Newsletter | Issue 12

Subject: Clever clever frog jumps, one day fall to the ground also

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WHAT’S RIGHT, MALAYSIA?

YOU DECIDE


Apa khabar?Paracetamol sales jumped in the first quarter this year because people just can’t take it anymore.
– Niresh Kaur, Shambavi Shankar

What’s the tea in Malaysia?

harley quinn sipping tea
Source:whatsrightmy.com
Just to refresh your memory, this actually happened on Astro Awani circa 2018. 
Anti-katak bill passed in Parliament
This week, we saw the Malaysia Parliament voting to pass the anti party-hopping law. The making of the law has been in the works since September 2021 and has now come to fruition. 
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Source:Tenor
We all know by now how important this law is – without which we could possibly see another Sheraton or Le Meridien Move.  To remind, these are the MPs who switched to Bersatu from UMNO and PKR which resulted in the historical change of government.
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Source (for above two images): @peechinchok on Twitter
How did this change take place? As mentioned in our previous newsletter, anti-hopping laws were considered to be unconstitutional. Article 10 of the Federal Constitution allows every citizen to have freedom of association. This week, an exception has been made for MP’s rights to freedom of association in order to prevent party defections. 

What is the law now?
MPs are no longer allowed to party hop. Individual MPs who resign are no longer barred from contesting elections for five years, which means MPs can quit a party, but will have to stand for elections again.
 
You (MP) are exempted from this law if:
1. You were sacked by your party,
2. It is an en-bloc defection
3. Post election coalition agreements between parties.
Source: Straits Times 

So no more Sheraton Move?
It is still possible. If an entire party decides to leave (like Muhyiddin and gang did), the anti-hopping law does not prohibit this.
Sosma detention period was extended and how this is a problem
What is Sosma? Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) is an act that came into place to maintain public order and security. Section 4(5) of the Act allows for a detention period of up to 28-days to assist in a police investigation. Section 4(11) states that the detention clause shall be reviewed every five years.
This extension is a result of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin retabling the bill after it failed to get sufficient support from the Dewan Rakyat on March 23.
digi and celcom merger meme
Source for image: Berita Harian
Firstly, you must know that you cannot be charged under Sosma itself. It is merely a law that provides procedural powers to authorities concerning ‘security offences’ – this includes offences that fall under Part IV (offences against the State) and Part VIA (terrorism) of the Penal Code.

Sure if detaining someone to assist investigation doesn’t sound so bad does it? So how is this a problem? Sosma is known to be abused to detain politicians and members of the public. In 2016, political activist, Maria Chin was detained under this Act where she was investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code.

Besides political arrests, there is also a risk that there may be more cases of torture and abuse during detention resulting in more deaths in custody. This Act reduces the Court’s power to grant remand order* – which acts as a check and balance.
Bukit Aman launches investigation against Apandi Ali for abuse of power
This follows the report made by the Klang MP, Charles Santiago, alleging that Apandi Ali had fabricated information and lied with the intention to save the former prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. This report was made after the KL High Court dismissed the defamation suit brought by Apandi Ali against Lim Kit Siang.
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Source: Make A Meme
Abuse of power is an offence under the Penal Code. Apandi Ali is now being investigated under Section 217 of the Penal Code which states that any public servant with intent to save a person from legal punishment shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years or with a fine or both. 
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Source: Malay Mail,  Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KJ, acts as a White Ranger against cigarettes
The Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill will be tabled at Parliament next week. This is an ambitious plan by the Health Ministry, Khairy Jamaluddin to prohibit the sale of cigarettes to those born after 2005. This proposal has brought about mixed reactions from the public and politicians alike. We will see how this goes, next week.

Legal Lingo of the Week – *Remand Order

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Source: Imgflip
Article 5(4) of the Federal Constitution states as follows:

“Where a person is arrested and not released he shall without unreasonable delay, and in any case within twenty-four hours (excluding the time of any necessary journey) be produced before a magistrate and shall not be further detained in custody without the magistrate’s authority.”

This means that the police only has an allocation of time up to 24 hours to detain you, upon which he/she is to apply for an order to detain you further. This order is called the remand order. 

Question of the Week

How are constitutional changes made in Parliament?

Stay tuned for the answer in our next newsletter.
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Last Week’s Question: 
How does a bill become law?

Answer:
Here’s the common scenario:
1. Government Ministry drafts the bill with the help of Attorney-General’s Chambers
2. Bill is first presented to the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and then the Senate (Dewan Negara) for First Reading, Second and Third Readings 
3. After the lengthy debate and voting, the King signs the bill into law (Royal Assent). 
4. Laws take effect once published in the Government Gazette.

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