Undi Sarawak files judicial review against delay of allowing 18-year-olds to vote

The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression. — Bernama pic
The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 ― Undi Sarawak has filed a judicial review against the government, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Election Commission (EC) for delaying the lowering of voting age to 18 at the Kuching High Court today.

The voting advocacy group for Sarawak youths claimed the delay in implementing the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 is irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression.

Naming five applicants in the suit, Undi Sarawak said it is seeking to quash the government’s decision to delay lowering the voting age and seek to compel the named parties to bring into effect Section 3(a) of the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2019 on or before July 2021.

“Undi Sarawak holds firm to our belief that youth between the ages of 18 to 20 are owed their constitutional right to vote. This is made more pertinent for approximately 125,000 to 135,000 Sarawakians aged 18 to 20, as Sarawak State Elections ought to be held by August 7 2021 once the ongoing Emergency period ends in early August.

“Hence, the Undi18 bill must be implemented by July 2021 to ensure these young Sarawakians can exercise their rights as first-time voters during the upcoming state elections.

“Therefore, five Sarawakian youths from the ages of 18 to 20 years old (‘the applicants’), representing the Undi Sarawak movement, have filed a judicial review against the government of Malaysia,” the group said in a statement.

Parliament had passed the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 in July 2019 to reduce the voting age eligibility from 21 to 18 years by amending Article 119(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution after it received broad bipartisan support from both sides of the House of Representatives.

It was gazetted on September 10, 2019. Several EC officials estimated that the Act, which would have approximately added up to 1.2 million new voters once the changes come into effect according to some political analysts’ estimates, could be implemented by mid-year.

But in a statement that surprised many, Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdullah Ghani Salleh said on March 25 that implementing the lowering of the minimum voting age to 18 and automatic voter registration could only be accomplished after September 1, 2022.

He cited constraints and difficulties brought about by the movement control order that began in March 2020.

On April 29, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department handling the law and Parliament portfolio Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said the EC eeds to resolve some legal and technical issues including updating its software systems before it can lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

Eric Tan ordered to pay RM68 million income tax

THE Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered Eric Tan Kim Loong, who is alleged to be an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, to pay income tax of RM67,996,891.87 after failing to enter an appearance in a suit filed against him by the government through the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Deputy registrar Farah Shuhada Ramli issued the order during the case management today.

Jenaka rogol: Ahli Parlimen wanita kerajaan, pembangkang tulis surat kepada PM, desak tindakan segera

Sebelum ini, seorang pelajar menjadi tumpuan di media sosial selepas memuat naik video di TikTok, memetik guru sekolahnya berkata “jika kamu (pelajar) mahu merogol, jangan rogol seseorang bawah 18 tahun. Rogol orang melebihi 18 tahun.”

PETALING JAYA: Dua puluh Ahli Parlimen wanita daripada kerajaan dan pembangkang menulis surat kepada Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin Yassin, berhubung tindakan guru berjenaka mengenai isu rogol ketika sesi pembelajaran.

Mereka berkata, kes itu wajar diberi perhatian serius dan diambil tindakan segera oleh kerajaan.

“Walaupun laporan polis telah pun dibuat oleh mangsa, kami Ahli-ahli Parlimen wanita telah meminta pihak kerajaan menyemak semula prosedur operasi standard (SOP) serta dasar sedia ada berhubung kaedah siasatan dilakukan terhadap laporan gangguan seksual yang berlaku di sekolah seperti ini dan di semua institusi pendidikan,” kata Ahli Parlimen berkenaan dalam kenyataan.

Mereka turut mendesak kerajaan bersikap serius, prihatin dan menjaga kepentingan pengadu, khususnya pelajar sekolah, dengan menangani segera isu berkenaan.

“Kami menuntut komitmen perdana menteri untuk memberikan jaminan keselamatan kepada pelajar yang berada di sekolah.

“Pelajar seharusnya berasa selamat di sekolah serta dilindungi oleh guru mereka dan bukan sebaliknya,” katanya.

Ahli Parlimen terbabit adalah Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang), Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Pandan), Nancy Shukri (Batang Sadong), Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Masjid Tanah), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Yeo Bee Yin (Bakri), Hannah Yeoh (Segambut), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Fuziah Salleh (Kuantan), Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Kota Belud).

