PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is facing 47 charges of money-laundering, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corruption, has failed in his appeal to get his impounded passport returned to perform the umrah in Mecca. [...]
Previously, AirAsia and AirAsia X were sued by MASSB for allegedly making defamatory remarks and for refusing to collect the increased PSC and pay the amounts owed. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — AirAsia Berhad and its sister company AirAsia X Berhad have taken legal action to compel the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to adjudicate a dispute over the passenger service charge (PSC) and reportedly poor level of service at KLIA2.Malay Mail understands the budget airline giant and its long-distance arm filed a judicial review today challenging the commission’s refusal to decide on the dispute between them and Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (MASSB).According to the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015, Mavcom has a statutory duty to decide on the dispute once mediation has failed, or is considered to have failed.Malay Mail also understands that both AirAsia and AirAsia X are seeking a court order by way of a mandamus to remedy their dispute with MASSB.Previously, AirAsia and AirAsia X were sued by MASSB for allegedly making defamatory remarks and for refusing to collect the increased PSC and pay the amounts owed.Both airlines have denied the airport operator’s claims and have applied to strike out the suits, as well as filed to claim RM480 million against MASSB for damages incurred as a result of the alleged poor service at klia2.However, Malay Mail understands Mavcom issued two letters dated February 28 and March 18 this year declining to adjudicate the dispute between the airlines and the airport operator on the basis that “the interpretation and applicability of sections 74 and 75 of the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 [Act 711] are currently pending disposal by the court”. [...]
Lawyer A. Surendra Ananth says SIS’s challenge is mounted on the basis that the fatwa violates certain provisions in the Federal Constitution, certain federal laws and the Selangor administration of Islamic law enactment itself. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 ― The High Court will today hear Sisters in Islam’s (SIS) challenge against a fatwa, or religious edict, declaring it “deviant” ― three years after it dismissed the Muslim women’s rights group’s initial judicial review in 2016.The Federal Court had decided in favour of SIS last year, sending the lawsuit back to the High Court for SIS to challenge the fatwa by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) against any persons or groups “professing liberalism or religious pluralism”.“SIS’s challenge is mounted on the basis that the fatwa violates certain provisions in the Federal Constitution, certain federal laws and the Selangor administration of Islamic law enactment itself,” SIS’s lawyer A. Surendra Ananth told Malay Mail.The judicial review application was first filed on October 31, 2014 by three applicants ― the company SIS Forum (Malaysia) Bhd which operates SIS; the group’s co-founder Zainah Anwar; and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, with the three respondents named as the Selangor Fatwa Committee, Mais, and the Selangor state government.The fatwa, gazetted on July 31, 2014, had singled out SIS by name, in addition to “any individuals, organisations or institutions” deemed “liberal”.It also deemed any publication with elements of liberalism and religious pluralism as “haram”, or prohibited, and liable for seizure by religious authorities.In addition, the fatwa had urged local Internet regulator Malaysian Commission of Multimedia and Communications to block “any social websites” opposed to Islamic teachings and laws.Fatwas are opinions issued by Islamic clerics on a multitude of issues. Although these are advisory in nature, Malaysia occasionally gazettes some into law.However, SIS’s challenge against the fatwa in 2014 had antagonised Islamists, drawing rebuke and protests such as PAS Youth then declaring SIS as an “insolent” and “extremist” group out to challenge the monarchy and Federal Constitution.In addition, SIS was also recently attacked by PAS after receiving RM20,000 contribution from deputy minister Hannah Yeoh to fund its Telenisa free legal advisory service.The group’s lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar had, however, clarified last year that the lawsuit by SIS was not regarding Islamic law, but merely on whether the fatwa issued against it was done legally and according to proper procedures.Malik said SIS was not implying that the fatwa was wrong in Islamic law, but that it had gone beyond the legal limits and infringes on fundamental freedoms.
