New Malaysian ordinance threatens very concept of truth News Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing possible sedition charge again March 2, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists set upon during environmental demonstration Record fine for Malaysian news site over readers’ comments MalaysiaAsia – Pacific MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders deplores the assaults on Adam Chew and Lee Hong Chun, journalists with the Chinese-language newspaper Kwong Wah Jit Poh, during a demonstration against the Australian mining company Lynas Corp. on 26 February in the north-western state of Penang.“It is the job of the police to ensure the safety of media staff who cover rallies. Aninvestigation must be undertaken to identify those behind these attacks so that the two journalists can be compensated,” the press freedom organization said. “If it emerges that the attackers are supporters of the UNMO party, their adherence to that political group should in no way give them protection.”Chew, 29, and 25-year-old Chun were injured during the demonstration which began in the centre of George Town at about 6 p.m. The protest was organized by Himpunan Hijau 2.0 and the Democratic Action Party, which is in power in the state, in protest against the construction of a rare earth treatment plant by Lynas at Kuantan, in Pahang state.About 50 pro-Lynas counter-demonstrators and supporters of the United Malays National Organisation party of Prime Minister Najib Razak disrupted the protest and questioned the anti-Lynas demonstrators. According to the newspaper Malaysiakini, the counter-demonstrators were reported to have shouted racist abuse and tried to prevent the demonstration from taking place.Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of Penang state and secretary-general of the DAP, who went to offer his public support to the demonstrators, was set upon by several of those who opposed the demonstration. Wielding hard hats, the latter managed to get through the human barrier formed by Lim’s security staff. The two journalists were reported to have been caught between the security men and the crowd moving towards the chief minister.Chew received an injury to his right hand, which he used to ward off the blows. He was taken to Penang General Hospital where he received eight stitches. Chun suffered minor head injuries after he was hit with a hard hat. Police do not appear to have intervened during the incident.Three days ago, Karpal Singh, national chairman of the DAP, suggested that the government introduce new laws to protect journalists so that they are treated like public servants during the exercise of their duties, in accordance with section 353 of the criminal code. Under this measure, any attack on media staff would be punishable by a fine or up to two years’ imprisonment. RSF_en February 22, 2021 Find out more News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Malaysia Organisation March 17, 2021 Find out more News News to go further Help by sharing this information January 29, 2021 Find out more
Florida lawyers donate millions of hours Amy K. Brown Assistant EditorFlorida lawyers have donated an overwhelming amount of time and money to the state’s poor, according to information from the annual membership fees statement. Last year, lawyers in the state logged a total of 1.3 million pro bono hours and donated more than $1.6 million in direct legal aid funding. Florida lawyers also provided another 6.3 million hours of free legal services to various charity, civic and religious organizations that do not constitute official pro bono work as set out by the Supreme Court’s pro bono plan. “There is a nobility of purpose about the legal profession and the work it does,” said Bar President Herman Russomanno. “Lawyers help people and help keep our democracy intact through their outstanding contributions to society.” Out of a total of 61,643 active members in good standing, a record 26,920 Bar members (44 percent) reported that they personally contributed pro bono hours last year. That translates to an average of 49.9 hours per contributing attorney — up 98 percent from the first year of the program and more than double the court’s aspirational goal of 20 hours annually per Bar member. These numbers are “outstanding,” said Russomanno, but he encourages more personal participation and contributions. “As lawyers, we must maintain our independence, our sense of ethical conduct and our steadfast commitment to the rule of law,” Russomanno said. “We must work together to lift the spirit of our profession.” The current rules for pro bono reporting were finalized by the Florida Supreme Court for the 1994-95 year, though originally passed one year prior. However, the numbers reported for the 1993-94 year are discounted because the pro bono opinion was released in the middle of that Bar year, and the court later clarified its definition of what qualifies as pro bono under the plan. In 1993, the court adopted a voluntary minimum of 20 personally provided pro bono hours or a $350 contribution to a legal aid organization for those lawyers not otherwise prohibited from providing such services. In 1999-00, Florida lawyers reported contributing 1,343,068 hours of pro bono service to the state’s poor — 139 percent more than in 1994-95 and 36 percent more than last year. This is a more noticeable increase than in 1997-98, when the total hours contributed jumped 17 percent from the previous year. Of the 1.3 million hours, 931,416 were contributed by attorneys on their own and 151,717 through legal aid programs. The percentage of members per county who personally provided pro bono legal services hovered at around 44 percent for last year, however, many counties had a well-over 50 percent participation rate. Out of 69 counties, only 10 were at or below a 40 percent rate of participation. The guidelines for what constitutes “pro bono” work are restricted to only legal services rendered without charge to those individuals with incomes that fall below the federal poverty standard. Legal services provided to religious or civic organizations are not recognized under the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, but should be noted, said Russomanno. Of the 6.3 million hours of legal services that did not fall under the court’s pro bono definition, 1,421,784 were contributed to charities; 820,600 to legal organizations; 2,312,468 to civic organizations; and 1,733,577 to religious organizations. January 15, 2001 Assistant Editor Regular News Florida lawyers donate millions of hours
Leraas leads last in Virginia Sprint Series openerLeraas leads last in Virginia Sprint Series opener
Mike Leraas was the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car winner at Shenandoah Speedway, in opening night action April 1 for the Virginia Sprint Series. (Photo by Jim Haines)By Jim HainesSHENANDOAH, Va. (April 1) – A cool evening greeted fans on opening night and Mike Leraas cooled off the rest of the Virginia Sprint Series field to take the feature win Saturday at Shenandoah Speedway.Glenn Worrell and Leraas paced the IMCA RaceSaver main event field to green and it was Worrell out first with Leraas, Tony Harris and Jerald Harris all in a group at the front.Laps clicked off fast as Leraas was making the high line work. He went to the front on lap 15 just as Worrell was fading. The Harris brothers went by Worrell also and Tony went on the attack.Tony Harris got to the leader’s bumper lap after lap but Leraas held on to win by a car length at the lineFeature results – 1. Mike Leraas; 2. Tony Harris; 3. Jerald Harris; 4. Glenn Worrell; 5. Bill Rice; 6. Anthony Linkenhoker; 7. Mike Keeton; 8. Josh Perreault; 9. Chris Ware; 10. Ryan Price.