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Journal of International Studies (JIS) Vol. 16, 2020

 
THE ROLE OF THE PEOPLE IN POST LEGISLATIVE SCRUTINY: PERSPECTIVES FROM MALAYSIA AND AUSTRALIA
1Sarah Moulds & 2Ying Hooi Khoo
1University of South Australia’s Justice and Society Unit
2Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya
1Corresponding author: sarah.moulds@unisa.edu.au
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The purpose of this article is to critically examine the role of the people in the process of reviewing the implementation and effectiveness of existing laws, described in the emerging literature as ‘post-legislative scrutiny or ‘PLS’. Examining the options for citizen engagement with legislative review is critical for all parliamentary democracies grappling with the challenge of rebuilding trust between citizens and institutions. This is because reviewing the content and purpose of proposed and the implementation and impact of existing laws is a way for parliamentarians to give effect to their democratic promise. The methodology employed is qualitative in nature with a tiered approached to identifying and examining the extent to which individuals and non-government actors can contribute to parliamentary review processes in two Westminster-inspired parliamentary democracies: Australia and Malaysia. Using case study examples and examining both structural and cultural features of the systems of legislative review in both systems, this article directly challenges some of the assumptions previously associated with PLS in the existing literature. Experiences of different ‘ad hoc’ forms of PLS in both Australia and Malaysia suggest that there could be substantial benefits for lawmakers and citizens by moving toward a more deliberative, ‘bottom up’ approach to PLS in the future.  
 
Keywords: post legislative scrutiny, bottom-up approach, Australia, Malaysia
 

 
FACEBOOK FOR INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIONTHE FOREIGN STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCE
1Raja Rodziah Raja Zainal Hassan, Nor Azlili Hassan, Iza Sharina Sallehuddin & Nik Norazira Abdul Aziz
Faculty of Creative Industries,  Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kampar Campus, Perak, Malaysia
1Corresponding author: rodziahr@utar.edu.my
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
Computer-mediated communication is an integral part of how people communicate in today’s modern society. The impact of social media on intercultural competency is a new territory that is beginning to interest scholars and researchers. Part and parcel of a foreign university student’s experience in a host country are managing cultural differences. Understanding how foreign university students use computer-mediated communication will provide insights into the impacts of social media (Facebook) on intercultural learning experiences. The aims of this study are: 1) to analyse the experience of foreign university students in using Facebook to communicate with their local peers 2) to examine Facebook usage pattern(s) among foreign university students in Malaysia, and; 3) to determine the level of intercultural competency among foreign university students in Malaysia. The study employs the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) developed by Chen and Starosta (2000) in analysing how foreign university students in Malaysia use Facebook as part of a platform in learning and coping with cultural differences. This study analyses data from a survey of 210 foreign university students in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The findings from this study illustrated that the majority of foreign university students enjoy communicating with their local peers who are from different cultures using Facebook. The findings highlight that foreign university students are confident when communicating with their local friends and they are culturally competent. This is examined from the online interactions with their local peers and the Facebook usage pattern developed from their experience.  
 
Keyword: Facebook, Intercultural Competency, Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), Social media, Foreign University Students
 

 
SOVEREIGNTY, NATIONAL INTEREST AND SECURITY IN BILATERAL INVESTMENT TREATIES OF MALAYSIA
1 Mohammad Belayet Hossain, 2Asmah Laili Yeon & 3Ahmad Shamsul Abdul Aziz3
1School of Law, Chittagong Independent University, Bangladesh
2&3School of Law, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
2Corresponding author: asmah485@uum.edu.my
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
At present, the BITs are playing a significant part in regulating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the host countries and like other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Malaysia have also signed BITs to facilitate trade. Malaysia’s FDI laws and BITs mainly protect foreign investors, however, neither of them has any specific provision on the protection of sovereignty, national interest and security. This paper addresses the question, to what extent are sovereignty, national interest and security protected through BITs during entry of FDI into Malaysia? Using non-doctrinal socio-legal research method, the authors critically analyzed 15 BITs to explore whether they protect the sovereignty, national interest and security of Malaysia. The findings show that the existing Malaysian BITs contain provisions to promote and protect foreign investments but lack specific references to protect sovereignty, national interest and security, therefore, the government should consider these important factors when signing future BITs.
 
Keywords: Bilateral Investment Treaties, Sovereignty, National Interest and Security, FDI, Malaysia.
 