A five-year journeySIS will argue today among others that religious authorities have no jurisdiction over companies like SIS, as they only have jurisdiction in respect of persons professing the religion of Islam.It will also argue that the fatwa is an unlawful fetter on SIS’s freedom of expression.“The fatwa does not define what amounts to ‘liberalism and pluralism’. Further, disobeying a fatwa is a criminal offence,” Surendra said.“Liberalism” encompasses a wide array of ideas, but its proponents commonly espouse notions such as civil rights, freedom of speech and of religion, free trade, private property, and free and fair elections.Meanwhile, “religious pluralism” maintains that no one religion holds the sole and exclusive source of truth, often promoting harmonious co-existence and understanding between all faiths and their adherents.Malaysia’s religious authorities under the previous administration had derided liberalism and pluralism, with Friday sermons nationwide claiming a conspiracy by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate Muslims through ideas like secularism, socialism, feminism and positivism, in addition to the two.On December 2014, then High Court judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad had granted SIS leave for the judicial review to be heard on its merits.But High Court judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah had on June 24, 2016 dismissed the case based on a preliminary objection by the Selangor religious authorities on the issue of which court had jurisdiction, ruling that only the Shariah courts have the powers to deal with the fatwa.This led to SIS appealing successfully to the Court of Appeal to reinstate the lawsuit and for it to be sent back to the High Court to be heard before another judge. The Selangor religious authorities later filed its appeal, and had on July 11, 2017 obtained leave from the Federal Court to proceed.Consequently, a seven-man panel at the Federal Court led by the then Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum had on September last year directed the High Court to start the case afresh and decide on all issues raised by the parties. [...]
The Sarawak state assembly made the call following a unanimous adoption of a Private Member’s motion tabled by PKR’s Batu Lintang State Assemblyman See Chee How (pic) to protest against any move to relocate the High Court registry. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
KUCHING, April 30 — The Sarawak State Assembly tonight called on the state government to stand firm against any move to relocate the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from here to Kota Kinabalu.It also urged the state government to immediately undertake all necessary engagements and actions to protect the sanctity of the Federal Constitution and to safeguard the inviolable constitutional rights of Sarawak.The state assembly made the call following a unanimous adoption of a Private Member’s motion tabled by PKR’s Batu Lintang State Assemblyman See Chee How to protest against any move to relocate the High Court registry.“The decision to relocate the registry was made in contradiction with Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution,” he said when tabling the motion.He said the de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong had issued a statement explicating the decision of impending relocation.See said Article 121(4) requires that the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah must be consulted and consented to any move to relocate the High Court registry from here to Kota Kinabalu.On April 19, in a circular signed by the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar, had stated that the registry would be relocated to Kota Kinabalu on May 1.Following a strong objection from the Chief Minister’s Office, she issued another circular to say that the relocation would not be carried out as planned.According to Liew, the proposal to move the registry was submitted by the former Chief Justice of Malaysia to the Prime Minister’s Office without consulting the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah. [...]
Lori Loughlin and Anna Delvey have brought attention, once again, to the importance of style in the courtroom. [...]
Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Leana Wen said Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, “could well be overturned” with the addition of Brett Kavanaugh to the nation’s highest court.
“I’m a doctor and a scientist and I have to look at the evidence,” Wen told TIME at the TIME 100 Gala on Tuesday. “The evidence is clear on Brett Kavanaugh’s record of being anti-women’s healthcare, anti-reproductive healthcare, anti-healthcare, anti-rights. We are very concerned about what he’ll do.”
When Wen was named president of Planned Parenthood last year, she became the first physician to lead the health care organization in five decades. She attended the TIME 100 Gala as one of the event’s honorees.
Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court after a bruising nomination fight, which included Christine Blasey Ford publicly accusing him of sexually assaulting her decades ago in high school. Kavanaugh repeatedly denied the allegation.
Both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh were named to the 2019 TIME 100 list of influential people.
In a divisive political environment with an increasingly conservative Supreme Court — both of which have threatened abortion providers like Planned Parenthood — Wen has also stressed Planned Parenthood’s important role as an provider of affordable health care, for people of all genders.
She said despite the political opposition, her organization will continue with its missions.
“Planned Parenthood has been attacked countless times before,” she said. “Our doors are open today, they’ll be open tomorrow, they will be open for another 100 years.” [...]
