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KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) dijangka melancarkan manifesto secara besar-besaran pada 7 April ini, sekali gus memberi bayangan bahawa Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU) kemungkinan besar diadakan seawal akhir April atau awal Mei 2018.

Sumber memberitahu bahawa majlis pelancaran itu bakal diadakan di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil yang lebih besar berbanding di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) di ibu negara.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak selaku Pengerusi BN dijangka melancarkan manifesto itu di hadapan ribuan penyokong BN dari seluruh negara.

Semua 13 pemimpin kanan parti anggota komponen BN, termasuk dari Sabah dan Sarawak, akan turut hadir.

Sahkan majlis pelancaran

Pada PRU-13, Najib melancarkan manifesto BN di Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil pada 6 April 2013, iaitu 28 hari sebelum hari mengundi, manakala pada PRU-12, pelancaran manifesto BN dilakukan oleh Perdana Menteri ketika itu, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi di PWTC, pada 28 Februari 2008, 11 hari sebelum mengundi.

Sementara itu, Ketua Penerangan UMNO, Tan Sri Annuar Musa ketika dihubungi wartawan NSTP mengesahkan bahawa majlis pelancaran manifesto BN itu akan diadakan bulan depan, tetapi enggan memberitahu tarikh sebenar serta bentuk pembaharuan yang bakal ditonjolkan dalam manifesto.

Beliau cuma berkata, manifesto berkenaan mengandungi janji dan tawaran dengan matlamat yang jauh lebih baik.

"Tunggu nanti. Tak lama dah (pelancaran manifesto)... akan datang. (Manifesto) yang jauh lebih baik," katanya.

Sebelum ini, Najib berkata BN akan menjadikan manifesto PRU-14 yang terbaik dalam memperjuangkan nasib rakyat untuk tempoh lima tahun akan datang.

Istimewa generasi muda

Baru-baru ini, Najib mengumumkan 97.6 peratus daripada janji kerajaan dalam Manifesto BN pada PRU-13 dapat diselesaikan.

Pengerusi BN itu pada April 2013 menyenaraikan 17 janji dalam manifesto BN bertemakan 'Menepati Janji Membawa Harapan'.

Dikhabarkan juga, antara pembaharuan dalam manifesto kali ini akan ada manifesto istimewa khusus untuk generasi muda buat pertama kalinya oleh BN bawah kepemimpinan Najib.

Menguatkan lagi ura-ura pelancaran manifesto itu apabila BN, terutama UMNO dijangka mengumumkan lebih awal senarai calon yang akan bertanding pada Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU-14), sekaligus memecah tradisi yang diamalkan sebelum ini.

Akhbar NSTP semalam memetik sumber sebagai berkata bahawa satu majlis khas kemungkinan diadakan di PWTC di sini untuk semua bakal calon dan Najib dijangka menyampaikan surat watikah sebagai calon kepada mereka terbabit.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 ― Legislations that strip federal lawmakers of their office if they are jailed for a year or fined RM2,000 should be reviewed to restore Malaysians' freedom to choose their elected representatives, a lawyer has proposed.

Lawyer Charles Hector Fernandez will be proposing a motion in the Malaysian Bar's 72nd annual general meeting this Saturday, where he will call on the professional body of lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia to push for such legal changes.

In the proposed motion sighted by Malay Mail, he said some of the Federal Constitution's provisions on the disqualification of Members of Parliament or those who wish to run for office may be unjust or unreasonable now for Malaysia.

“These disqualifications in law deny peoples' free choice of their Member of Parliament, as some are disqualified from even contesting in elections,” he said in the four-page proposal.

He cited examples of politicians from various parties who had “fallen victim” to such disqualification rules, including DAP's Lim Guan Eng, PKR's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Umno's Datuk Mat Yusoff Abd Ghani, and Hindraf's P. Uthayakumar.

“Other politicians that face the risk (of) disqualification as an MP or disqualification in standing in future elections include Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Batu MP Tian Chua and Wong Tack (DAP),” he said.

Rafizi, who is from PKR, was sentenced to 30 months’ and 18 months’ jail respectively for leaking banking details related to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) and disclosing part of a government audit report on state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that had been classified under a state secrecy law.

Chua was convicted of insulting a male policeman’s modesty for allegedly swearing at the latter, but the High Court cut his RM3,000 fine to RM2,000 earlier this month, enabling the PKR vice president to remain as Batu MP and to contest the 14th general election.