 
MANDATORY LABELLING OF NANOFOOD AND THE WTO AGREEMENTS 
1Nor Akhmal Hasmin, 2Zinatul Ashiqin Zainol, 3Najwa Azizun, & 4Nur Hafidah Abd Kadir
1,3&4 Centre of Foundation Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kampus Dengkil, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
1Corresponding author: norakhmal5559@uitm.edu.my  
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
Labelling of food products that contain new technologies has been adopted to inform consumers and address concerns over uncertainty of the technologies. Even though food labelling is significant, the implementation of mandatory labelling measures for nanofood within the domestic legislation is only possible if the measure is aligned with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations. This paper examines whether mandatory labelling measure for nanofood would be permissible under the WTO agreements, i.e. the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement. The study adopts a doctrinal approach and content analysis by examining relevant legal provisions in the WTO agreements, cases decided by the WTO, and other documents on nanofood labelling. Findings suggest that the labelling measure amounts to unnecessary barriers to international trade. The mandatory labelling is not an international labelling standard and the practice is trade restrictive. Some recommendations presented at the end of this paper shall give invaluable insights into the implementation of mandatory labelling for nanofood if any country decides to introduce the measures in their food information system.
 
Keyword: Mandatory labelling, nanofood, TBT Agreement, SPS Agreement, barrier to trade. 
 

 
INCORPORATING ARTICLE 31bis FLEXIBILITIES ON TRIPS PUBLIC HEALTH INTO DOMESTIC PATENT SYSTEM: THE INESCAPABLE WAY FORWARD FOR MALAYSIA
1Mohsin Hingun & Rahamatthunnisa Mohamed Nizamuddin
Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Law, International Islamic University of Malaysia, Gombak, Malaysia
1Corresponding author: mohsin@iium.edu.my
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The purpose of this study is to highlight the absence of specific provisions on public health under Article 31bis of the TRIPS Agreement, that were not incorporated into the Patents Act 1983 in Malaysia. The main research question of this study is; why should Malaysia immediately amend its Patents Act 1983 to incorporate these flexibilities? Malaysia must develop effective strategies to implement policies, law and governance in managing the country’s public health system. This is to ensure a balance of rights between intellectual property owners and the public, at all times. This study employs a qualitative research methodology that is based on primary sources such as the TRIPS Agreement and the Patents Act 1983, and is further supported by secondary sources such as journals and the contents of authorities’ websites. This study is limited to the issues related to public health and patents. This study includes a discussion on the provisions related to patents and public health, proposed amendments to the Patents Act 1983 that should incorporate the provisions from Article 31bis, and a conclusion on the importance of immediately amending the Patent Act 1983 to incorporate these provisions, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This study proposes that the amendments be made to Section 84 of the Patents Act 1983 in relation to Rights of Government, and not through the compulsory licence mechanism under Part X of the Patents Act 1983. Thus, this study concludes that currently, Malaysia is unable to implement the provisions under Article 31bis, unless the Patents Act 1983 is amended.
 
Keywords: Article 31bis, compulsory licence (CL), Patents Act 1983 (PA), public health flexibilities, TRIPS Agreement.
 

 
THE U.S INACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: REALISM AND ITS INTERPRETATIONS
Anu Unny
Department of Political Science,University of Kerala Thiruvananthapuram, India
Corresponding author: unny.anu@gmail.com
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
President Donal Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement, and stated that the withdrawal was mainly to protect its national interests. The U.S. economic ambitions, the China factor and the intricacies of U.S domestic politics had played a major role in deciding the U.S. position on the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. There are some who are sceptical on whether the Paris Agreement would successfully achieve its expected outcomes in the absence of U.S. participation. The objective of this study is to examine the factors that have discouraged the U.S. to partake in the international climate change agreements. An analytical framework was employed for this study that examines the insights and conceptions from the textual data, based on realism. The study concludes that the U.S. outlook on climate change had more or less adhered to the realist stance, even though realism is considered a theoretical approach with significant drawbacks, particularly when dealing with issues of climate change. Nonetheless, this study also asserts that there is a need for deeper engagement between the U.S. and the participants of the Paris Agreement to effectively tackle the issues of climate change at this moment.
 
Keywords: Climate Change, Realism, Paris Agreement, U.S., China, Kyoto Protocol. 
 

 
THE RISE OF ISLAMISM AND THE FUTURE OF INDONESIAN ISLAM
Sumanto Al Qurtuby
Department of Global & Social Studies, College of General Studies
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
Corresponding author: alqurtuby@kfupm.edu.sa
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
Since the downfall of Suharto’s dictatorial regime in 1998, Indonesia has witnessed a surge of various Islamist groups that have potentially threatened the country’s religious tolerance, civil Islam, and civic pluralism. Moreover, it is suggested that the rise of Islamist groups could likely transform Indonesia into an intolerant Islamist country. However, this article asserts that the Islamist groups are unlikely to reform Indonesia into an Islamic State or Sharia–based government and society, and are unable to  receive the support and approval of the Indonesian Muslim majority due to the following fundamental reasons: the groups’ internal and inherent weaknesses, ruptured alliance among the groups, lack of Islamist political parties, limited intellectual grounds of the movement, the accommodation of some influential Muslim clerics and figures into the central government body, and public opposition toward the Islamist groups.
 