It is believed that the move not to relocate the principal registry could be related to the strong objections from the state government as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg was not consulted on the matter. — Reuters pic
KUCHING, April 23 — The relocation of the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from here to Kota Kinabalu will not be implemented, the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Sri Latifah Mohd Tahar said in a circular today.She did not give the reason for not relocating the registry to the Sabah state capital which was supposed to be effective from May 1.“This office wishes to inform that the relocation of the principal registry of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu will not be implemented on May 1, 2019,” she said in the circular.Senior lawyer See Chee How, who is also PKR’s Lintang State Assembly, when contacted, said he does not know the reason for not relocating the registry to Kota Kinabalu.See was among those in the legal profession who had objected to the relocation of the principal registry to Kota Kinabalu.It is believed that the move not to relocate the principal registry could be related to the strong objections from the state government as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg was not consulted on the matter.The Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), in a strongly worded statement yesterday, had said the failure to consult the chief minister was a breach of Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution.The CMO had said the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah must be consulted before any step was taken to relocate the registry from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting welcomed the decision to maintain the registry in Kuching.“I am happy that the judiciary has taken the step not to relocate the registry from Kuching,” he said.He urged de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong to apologise to Abang Johari and the people of Sarawak for the breach in the Federal Constitution.“I know that he is gentleman enough to do that,” he said.Yesterday, Ting, a lawyer by profession, threatened to file court action against de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian government over the relocation.Liew had defended the decision to move the principal registry to Kota Kinabalu, saying that Article 121(4) did not state that it must remain in Kuching permanently.He also said that the relocation was the decision of the country’s top four judges.Liew, who is de facto law minister, today confirmed being notified of the chief registrar’s decision not to relocate the registry as scheduled.In a rare move, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) today said it supported the state government’s protest against the proposed relocation.Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the federal government’s decision was unconstitutional as Abang Johari was not consulted.“In the present issue, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan is on the same page and position as the Sarawak state government ie. the decision for the relocation has to be put on hold or even withdrawn,” Chong said in a statement. [...]
The disgraced Theranos CEO looks pretty different without her signature turtleneck. [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak paid RM240,000 for the expenses of the now-defunct news portal Malaysian Digest. [...]
De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong today said the relocation of the Registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu is purely a judicial decision. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong today said the relocation of the Registry of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu is purely a judicial decision.He said the decision was made by the country’s top four judges sometime last month, and that it changes nothing as far as the administration of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak is concerned.“Nothing physical moves except for the residence of the Registrar of the High Court,” Liew said in a statement.Noting that there is no law nor constitutional provision which stipulates the registry must remain in Kuching forever, Liew said the registry has been seated in Sarawak for the past 55 years.“In fact, it is to the contrary as provided in Article 121 (4) of the Federal Constitution. Impliedly Sabah too has its right to house the Registry,” Liew said.He explained when the new Kota Kinabalu Court Complex became ready for occupation late last year, former Chief Judge Tan Sri Richard Malanjum felt it was time for Sabah to house the registry.“This idea was put to the top management who also agreed. However, the Advocates Association of Sarawak flatly rejected the idea.“Last March, the Chief Judge wrote to the Prime Minister for permission to move the registry to Kota Kinabalu premised on several reasons which the Prime Minister consented,” Liew said, adding there is no financial implication to such a move.Following this the Yang di-Pertuan Agong granted his royal assent to move the registry to Kota Kinabalu earlier this month, after which the Chief Registrar issued the circular of relocation on Friday.The circular, which was sent to Malaysia’s legal bodies and fraternity, took many by surprise. Lawyers and lawmakers based in East Malaysia expressed their concern over the relocation, with some questioning the legality and constitutionality of the move.Earlier today, Sarawak’s Assistant Law Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali had insisted that the relocation of the registry must have prior consent of Sarawak’s Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg.She told reporters in Kuching that this was the mandatory requirement under Article 121(4) of the Federal Constitution that the chief minister must be consulted and gives his consent prior to the relocation.“I believe the chief minister has not been consulted or have given his consent on the relocation,” she said“Now, they (Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government) suddenly want to move to Kota Kinabalu. We don’t know the reasons, but if they want to move, the state government and the chief minister must be consulted and give their consent.“Otherwise, it is not constitutional. It is against the rule of law which the PH federal government must comply with,” she said. [...]
KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The court has set May 6 as the date for the hearing of the application to transfer Tan Sri Musa Aman's... [...]