Kasthuriraani Patto (Batu Kawan), Maria Chin Abdullah (Petaling Jaya), Rusnah Aluai (Tangga Batu), Nurul Izzah Anwar (Permatang Pauh), Nor Azrina Surip (Merbok), Alice Lau (Lanang), Azizah Mohd Dun (Beaufort), June Leow Hsiad Hui (Hulu Selangor), Noorita Sual (Tenom) dan Wong Shu Qi (Kluang).

Sebelum ini, seorang pelajar menjadi tumpuan di media sosial selepas memuat naik video di TikTok, memetik guru sekolahnya berkata “jika kamu (pelajar) mahu merogol, jangan rogol seseorang bawah 18 tahun. Rogol orang melebihi 18 tahun.”

Religious knowledge pointless if you turn a blind eye, ex-IGP tells PAS

Abdul Hamid Bador says he raised the issue of Hamzah Zainudin’s interference with the prime minister and the chief secretary to the government.

PETALING JAYA: There is no point in acquiring religious knowledge if it is not used to help correct wrongdoing, including political interference in the police force, Abdul Hamid Bador said today.

“To the ‘political ‘ulamas’, please open your eyes and listen to my explanation before criticising my move to expose the interference by the (home) minister in police matters,” the former inspector-general of police was quoted as saying in a report by MalaysiaGazette.

“What is the use of having a lot of religious knowledge (if you) are afraid to tell the truth and act?”

Hamid said this in response to a PAS Dewan Ulama leader’s criticism of his expose in the days leading up to his retirement yesterday.

Yesterday, Mohd Nor Hamzah, the Dewan Ulama information chief, questioned why Hamid did not act on the political interference earlier.

He also accused Hamid of making allegations against home minister Hamzah Zainudin without going through the proper channels.

Hamid, however, said he did raise the issue of Hamzah’s interference with the prime minister and the chief secretary to the government.

“Do the ‘political ulamas’ understand this explanation?” he was quoted as saying.

Hamid also claimed that Hamzah wanted to install a new Bukit Aman Special Branch director to better control the division.

On Friday, Hamzah confirmed he was the voice in a widely shared leaked audio clip that featured him discussing plans to place “our boy” in key positions in the force.

Melor state seat declared vacant

Kelantan state assembly speaker Abdullah Ya’kub today declared the Melor state seat vacant following the death of its incumbent Md Yusnan Yusof on April 30.

Abdullah made the declaration after receiving Md Yusnan’s death certificate which was verified by the National Registration Department.

PKR sec-gen: MACC must look into former IGP’s claims and act against politicians for jumping ship

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks during a press conference at the party’s HQ in Petaling Jaya May 3, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks during a press conference at the party’s HQ in Petaling Jaya May 3, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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PETALING JAYA, May 3 — PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador’s call for the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe “jumping” politicians must be looked into it.

“Abdul Hamid’s latest reprimand is not something new for us, it only reinforces and confirms our previous statement, the ball is now at the feet of MACC.

“He (Abdul Hamid) who made this revelation is not an ordinary person, he is the head of police, if MACC chooses to remain silent, it is unfortunate for our country,” he said in a press conference at the party’s headquarters today.

Saifuddin also agreed that if MACC were to probe politicians who jumped ship, they should also probe politicians who joined Pakatan Harapan (PH) after the last general election.

“There are Umno MPs who participated in the PH component, our statement is open and applicable to all and at all times, because politics cannot be tainted by practices like this,” he said.

On April 30, in his last public press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, Abdul Hamid urged the MACC to investigate politicians who switched camps.

He described the country’s political landscape as hancur (destroyed) due to elements of corruption.

“I want the MACC to investigate and take action. Do not be afraid.

“The people are getting sick with the action (of some politicians). At one point we have katak (from) jumping here and there and making noise (switching political camps).

“What is this? There are elements of corruption here. I want MACC to investigate all of the frogs (politicians who switched camps),” Abdul Hamid was quoted saying.

Abdul Hamid also openly admitted to ‘bad blood’ between him and the Perikatan Nasional appointed Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, claiming that the latter had demanded the power to determine the office bearers in the force on the first meeting he chaired as the chairman of the police force commission.

Abdul Hamid stepped down as IGP today and was replaced by Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.

Foreign students’ degrees unrecognised after MQA revokes accreditation for LimKokWing courses

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (second right) speaks to a LimKokWing University student after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (second right) speaks to a LimKokWing University student after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Upon finding out that the accreditation for the course they had taken has been revoked by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA), two student representatives from the LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) expressed concern over their future.