Article 48 of the Federal Constitution covers various situations where a person will be disqualified from being a Member of either House of Parliament, but Charles singled out the disqualification of anyone convicted of “any offence” and sentenced to a minimum one-year jail term or a minimum RM2,000 fine and has not received a free pardon.

Keep to serious crimes

He said it was “disturbing” that some of those risking disqualification had been convicted for offences linked to freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, peaceful assembly or the highlighting of alleged wrongdoings.

“There is a need to review whether this disqualification should be limited to offences of corruption, murder, robbery, money laundering, breach of trust, malfeasance, treason, rape and/or other serious offences.

“Now, the law says any offence, which could also mean traffic offences and even some other minor offences committed when promoting, defending and/or exercising human rights,” he said.

Going beyond the type of offence, Charles went on to note the examples of other countries where offences do not cause a person to be ineligible, such as Finland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

He suggested that Malaysia could perhaps follow the example of Victoria, Australia, where only a person sentenced to a minimum five-year jail term is disqualified, unlike the one-year jail term here.

No more five-year freeze?

He also pointed out that many other countries allowed a person to immediately contest for elections after they serve their sentence, saying that they should only be barred from becoming an election candidate for a few additional years if they were convicted of crimes like treason.

“A person who has already served their prison sentence, whipped and/or paid their fine should really not be further discriminated as to his/her personal rights, which includes the rights to stand for elections with the hope of being elected a Member of Parliament.

“He/she has paid for crimes committed, and to further discriminate thereafter is not just,” he said.

Article 48(3) of the Federal Constitution currently states that the period when someone is disqualified from becoming an MP will end five years from the date of them paying the fine or from their jail release.

Delete disqualification pardon power

On the other hand, the government has some influence on the pardoning of a convicted person, to allow the latter to be free of disqualification for a further five years after release from jail and to be allowed to join elections immediately, he said.

“Such power could be self-serving and abused, and as such should really be removed from our law,” he said in the proposed motion.

He also argued that a bankrupt person should not be disallowed from holding the legislative position of being an MP, but said being bankrupt may be a reasonable bar for executive positions such as Prime Minister or a Cabinet member.

He said that the people in a democracy must always have the freedom and right to choose who they wish to represent them as MPs.

“People will certainly consider all aspects, including pending and past allegations, charges, convictions and all matters of concern before choosing our people's representatives when we vote,” he said, suggesting that perhaps only age and Malaysian citizenship could be justified as disqualification of those seeking to contest in elections.

In the proposed motion, he urged the Malaysian Bar to resolve to call for the full restoration of the people's right and freedom to choose and elect their representatives; as well as to call for the review, amendment or repeal of all existing legal disqualifications that prevents someone from continuing to serve as MP or state legislative assemblyman or to stand for elections.

He is also proposing that the Malaysian Bar resolve to call on Malaysians, federal and state governments to carry out the necessary review of laws that are currently “unjustly and discriminately” disqualifying those seeking to be election candidates and affecting the public's available choices.

He also wants the Malaysian Bar to resolve that its decision-making body ― the Bar Council ― be empowered to do all that is necessary to protect and promote democracy and the public's freedom to choose their own representatives or offer themselves as election candidates.

The proposed motion is one of 15 motions that are expected to be tabled during the AGM.-Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A Selangor woman born to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her Buddhist mother who was never legally married wants the court to declare her as a non-Muslim.

Rosliza Ibrahim, who turns 37 in November, has been on a long journey to seek official recognition that she is a non-Muslim. Her case is finally before the Court of Appeal today.

“She was raised a Buddhist by her mother, she continues to profess Buddhism till this day and wants to continue living her life peacefully as a Buddhist in Malaysia,” Rosliza’s lawyer Aston Paiva said when explaining his client’s case.

According to Rosliza, Selangor’s Muslim laws do not apply to her as she was born an illegitimate child to her Muslim father and late Buddhist mother. Rosliza argued that the English common law and Muslim laws’ position is that the natural father would have no rights over an illegitimate child, while only the natural mother would have rights over the child.

Since Rosliza’s natural mother had guardianship rights over her including deciding her religious upbringing, she is arguing that her religion should follow her mother’s wishes for her to be a Buddhist, and she should be subject to civil laws instead of Shariah laws.

“However, for all official purposes, she is being considered a Muslim and the state government of Selangor does not want to exempt her from the application of Muslim laws because of her illegitimate father’s religion.

“As a result, her constitutional right to religious freedom, choice of partner and disposition of property are all adversely affected. She cannot go to the Shariah court as, by law, she is not even a Muslim in the first place. Thus, there is no question of leaving Islam,” Aston said.