The Prime Minister's Office is pictured in Putrajaya December 6, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — The federal government is relocating the Registrar of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu effective May 1, according to a circular leaked online.Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar announced the unusual move in a circular dated April 19 and reportedly sent to the country’s legal bodies and fraternity.East Malaysian lawyers and lawmakers have expressed shock and concern over the relocation, with some questioning the legality and constitutionality of the move.“Did the prime minister consult the chief ministers of Sabah and Sarawak and the Chief Judge of the High Court? I don’t think so,” lawyer Shankar Ram told the DayakDaily portal.According to the Federal Constitution, such a move must be through the royal assent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister, following the latter’s consultation with the two chief ministers and the head of the High Court.In Latifah’s circular, it is stated that the Agong gave his consent for the move.PKR’s Batu Lintang representative See Chee How demanded an explanation from both Putrajaya and Petrajaya over the relocation, pointing out that it was unprecedented in the history of the courts.The Sarawak assemblyman was similarly doubtful that the state government was consulted prior to the decision to relocate the registry.“For more than 50 years, there has never been any complaint that this principal Registry in Kuching has failed in any way to discharge its duties, obligations and functions in any manner nor failure or negligence on the part of the staffs serving in the Registry Office,” See said in a statement cited on the Borneo Post website.“It is also to my understanding that members of the Advocates Association of Sarawak were not formally consulted and they did not agree to the relocation of this principal Registry Office from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.”He further argued that the consultation should not be limited to the heads of the state governments and must also extend to the legal community as it would have major ramifications to their activities.See, who is both a lawyer and a lawmaker, then urged the Sarawak government to contest the move in order to keep the registry in the state.The Federal Court circular did not explain the reason for the relocation.The Pakatan Harapan federal government is aligned with the Sabah state government but not with the GPS coalition that controls Sarawak. [...]
Erik Brunetti, Los Angeles artist and streetwear designer of the clothing brand Fuct, stands for a portrait in Los Angeles, California April 7, 2019. — Reuters pic
WASHINGTON, April 15 — The US Supreme Court takes up today the government's refusal to register a trademark by a clothing line named “Fuct,” and arguments should be, well, salty.The case pits a provision of US trademark law that allows the government to deny requests on the basis of “immoral” or “scandalous” words against the bedrock principles of free speech enshrined in the Constitution.It all started with provocateur, artist and designer Erik Brunetti, who founded the streetwear brand in 1990. It rhymes with plucked.Under the label, he has since freely sold clothing with anti-religious, anti-government slogans and motifs, often parodying pop culture.But in 2011, authorities refused to register “Fuct” at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), citing a provision that dates back to 1905.Brunetti, feeling that his rights had been violated, took his fight to the courts.In December 2017, a federal appeals court ruled in his favour. According to its findings, the law invoked violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution that guarantees free speech.But the administration of President Donald Trump then asked the top bench to give a final ruling on the matter.Dog poopThe provision in question “does not restrict respondent's ability to express himself, through use of his mark or otherwise, but simply denies him the advantages associated with federal trademark registration,” the US administration has argued.“The board concluded that the mark was vulgar and therefore unregistrable.”Yet vulgarity plays an important role in society, according to the Cato Institute, which has backed Brunetti in the fight.“A sentence like, 'Will you pick up your dog's shit, and stop him from pissing on my roses!' would not mean the same thing if the profanity were replaced by politesse,” the libertarian think tank argued.And the 1905 law is applied in a “systematically inconsistent and arbitrary way,” said law professors Barton Beebe and Jeanne Fromer in an argument transmitted to Supreme Court.They note, for example, that the fashion brand PHUC — which sounds the same as the swear word in question — got a trademark.Censorship of ideas?The way Brunetti sees it, the seemingly capricious nature of authorities' decision-making is a way to censor ideas they dislike — noting that the USPTO in its rejection of his application stated he had sold clothes with “revolutionary themes, proudly subversive graphics and in-your-face imagery.”“His assaults on American culture critique capitalism, government, religion and pop culture,” it added.Brunetti has asked the Supreme Court to apply the same reasoning it did in a 2017 case when it ruled that an Asian-American band could trademark its name “The Slants” despite its racist connotations.“We have said time and again that 'the public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers,'” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in that ruling, citing previous decisions. — AFP [...]
An Indian court's call for a ban on the popular video app TikTok will hurt free speech rights, China's Bytedance Technology Co has said in a request for the Supreme Court to quash the directive. [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd has confirmed that the Supreme Court of Nepal has issued its full written judgment in relation to the public interest litigation (PIL) concerning the former's buyout of Ncell Private Ltd. [...]
WASHINGTON: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider reviving a copyright case in which Nike Inc was accused of unauthorized use of photographer Jacobus Rentmeester's famous 1984 photograph of basketball superstar Michael Jordan soaring through the air. [...]