amalan korupsi.

SHAMSUL ISKANDAR MOHD AKIN

Naib Presiden KEADILAN

EC should Drop its Appeal and Immediately Re Do the Delimitation Process According to the Constitution and the Law.

The High Court’s Conclusion of the ECs failure in its Sarawak delimitation exercise Should Compel the EC to Drop its Appeal and Immediately Re Do the Delimitation Process According to the Constitution and the Law.

Experts viewed Malaysia’s 13th general election as having low levels of integrity due to problematic electoral boundaries and election laws. Malaysia belonged in the last tier of countries with the worst  electoral laws. Our electoral boundaries are so bad that we earned the last place in the rankings by the Electoral Integrity Project; we were given 28 points out of 100 – behind Cambodia at 44 and the Philippines at 61.

Such staggering rankings would support expectations that the Elections Commission salvage its reputation and immediately re do the delimitation process based on the Kuching High Court’s May 15 ruling – ordering the EC to review its proposed redelineation exercise in Sarawak.

The High Court found the previous redelineation exercise executed by the Election Commission faulty and failed to adhere to the proper process and requirements stipulated under the constitution and by laws.

The Honourable Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie dismissed objections by the Respondents (EC) and Sarawak State Government that (1) the applicants lack locus standi; (2) Courts has no jurisdiction; and (3) this application is premature. The learned Judge further decided that this is not a frivolous application, that the contention of non-disclosure and/or lack of detailed particulars in the notice published warrant substantive argument.

In her judgment, the learned Judge examined the “detailed recommendations” in the Notice and was absolutely critical that they are lacking, questioning about voters not able to know whether they are being moved into new constituencies.

Despite the EC’s flawed decision to appeal the High Court’s findings, the recent hearing at the appellate court on the 9th of July praiseworthy nonetheless.

The panel of judges gave ample time for both parties to state its case ; although clearly it would hard pressed not to accept the submissions made by our legal team.

The study by the Election Commission took less than six months after the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly approved the amendment to the Sarawak state constitution to increase the number of state constituencies to 82 from 71.

Legal eagles Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Dr. Cyrus Das assisting YB See Chee How, argued substantially on the existence of various loopholes in the redelineation process that has been conducted by the Election Commision. The Election Commission must exercise full moral authority in ensuring it fully complies  with regulations stipulated under the Federal Constitution; this is to ensure the EC commands the confidence of the electorate.

The EC’s lawyers argued there was no need to provide information on land mass or polling district boundaries. In their opinion, voters have sufficient information to make objections; to the EC, no voter was impeded from making representation through supposed “flawed” and incomplete information provided in the electoral roll.

Clearly, the EC’s minimalistic view over its constitutional requirements is sorely disappointing.

Nonetheless, it remains crystal clear and a straightforward argument that confusion arises from the new polling districts creates confusion when voters are lost in the transition between Batu Lintang and Batu Kawah (over 6000 voters proposed to be moved to Batu Kawah, but the proposed recommendations shows less).

The land mass information or the polling district boundaries are important in ascertaining the actual location of these voters.

Compulsory to the requirement of creating the new 11 additional seats, the delimitation regulation mandates that the Election Commission engages in consultancy process with the registered voters prior to any decisions. As of right now, it is clear that the Election Commission has failed in its duty to provide detailed information to the voters of their new seats or polling districts. This is clear breach of the delimitation regulations.

I am optimistic that the rule of law and the constitution will be upheld in the findings by the Court of Appeal, due in the weeks following Aidilfitri. We strongly urge the Election Commission to withdraw their appeal, and take the necessary steps to reform the the delimitation process.

The Election Commission needs to recognise the fact that our elections is severely flawed as evidenced in the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) findings, and to stop denying legitimate criticisms against the Election Commission. I urge the Election Commission to do what is right and uphold the Federal Constitution instead of continuing to fulfill the whims and fancy of the ruling government.

NURUL IZZAH ANWAR
LEMBAH PANTAI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
KEADILAN VICE PRESIDENT AND ELECTIONS DIRECTOR

SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR RESTRUCTURING AND CONSOLIDATION OF SELANGOR WATER SERVICES INDUSTRY

MEDIA STATEMENT

JULY 10, 2015

SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR RESTRUCTURING AND CONSOLIDATION OF SELANGOR WATER SERVICES INDUSTRY

PUTRAJAYA: The Supplemental Agreement for restructuring and consolidation of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya water services industry was signed at the Deputy Prime Minister’s office today, 10 July 2015.

The signing of the Supplemental Agreement to the Master Agreement dated 12 September 2014 follows the conclusion of the State Government of Selangor negotiations with the Government of Malaysia.

Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali hailed the signing as a landmark event as the Agreement will have a major and direct socio-economic impact on the people of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur numbering almost 8 million.

He said that this was the culmination of the tireless efforts to return the rights to water supply to the people and the water supply services restructuring can now proceed as planned.

“This signing clearly shows that the State Government can work well with the Federal Government when both parties are prepared to set aside extraneous concerns for the common good and welfare of the people. The people’s interest must come first over everything else,” he added.

In particular, he commended Tan Sri Dato’ Muhyiddin Yassin – Deputy Prime Minister for showing leadership and conviction in ensuring that the water deal be resolved as soon as possible.

“I look forward to further and more productive engagement and collaboration between Shah Alam and Putra Jaya for the overall and long term good of the people,” he said.

The Menteri Besar thanked all the relevant parties for finally resolving the long drawn dispute that had arisen from the Master Agreement. He said that in spite of the various hiccups and protracted and tough negotiations, there was an underlying commitment to see the deal through.

He also applauded the spirit of co-operation and understanding of Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili – Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Ministry of Finance and all relevant agencies in particular negotiators from the State.

“Despite the challenges and criticisms, all parties have demonstrated in the discussions and negotiations a serious commitment to work towards an amicable and sustainable resolution for the benefit of the rakyat,” he added.

“Once the take-over and consolidation of the private water concession companies under State-owned entity Air Selangor is completed, all efforts will be focused on further improving the water treatment and distribution systems as well the overall water supply services”, he added.

“The journey begins now to further improve the overall water services to reduce the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) and more critically to ensure sufficient water supply to consumers” he said.

The State Government via its wholly owned water company, Air Selangor, is implementing the restructuring and consolidation of the water services industry to ensure the provision of efficient, value for money and holistic water services from treatment to distribution of water supply to consumers.

The Federal Government and State Government together with Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) had previously signed the Master Agreement as part of the efforts to restructure and consolidate the water supply services in Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

The water industry in Selangor will see the operations takeover and maintenance of water treatment facilities as well to increase the capacity of the facilities in using the latest technology.

Among other things, the Supplemental Agreement allows the water restructuring exercise to proceed without Selangor giving up its land whilst still complying with the requirements of the Water Services Industry Act, 2006. The Supplemental Agreement also extends the period for completing the Master Agreement by 60 days commencing from the date of the Supplemental Agreement.

In the interest of expediting the water restructuring exercise without further delay, the dispute on the ownership of the Sungai Semenyih and Bukit Nanas Water Treatment Plants will now be addressed separately between the Federal and State Government. The State has agreed to provide alternative water assets to PAAB in consideration for up to RM2 billion in funds to finance Air Selangor’s acquisition of the private water concession companies in Selangor.

The extension of the completion date of the Master Agreement will also facilitate the completion of the Sales and Purchase Agreement signed between Air Selangor and Puncak Niaga Holdings Berhad for the purchase the latter’s equity stakes in Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) and Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd.

ISSUED BY

THE OFFICE OF THE MENTERI BESAR OF SELANGOR