Khamis, 21 November 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Spruced up cars dazzle visitors to Auto Salon showcase


KUALA LUMPUR: A dazzling display of spruced up and uniquely designed cars in the Malaysia International Auto Salon showcase, is among the attractions at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2013 (KLIMS13).

The Auto Salon showcase has two categories – the Open Standard comprising 13 compact cars and Open Extreme comprising 13 high performance cars.

Customised cars which received lots of attention include a Nissan Grand Livina using an Ultimate Fighter car concept, with mounted fake machine guns in its rear cargo area, as well as two with a Hello Kitty theme – a Perodua Viva and Kancil.

Among the visitors was 29-year-old Adam Megat, who was thrilled with the modified cars. "The designs are very creative and attractive. My favourite car here is the Jackie Chan special limited edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX," said Adam.

The Auto Salon is a collaboration between the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), which is the organiser of KLIMS13, and Tom's Stickers. KLIMS13 has recorded 72,892 visitors for its first four days since it opened last Friday and ends on Nov 24. The Star is among the media partners of the show.

Thumbs up for freedom of expression


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has given the thumbs up for freedom of expression when it ruled a City Hall licence for banners was only required if they were advertising commercial products and services.

This decision could well advance the cause of freedom of expression in Malaysia and is certainly a reminder to enforcement authorities not to interpret its By-Laws so literally.

The Bar Council had decided to hold a Festival of Rights on Dec 9, 2007, in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, and banners had been placed at its premises and the adjacent carpark.

However, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) officers came by and removed the banners which aid: "Stop the Patronage Stop the Rot" on the bannister; "As I Believe; Freedom of Expression through Art, Music, Culture and Conscience..." at the entrance; and "Rakyat Hakim Negara" (People are the Judges of the Nation) on a tree in the carpark.

In 2009, the council sued the Datuk Bandar because his officers had entered its premises in Lebuh Pasar Besar here and pulled down and confiscated their festival banners.

In his defence, the Datuk Bandar said the council had failed to obtain a licence to put up the banners as required by the Advertisements (Federal Territory) By-laws 1982.

As such, he claimed, DBKL officers were authorised to enter any premises to remove banners of any description that had been put up without DBKL approval.

Judicial Commissioner S.M Komathy Suppiah, however, ruled in favour of the council on Oct 8. 

In her grounds of judgement released recently, JC Komathy held that the By-Laws were applicable only to commercial advertisements.

Hence, she said, there was no need to even answer the other questions, including whether the By-Laws were unconstitutional.

She said the DBKL officers had entered the council's premises unlawfully when they went in to remove the banners.

JC Komathy then awarded special damages of RM320 general damages of RM12,000 and costs on the claim of trespass.
It all came down to interpretation of the By-Laws - purposive versus literal.
Taking the latter position, the Datuk Bandar's counsel argued that the display of any information to the public would fall under the definition of advertisement and that the only advertisement which does not come within the scope of by-law 2 is an election advertisement.
In her 21-page judgment, JC Komathy said she was"conscious that the purposive approach is not a licence to rewrite the written law by adopting an interpretation that is totally inconsonant with the literal wording of the provision itself."
After enumerating several principles, she ruled against literal interpretation and agreed with the council that such an interpretation "would produce absurd results".
"It would certainly not promote good order and government within the jurisdiction of the defendant to stifle the rights of ordinary citizens to put up banners which were not commercial in nature.
"If the draftsman had intended to include private non-commercial advertisements in the definition, it is reasonable to expect that this would have been easily stated clearly and expressly . On any footing, that has not been done."
JC Komathy said hypothetical examples of the consequences that could result if the wide interpretation sought by the Datuk Bandar was accepted was useful.
"An example that readily comes to mind is the gigantic banner that was displayed at the entrance of the Court Complex in Kuala Lumpur in 2009, with the words "BUAT KERJA" (Do Your Work).
"This banner was displayed for 12 to 15 months or so.
"A  wide interpretation would mean the Court would require a licence to put up a banner to motivate the staff  or to state the ethics of the judiciary.

"Was the banner said to be running foul of the By-Law as it was put up without a licence? 

" I think not. There is no compelling reason to give  the phrase a wide meaning as sought by the defendant. "


Whether the judgment will have an impact on other councils remains to be seen because City Hall can always appeal.

MCMC ready to help probe into Malaysian paedophiles


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's cyberspace authority is ready to assist in investigations relating to a report by Dutch activists identifying three Malaysians as among 1,000 paedophiles worldwide who engaged in webcam child sex tourism.

Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi said police would naturally take charge of such an investigation since it was mentioned in the report that the case had been referred to Interpol.

"If need be, we are ever ready to lend a hand to our colleagues in the police," he said yesterday.

Mohamed Sharil was commenting on the Dutch activists' report, which was also confirmed by Terre des Hommes, the Dutch activist movement.

It was previously reported that using a computer-generated virtual child, the Netherlands-based Terre des Hommes was able to lure these 1,000 into the open, and track them using publicly available tools such as Google and Facebook.

Confirming the information, a spokesman said: "Three of them are from Malaysia. Their names were handed over to Interpol. We hope Interpol will exchange the information with the various countries."

The spokesman declined to provide any details on the three, adding that the organisation did not want to frame a specific profile of these paedophiles.


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