Keywords: Islamism, Islamist movement, civil Islam, Muslim society, Islamist radicalism, peaceful Islamist mobilization, religious pluralism.
 

 
ANALYSIS OF TREND AND SOURCES OF GOVERNMENT BUDGET DEFICIT FINANCING IN BANGLADESH
1Md Nazmus Sadekin, Md Mahbub Alam, Al Amin Al Abbasi & Subrata Saha
Department of Economics, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University Santosh, Tangail-1902, Bangladesh
1Corresponding author: sadekin08@gmail.com
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
Budget deficit is one of the most significant macroeconomic issues which have been debated both in the academic and political arena since 1970s. This study aims to explore the current position of government budget deficit, its trends, and sources of budget deficit financing in Bangladesh covering the periods of 1980 to 2018. Secondary data has been used which is collected from Bangladesh Economic Review and World Bank. Data has been analyzed through descriptive methods. The Government financing budget deficit from two sources like domestic and foreign sources. The study finds that Government finances most of its budget deficit from the domestic sources than foreign sources especially from non-banks sources due to the increase in the net sale of national savings certificates while borrowing from bank sources is on the decline. Along with the effective measures of generating more internal resources, the government should also focus on other areas to reduce the budget deficit. The government should be taken proper steps to make progressively investable resources and generate a fund for financing the non-development spending for reducing the reliance on debt that can guarantee more distribution on the development sector.
 
Keywords: Budget deficit, deficit finance, domestic and foreign sources, non-bank sources, non-development expenditure.
 

 
EXPLORING THE STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING RESILIENCE TO POVERTY IN BAUCHI STATE, NIGERIA
1Umar Farouk Musa & 2Ibrahim Suleiman
Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bauchi State University, Gadau, Nigeria.
1Corresponding author: umarfmusa@basug.edu.ng, isuleiman@basug.edu.ng
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The challenges of poverty and insurgency had caused problems of different dimensions in north-eastern Nigeria. Specifically Bauchi state recorded 89.5 percent of Multidimensional Poverty Indicators above other states in the country. The main objective of this study is to explore the strategies to build resilience to poverty in the study area. In achieving this, a qualitative research design via semi-structured interview and purposive sampling were applied. Accordingly, twenty-two informants from the ministries, agencies, and commissions in addition to some selected underprivileged people were consulted during the data collection. Consequently, findings from the study indicated that national, state, community and individual strategies were suggested to overcome poverty and other socioeconomic challenges bedeviling the people in Northeastern Nigeria in general and Bauchi state in particular. These  views of the informants are expected to address the socioeconomic challenges identified in the state. Perhaps, the community strategies include security initiatives, collaborations with NGOs to cushion the effects of poverty in the towns and villages with the contributions of the religious and traditional institutions. Furthermore, personal empowerment, enhancing peoples' confidence, and skills exhibit the individual strategies. Subsequently, by strengthening the federal, states as well as security arrangements to avert the problems discovered. The expansion of poverty reduction programs, accessible educational policies, youth empowerment schemes, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and the overall development of northeastern Nigeria were suggested.
 
Keywords: Poverty reduction, Strategies, Building Resilient, Bauchi State.
 

 
POSITIONING MALAYSIA IN THE REALM OF GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY: ANALYSING ITS CONCERN AND STRUGGLES OF PAKATAN HARAPAN GOVERNMENT
Zokhri Idris
Management and Science University, Malaysia
Corresponding author: zokhri_idris@msu.edu.my
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The US-China trade war juggernaut has shackled the political, economic and social landscapes of nation states globally at varying degrees. While trade talks are still ongoing and President Trump has hinted at the possibility of an interim agreement, the prospects of both sides agreeing on a comprehensive US-China trade deal in the near-term remains cloudy. Several factors place Malaysia to be in interesting position. First, Malaysia has and is still a geopolitically important trading route. Being an integral component to the production house of the global supply chain of finished products, its economy depends highly on the movement of goods and global currency. Furthermore, Malaysia is dominantly attached to the Chinese economy. It implies the fact that trade protectionism in the U.S. has resulted into a slowdown of Chinese growth, which eventually will have a domino effect on the Malaysian economy. Worsening the situation, COVID-19 shuts down major operations in the world, disrupting global supply and chain. Countries react towards inward strategies, alleviating national security and domestic economies at the expense of globalization process. While we have passed the first wave and re-generating world economy, global economy trajectory is still deemed ambiguous. China, as major hub for manufacturing, supply and chain is affected and struggles to increase its GDP from 6.1% end of 2019. In surfacing this uncertainty, the seventh Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed lays out three frameworks that guide the conduct of Malaysian foreign policy. First, Malaysia remains as an active discussant at all platforms which Kuala Lumpur is already a member. Second, it will communicate its influence towards any decision-making processes in platforms which Kuala Lumpur is not a member. Third, Kuala Lumpur will align with the increasing penetration of Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the blue economy. Should this be the way from 2020 onwards or new strategies ought to be crafted? What are the contemporary indicators Kuala Lumpur having to consider? Eventually, what could be the ultimate message Malaysia in positioning herself, which described her synergies and potential in near future? These questions will guide to examine the feasibility of Change in Continuity as a conduct of Malaysian foreign policy in near future.
 