In Malaysia, a different set of personal laws apply to and govern the life of Muslims, ranging from matters such as property inheritance to marriage, divorce and child guardianship. State laws typically dictate that a Muslim will have to marry a Muslim, in order for their marriages to be recognised as a valid marriage.

For example, a Muslim woman living in Selangor cannot marry a non-Muslim, as stated under Section 10(2) of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003.

Rosliza’s legal battles began in 2015, when she filed a lawsuit at the High Court against the Selangor government. The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) later joined the lawsuit as an intervener.

Rosliza sought several court orders, including a declaration that she was born illegitimate and Yap Ah Mooi who was a Buddhist was her natural mother; as well as a declaration that the putative father of an illegitimate child does not fall under the definition of “parents” in the interpretation of “Muslim” in Section 2 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003.

Among other things under Section 2, someone who had at least one parent who was Muslim at their time of birth will be considered to be a Muslim.

Rosliza also sought a declaration that she is not a Muslim, and that all Selangor state laws for Muslims do not apply to her and that all Selangor Shariah courts have no jurisdiction over her.

At the High Court, Rosliza showed proof that both the Federal Territories and Selangor Islamic authorities had no records of her or her mother having converted to Islam; and with also no records of her biological parents having entered into a Muslim marriage.

Rosliza also showed her late mother Yap Ah Mooi’s October 8, 2008 statutory declaration of not being married to Rosliza’s father when she was born.

But on March 3, 2016, the High Court dismissed Rosliza’s lawsuit, based on the reason that she was not able to prove that her parents did not enter into a Muslim marriage.

“This was decided based on the High Court’s speculation that they could have gotten married in any of the other 10 states in Malaysia or outside of Malaysia,” Aston said, noting, however, that his client was not given a chance to be heard on this as the High Court did not ask her for evidence before its ruling.

Rosliza then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal, seeking either that her legal bid be allowed or for her case to be sent back to the High Court for the speculation to be resolved.

On October 11, 2016, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Rosliza’s appeal and ordered her case to be heard again in the High Court before a different judge.

Given a second chance at the High Court, Rosliza went to the religious authorities of 10 other states in Malaysia (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Terengganu), managing to get their confirmation that they did not have any records of her mother converting to become a Muslim, or of a Muslim marriage between her parents.

She even obtained the Immigration Department’s confirmation that her mother did not have a passport, which is necessary for travel abroad.

But despite being armed with such evidence, the High Court on June 22, 2017 rejected Rosliza’s bid “on a speculation that her natural parents could have gotten married but did not register the marriage”, Aston said.

Aston said he will argue today of the “grossly unfair” situation, where the High Court again did not ask for evidence from Rosliza or even interviewed her first, but had allegedly speculated “based on possibilities of her situation”.

So what did the High Court say?

In the 2017 written judgment sighted by Malay Mail, High Court judicial commissioner Datuk Seri Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah concluded that the evidence produced by Rosliza only showed that no marriage registration was made, asserting that failure to register a marriage was not proof that there was no such marriage.

Saying that the evidence produced by Rosliza failed to prove on a balance of probabilities that she was not a Muslim at birth, Tun Abd Majid said he was of the view that she was born a Muslim.

He said Rosliza should not be seeking for a declaration that she was not a Muslim since birth, but could instead apply for a declaration that she is no longer a Muslim.

But he said that it is the Shariah courts that has the jurisdiction to make such a declaration, ruling that the civil High Court “has no jurisdiction to hear this application and has no power to grant the declaration applied for”.

He cited Section 61(3)(b)(x) of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, which states that the Shariah High Court in Selangor shall hear and decide on matters involving Muslims if it relates to a declaration that a person is no longer a Muslim.

Rosliza’s appeal against the 2017 decision is expected to be heard today at the Court of Appeal.

For Rosliza, the court decision is crucial as her life — and that of any children she has — teeters between living as a non-Muslim or being subject to Islamic laws when she does not consider herself a Muslim.

“A failure by the Malaysian courts to conclusively determine this dispute would affirm that the religion of Islam can be imposed on the Buddhist appellant against her will; violating guaranteed constitutional rights and human rights in Malaysia,” Aston said.-Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 ― Lawyer Mohd Amir Sharil Bahari Md Noor has mounted a second attempt to push the Malaysian Bar to ban serving alcoholic drinks at its events, but with a clear call this time for his fellow Muslim colleagues to support his bid.

