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Newsletter | Issue 13

Subject: No photos please




Apa khabar? Many things are happening in Malaysia on a weekly basis and we wish we could write about all of it. The things we are not covering in this newsletter:
1. How the delivery riders blackout should have been given more light in fight for better rights for our food heroes (SOCSO at least)
2. The rabbit typo in the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Amendment) Bill 2022 which reminded us of this joke: 
A priest, a pastor and a rabbit entered a clinic to donate blood. 
The nurse asked the rabbit, “What is your blood type?”
“I’m probably a type-O”, said the rabbit.


Also, it’s that time of the year we stand up before movies in cinemas. IYKYK.

– Niresh Kaur, Shambavi Shankar</p>

What’s the tea in Malaysia?

harley quinn sipping tea
Police above the law? 
In a written parliamentary reply to Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng, the Home Minister stated that it is a crime under Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 (for the intention of disturbing others) to record or live stream the police while they’re conducting raids or arrest. 

In an era where we seek transparency and accountability, this seems like an odd rule. Section 233 of the Act does not encompass the actions of police officers, according to the Lawyers for Liberty Director, Zaid. 

Section 186 of the Penal Code makes it a crime for anyone who voluntarily obstructs a public servant from conducting his duty. Little did we know that whipping out a phone to record someone on duty is an act deterring them from conducting their duties. 
Source: SG Road Vigilante on YouTube
There is no information on whether the Attorney General Chambers were consulted before the Home Minister made such a statement.
Source: Imgflip
Malaysian police are at it again. On a related topic, according to Meta, the Malaysian police are behind those accounts that run a troll farm – created to manipulate the public by using fake accounts. 

This, if proven to be true, is a national threat – we cannot have the police themselves backing fake accounts when the same body just talked about feeling threatened by video recordings of them.

Having said that, it’s about time the Independent Police Conducts and Misconduct Committee (IPCMC) Bill goes live. The absence of such a committee only paves the way for more misconduct and refusal to be accountable. 

And no, the police investigating another police officer is not a form of accountability. 
Postponed End Game
digi and celcom merger meme
Source for image: Berita Harian
Upon the various complaints and suggestions made in the Dewan Rakyat in regards to the Generational End Game (GEG) Bill, the government has decided to refer the bill to a special select committee. 

The general issue with the Bill isn’t so much about the ‘end game’ for cigarettes itself (though there is a fear of the black market taking charge), but the potential wide-reaching power abuse. The Bill allows authorities to search your premise and access your phone/laptops without a warrant. A reminder that this is a war against tobacco, not terrorism. Such a draconian rule on a moral principle is unnecessary. The law should seek to protect, not punish.
Unequal citizenship laws? 
The Court of Appeal just overturned a landmark decision made by the High Court of Malaysia on mothers’ rights to confer citizenship to their children in Malaysia.

But first, the backstory: In this case , the High Court’s 2021 decision, ruled that children of Malaysian mothers born overseas should also be entitled to Malaysian citizenship just like how men are allowed to confer their citizenship to children born abroad. This conflicts with Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution (FC), which expressly only gives the fathers such right to confer citizenship. However, through this lower court ruling, all 6 mothers have received the citizenship documents for their children. 

So what happened now? The Court of Appeal in a split decision (2-1) overturned the High Court’s decision stating that this conflicts with Article 14 of the FC and that it is up to the Parliament to make changes to the constitution. 

The six Malaysian mothers will be appealing to the Federal Court. So, all applications (i.e citizenship documents for their children) will remain frozen until the Federal Court decides.

Justice S Nantha Balan, who dissented the 2-1 decision made in the Court of Appeal, said Article 14 was discriminatory as it violated the equality provision under Article 8. He also mentioned that the denial of citizenship went against international law.
Does this mean that our Federal Constitution has contradicting Articles? Guess we will have to tune in to Part 3 of this unnecessary trilogy to find out. 
Who let the doxx out? 
Amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) were tabled for their First Reading in parliament this week. The proposed new Section 507A under the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2022 will make stalking a crime. 
Source: Make a meme
Section 98A Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 2022 on the other hand allows victims to apply for the court’s protection ex parte. 

The Bill is set to be read in the next parliament session in October. 

In response to this, the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) calls for the lawmakers to include doxxing, interfering with property and spying to the list of acts of harassment.

Legal Lingo of the Week -Stay

What is a ‘stay’ in legal terms?
The court issues a stay in order to stop/suspend a part or the entire judicial proceeding. 
Source: Tenor
So, the stay in proceedings is generally temporary to pause or postpone legal proceedings.

Question of the Week

Source: Tenor
After weeks of heavy legal Q&A, this week, we decided to riddle you instead:
You do not want to have it,
but when you do have it,
you do not want to lose it.
What is this?

*Hint: The answer is not ‘a child’.

Stay tuned for the answer in our next newsletter.
Last Week’s Question: 
How are constitutional changes made in Parliament?

This falls under Article 159 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia 1957:

Article 159 (3):  A Bill for making any amendment to the Constitution (other than an amendment excepted from the provisions of this Clause) and a Bill for making any amendment to a law passed under Clause (4) of Article 10 shall not be passed in either House of Parliament unless it has been supported on Second and Third Readings by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of member of that House.
Source: Tenor
In simple words, we can amend the constitution, if supported by two–thirds of the members of Parliament through an Amendment Act.

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