Keywords: Change in Continuity, US-China Trade War, foreign policy, socio-economy, geo-economy.
 

 
DEMOCRATIZING LOCAL GOVERNMENT: WHAT MALAYSIA CAN LEARN FROM MEXICO AND INDIA
Sheila Murugasu
School of International Studies, Northern University of Malaysia,Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia
Corresponding author: sheila@uum.edu.my
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The Pakatan Harapan 2018 election manifesto, had as one of its commitments, to strengthen the authority of local government and to make local councils more accountable. Many took this to mean that local government elections would resume, after an absence of more than 60 years. While Pakatan Harapan’s tenure as Malaysia’s ruling government was short-lived, their rise to power did put local government back in the spotlight, as well as raise the prospect of the resumption of local government elections in the country. There are a number of reasons why a more democratic and participatory approach to local government is to be hoped for in Malaysia. These include the view that it discourages public malfeasance and produces local officials that are more responsive to the needs of the citizens they serve. There are however challenges that come with introducing a more democratic form of local government, especially for countries which are attempting to transition from authoritarianism to a democracy at the national level and which have a diverse multi-ethnic population of differing socio-economic backgrounds. In order to better understand what these challenges are and how they can be overcome, I examine two case studies, that of Mexico and India, which have some similarities to Malaysia in terms of regime-type and demographics. I consider the evolving approach taken by these two countries towards local government, in terms of their structure and practices, with a view to gleaning potential lessons for Malaysia. This paper begins with a brief historical overview of the system of local government in Malaysia up to the present day. This is then followed by a discussion of Mexico and India’s own uneven experience with democratizing their local governments. What these case studies reveal is the manner in which countries with an authoritarian past often undergo a transitional period, in which even as structures of local governance become more democratic, local officials and citizens remain trapped in old authoritarian modes of behavior. And that unless interventionist steps are taken, democratizing local government structures alone, does not necessarily lead to greater citizen empowerment, especially for those from the more marginalized sections of society.
 
Keywords: Local government, democracy, elections, Malaysia, India, Mexico.
 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE GENESIS, SOURCES, MANIFESTATIONS AND IMPACT OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (SALW) IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
1Babayo Sule, 2Ibrahim Kawuley Mikail, 3Muhammad Aminu Yahaya
1Department of Political Science, Faculty of Humanities Management and Social Sciences, Federal University Kashere Gombe, Gombe State Nigeria,
2Department of Political Science, Federal College of Education Zaria Kaduna State Nigeria.
3Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Gombe State University
1babayosule@gmail.com, 2elkawuley75@gmail.com, 3abusafiyya9032@gmail.com
 
 
ABSTRACT  Full Text
 
The protracted proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) across the globe to Africa and specifically in Northern Nigeria has led to the explosion of social crises which culminated in insecurity situation in the region for more than a decade now. Armed conflicts emanated from the effects of the spread of SALW across the three geopolitical zones in the North which manifested in the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, farmers-herders conflict in the Northcentral, armed banditry in the Northwest and ethnoreligious conflicts in addition to kidnappings in the region. The objective of this study is a critical and thorough investigation of the SALW in exacerbating armed conflicts in general in the Northern part of Nigeria. The problem is the scenario in which the armed conflicts are threatening to entirely destabilised the region and the manner in which the SALW are increasing despite the global efforts to contain their spread for security reasons. This research used a qualitative method of data collection and analysis. Both the primary and secondary sources were used. The primary source was the interview conducted with selected informants in the relevant area of study. The secondary source was the use of available literature on the subject matter of study and the discussions were made using thematic analytical interpretations. The research discovered that the rampant armed conflicts in Northern Nigeria is the reminiscent of the spread of SALW in the region which tantamount to the present critical security situation. Also, weak policy and political institutions contributed to the spread of SALW which means there is a need for a strong policy approach. The work recommends among other numerous suggestions that efforts should be intensified in intelligence gathering to detect the networking of the racketeers in the armed business and contain them appropriately as well as total blockage of the weapons’ route.
 
Keywords: Armed Conflict; Crisis; Northern Nigeria; Peace; Small Arms and Light Weapons; Security.
 

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