Mohd Amir had failed last year to get the Malaysian Bar to agree to the alcohol ban. He submitted a fresh proposal to be raised at the professional body's 72nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Saturday.

In the proposed motion sighted by Malay Mail, Amir Bahari as he is also known said his proposal was based on verses from the al-Quran and al-Sunnah or teachings ascribed to the Muslims' revered Prophet Muhammad, listing 11 of them down.

“We, each and every Muslim, faithful, and devout lawyers are bound by all the clear laws enshrined in the Quran, which are absolute laws laid down by Allah, and were taught and realised through the deeds of Muhammad, the true messenger of Allah,” he then said in the seven-page motion dated March 7 and which was written in Malay.

He went on to say that each Muslim lawyer should attend the Malaysian Bar AGM to back his motion, adding that they should be mindful that they will be questioned during divine judgement on what they had done to ensure the motion is voted through.

“That each and every Muslim, faithful, and devout lawyers who have the Shahadah in their hearts, and are the People of the Book, if not incapacitated Shariah-wise, will attend to support this motion even if we have to crawl, to attend from the start to the end of the Malaysian Bar AGM on Saturday March 17, 2018, and to damn all whispers of Satan and the devil, regardless of our skin colour, whether turbaned or not, our race, and lineage.

“That each and every Muslim, faithful, and devout lawyers who have the Shahadah in their hearts, and are the People of the Book, if not incapacitated Shariah-wise, and are the People of the Book, know that on Judgement Day and the Apocalypse, will be questioned on their role in ensuring this motion is passed on Saturday, March 17, 2018,” said Mohd Amir, a lawyer practising in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

He concluded by urging the Malaysian Bar to vote on this proposed resolution:

“With the Shahadah, it is hereby decided and made mandatory that the Malaysian Bar with all its powers as enshrined in the Legal Profession Act 1976, forbids all elements of the filth that is liquor, and all drinks and food that contain alcohol, or intoxicants, in all events organised by the Malaysian Bar and bodies that fall under its jurisdiction with immediate effect.”

He ended his proposed motion with a three-time repeat of the word “Takbir”, a phrase meaning “Praise be to God”, which has been increasingly used as a rallying cry for Muslims during public demonstrations.

The proposed motion was accompanied by the signatures of 25 Malaysian Bar members said to be supportive of his motion.

This motion is one of seven motions put forward by Mohd Amir, with the rest involving his call for the Malaysian Bar to condemn the conduct of six of his fellow lawyers, including two lawyers whom he was seeking an apology from.

A total of 15 motions were proposed for the members of the Malaysian Bar to vote on this Saturday. All were written in English except for the motion against serving alcoholic drinks.

Other motions proposed by other lawyers involve matters such as proposals to push for the total abolition of death penalty in Malaysia; to promote judicial independence; for a viability study of electronic voting as a supplement to postal voting for Bar Council elections; and to push for reforms on laws such as on disqualification from being an MP or contesting for such posts.

The quorum for the Malaysian Bar AGM will be met if 500 members show up. According to the Malaysian Bar's website, the number of lawyers throughout peninsular Malaysia including the Federal Territories number 21,136 as of February 12, 2018.

It is unclear how many Muslims are part of the Malaysian Bar, but its 2016/2017 annual report released last year had shown a diverse mix of ethnicity in the 17,460 members registered as of end of 2016. There were Malays (41 per cent), Chinese (39 per cent), Indians (16 per cent), Punjabi (3 per cent), Eurasian and others (1 per cent).

The previous attempt

In Amir Bahari's irst attempt at the Malaysian Bar's 71st AGM last March, Malay Mail reported sources as saying that over 580 of the lawyers present had rejected his motion for the professional body to discontinue the serving of alcohol at its events, with 16 abstaining from voting, and less than 10 lawyers believed to have voted in favour.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan had last year pointed out that alcohol is not served at most of the Malaysian Bar's events and not included in ticket prices paid by lawyers, clarifying that the alcohol was either sponsored or paid for by lawyers who partake.

Syahredzan had said the portrayal that alcohol was abundantly available at such events were “inaccurate and distorts reality”.

Mohd Amir had also promised last year to “Islamise” and make the Kuala Lumpur Bar Shariah-compliant by discontinuing the serving of alcohol at its events, pitching this as part of his campaign then to be voted as Kuala Lumpur Bar committee chairman. In the three-corner fight, lawyer Goh Siu Lin was instead voted in and became the first woman to chair the KL Bar.


KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips fell in early Wednesday trade as investors were nervous about the looming US trade war while key Asian markets slipped with the latest speculation that US President Donald Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to US$60bil of Chinese imports.