A foreign student representative from the university who only wished to be identified as Mohamad said that more than 800 foreign students are affected by the issue including the visa renewal process that has been delayed up to 14 weeks.

“We, the students, are about to embark on our professional careers with great uncertainty and fear. Numerous Bachelors, MBA (Masters of Business Administration degree) and PhD courses have had their accreditation revoked by the MQA — this is because of LimKokWing’s inability to maintain certain requirements and standards set by the relevant authorities,” one of the students said during a press conference organised by DAP at their headquarters here.

Mohammed said that he started MBA in 2018 before the course was revoked by MQA in 2019 and was told by the university that he can finish the course but the “qualification” might not be recognised.

“It’s not just me, more than 800 foreign students are also going through the same thing,” he added.

Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching said that the program that the students signed up for was fully accredited but then revoked due to unsatisfactory quality of the course.

She suggested that the university should take corrective action towards the issue and reapply for the accreditation.

“So what the university can do is they need to take immediate corrective actions and then reapply for accreditation.

“For last year (since the revocation) until now, remedy action has not been taken or if they have taken any, it’s not good enough to persuade MQA to give them (LimKokWing university) full accreditation. I hope that LimKokWing can sort this out for its students,” DAP’s Kulai lawmaker said.

 

Pandemic boosted e-commerce last year, says Unctad

THE Covid-19 pandemic provided a boost for e-commerce last year, but the digital windfall was not enjoyed equally across the board, a UN study found today.

“Although it will take some time to get the full picture of the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce … a number of developments point to the strong rise in e-commerce in 2020,” said the report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).

Philippine minister launches expletive-laced tirade at ‘friend’ China

Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin is known for making blunt remarks at times. (AP pic)

MANILA: The Philippine foreign minister today demanded in an expletive-laced message on Twitter that China’s vessels get out of disputed waters, marking the latest exchange in a war of words with Beijing over its activities in the South China Sea.

The comments by Teodoro Locsin, known for making blunt remarks at times, follow Manila’s protests for what it calls the “illegal” presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the Philippines 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O…GET THE F*CK OUT,” Locsin said in a tweet on his personal account.

“What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province…”.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chinese officials have previously said the vessels at the disputed Whitsun Reef were fishing boats taking refuge from rough seas.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about US$3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year.

In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled the claim, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was inconsistent with international law.

In a statement today, the Philippine foreign ministry accused China’s coast guard of “shadowing, blocking, dangerous manoeuvres, and radio challenges of the Philippine coast guard vessels”.

Philippine officials believe the Chinese vessels are manned by militia.

Yesterday, the Philippines vowed to continue maritime exercises in its EEZ in the South China Sea in response to a China demand that it stop actions it said could escalate disputes.

As of April 26, the Philippines had filed 78 diplomatic protests to China since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, foreign ministry data shows.

“Our statements are stronger too because of the more brazen nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of intrusions,” Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, executive director for strategic communications at the foreign ministry, said.

Duterte for the most part has pursued warmer ties with China in exchange for Beijing’s promises of billions of dollars in investment, aid and loans.

While the Philippine leader still considers China “a good friend”, he said last week: “There are things that are not really subject to a compromise.”

Galeri Petronas ceases operations in Suria KLCC

Employees affected by the closure have been assigned new roles in Petronas. (Petronas pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Galeri Petronas has ceased to operate as a public gallery as of May this year following a realignment of its operating model to adapt to the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the closure of the gallery’s public space, artworks from the Petronas Art Collection remain available for loan to relevant programmes and initiatives.

This is in line with Petronas’s long-standing commitment to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the arts in Malaysia.

Permanent employees affected by the closure have been successfully reassigned to new roles in Petronas.

Galeri Petronas was set up 28 years ago in 1992 championing through the arts much of Petronas’s efforts towards nurturing the development of a holistic society important to Malaysia’s economic and social advancement.

Over the years, the gallery featured countless significant exhibitions, publications and programmes in support of its mission to promote and preserve the Malaysian contemporary arts.

It played a vital role in promoting and giving exposure to local talents and their works and hosted many foreign exhibitions to encourage exchanges between local and foreign artists for their mutual benefit.

Galeri Petronas was also privileged to have collaborated with individuals and institutions that shared the same aspirations and conviction in the role art plays in shaping opinions, instilling values and influencing behaviours of society.

Galeri Petronas wishes to thank the patrons, artists, curators, partners and supporters who continuously provided inspiration over the past 28 years in realising its role to enrich lives and promote thought leadership through the arts.

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