At 9.51am, the KLCI was down 3.44 points or 0.18% to 1,860.59. Turnover was 451.93 million shares valued at RM244.08mil. There were 168 gainers, 358 losers and 287 counters unchanged.

Kenanga Research said the momentum indicators for the KLCI remain weak.

“Expect local bourse be caught in a range-bound, hovers in the week between 1,840 (S1) and 1,883 (R1) in the absence of fresh catalyst.



“Should (R1) be decisively taken out, expect higher resistance at 1,910 (R2). Conversely, expect a lower support at 1,800 (S2), should (S1) fail to hold,” the research house said.

The ringgit firmed up against the US dollar, up 0.17% to 3.892.

Trump will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

While the tariffs would be chiefly targeted at information technology, consumer electronics and telecoms, they could be much broader and the list could eventually run to 100 products, this person said.

At Bursa, UMW fell 49 sen to RM6 on rising concerns about its cash call to raise more than RM1bil.

Petron fell 24 sen to RM9.76 and Hengyuan 21 sen to RM8.83. PerGas was down 14sen to RM17.76.

KL Kepong lost 18 sen to RM25.24, HLFG16 sen lower at RM18.84 and Hap Seng lost 11 sen to RM9.69.

Hibiscus Petroleum fell 7.5 sen to 84.5 sen with 25.8 million shares done while Sapura Energy

was unchanged at 45 sen. UMW Oil and Gas shed 0.5 sen to 30 sen in active trade.

Consumer stocks saw continued buying support, with Nestle was again at fresh record high of RM160.30, up RM2.90. Dutch Lady

rose RM2.66 to RM73.80, Ajinomoto jumped 98 sen to RM25.28, F&N 86 sen to RM33.76, BAT 34 sen to RM27.32 and Carlsberg 12 sen to RM20.90.

Reuters reported oil prices stabilised after posting two days of falls at the start of the week.

Support came from a report that US crude inventories are not rising as much as expected during the spring season that is starting, implying healthy demand.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 10 cents to US$60.81 and Brent crude futures were at US$64.65 per barrel, up just one cent.-Star

PETALING JAYA: A man spent RM1,300 on a mystery gift vending machine hoping to get his hands on the latest smart gadgets but he ended up with only two lunch boxes and a hairdryer as the “main prizes”.

And the response from the company behind the vending machines?

It was simply not his day.

Graphic designer Mitchell Law first opened 40 boxes with all kinds of small stuff ending up with a hairdryer as his biggest win. Then he tried another 90 boxes and had to be content with two lunch boxes as his best prizes.

“Every box had a prize. I got a lot of other small prizes like plastic brick toys, playing cards, phone rings and selfie sticks which I’ve given to my friends.

“I’m not even angry or mad because I’m just trying it for fun. I don’t think my luck is that bad but I just find it really funny,” said the 31-year-old who is based in Cambodia.

He had tried his luck with the machine by a company known as Bee Bae at the KLIA2.

Law also said that he did not clear the entire machine as highlighted by other online portals and newspapers.

At its maximum capacity, there are 150 mystery boxes in the vending machine.

Users will first insert RM10 into the machine and select a box of their choice where they would find a card stating the prize that they won. They would then have to contact the number stated on the box to collect the prizes or opt to have them delivered.

Asked if he would do it again, Law laughed and said yes and that he would also have a Facebook live session when he opens the boxes.

Law’s posting on Facebook about his unlucky experience has since gone viral with more than 12,000 shares and more than 5,000 comments.

When contacted, Bee Bae managing director Aki Lim said the company has since checked with its staff at KLIA2 and confirmed that Law had opened the boxes in two batches but did not clear the entire machine.-Star

“I guess he was just unlucky. We have 150 mystery boxes in every round and there will be several big prizes in every round.

“There are prizes in every box, from small prizes such as USB charging cables right up to better prizes such as the Sony PlayStation 4. We also update our Facebook page regularly with photographs of big prize winners,” he said.

Lim added that Bee Bae currently has nine such vending machines in the Klang Valley and Penang since it began operations in October last year.

He stressed that the vending machine is only a form of entertainment and not gambling machines.

Among the big prizes offered by Bee Bae are the flagship smartphones by Apple, Samsung and Oppo, gaming consoles and electrical appliances.

The concept of mystery box vending machines is a hit in Japan and Taiwan and is now gaining popularity in Malaysia.

It is learnt that the drop rate for a good prize is around 5%.



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