Special taskforce to screen entry of Syrian refugees, says home ministry

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security. — Reuters pic

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The screening of Syrian refugees to enter and be accepted into Malaysia will be conducted by a special taskforce in efforts to check militant and terrorist threats.

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security.

“A temporary migrants placement special taskforce headed by the Home Ministry and comprising various government agencies has been formed to ensure the implementation of this programme in line with the existing laws,” he said when winding up on the Supply Bill 2016 for his ministry in the Dewan Negara today.

He said the taskforce had set up tight security screening and vetting process to ensure the refugees did not bring in any beliefs and ideologies on terrorism that has spread throughout the world. Read more

Nothing wrong in SOP on handling detainees, says state police chief

Source: The Malaysian Insider

pdrm_new_logoThe police have clear standard operating procedures (SOP) for its officers when handling detainees, Selangor police chief Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said.

He said the SOP did not have weaknesses but human failure was the reason behind cases of detainees escaping from police custody.

“The clear SOP have been in existence for quite sometime but the problem is human failure. Sometimes, the people are careless.

“So, we need to upgrade our officers’ awareness and understanding when we bring out detainees for follow-up operation or other reasons,” he told a press conference at the Kuala Selangor police headquarters today. Read more

Why we should oppose the National Security Council Bill – Syahredzan Johan

Source: The Star Online

BY SYAHREDZAN JOHAN

Syahredzan Johan - file pic

Syahredzan Johan – file pic

UNLESS you have been living under a rock for the past week or so, you would probably know that the Dewan Rakyat has recently passed a controversial bill known as the National Security Council (NSC) Bill.

The Bill will be tabled in the Dewan Negara and if it is passed by the Upper House, it will be on its way to become law.

You probably would also know of the opposition towards the Bill by the Malaysian Bar, Suhakam, civil society and Opposition political parties.

In fact, civil society has launched a dedicated campaign to stop the Bill from becoming law, and rightly so.

The Bill is a piece of proposed legislation that goes against our constitutional framework. If it becomes law, it will give powers to the Government which will upset the balance between the various institutions of the state. Read more

Sarawak DAP chief, Stampin MP claim trial for taking part in Bersih 4 rally

Source: The Star Online

KUCHING: Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen and Stampin MP Julian Tan have pleaded not guilty for participating in a street rally during Bersih 4 here at the Sessions Court.

They were charged under Section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 on Monday.

Judge Amelati Parnell released the duo on a RM5,000 bail each, with one surety. The court fixed Jan 14 next year for case management.

Speaking after claiming trial, Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, alleged it was a case of “political prosecution”.

“The case involves a maximum fine of RM10,000. If there is a conviction, Tan and I will be disqualified from politics and elections for five years,” he said. Read more

Activist on trial for showing unapproved film slams Putrajaya for human rights hypocrisy

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Local activist Lena Hendry says the government must not put on a different mask on the international front by promising to uphold the freedom of speech, yet still charge her in court over a charge of screening a film which had not been passed by the censorship board. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 14, 2015.

Local activist Lena Hendry says the government must not put on a different mask on the international front by promising to uphold the freedom of speech, yet still charge her in court over a charge of screening a film which had not been passed by the censorship board. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 14, 2015.

Malaysian activist Lena Hendry today said Putrajaya was continuing to persecute her and was being hypocritical about human rights with the charge against her for screening a film on the Sri Lankan civil war that was not approved by the Film Censorship Board.

She told Malaysiakini at the first day of her trial today that Putrajaya had pledged support at the United Nations for the freedom of expression, and had even voted “yes” on a resolution to protect human rights defenders.

Hendry, 30, a coordinator with civil society group Pusat Komas, said she felt her freedom of expression was being curtailed and she did not understand why the case against her was still being dragged on.

She said Malaysia had gone back on its promise at the United Nations by continuing to persecute her.

“This has to stop. Because they (the government) cannot put on a different mask as soon as they leave Malaysia. Then, when they come back to Malaysia, they continue to prosecute them (human rights defenders),” she told Malaysiakini outside the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court today. Read more

Thousands petition Dewan Negara to reject security bill

Source: The Malaysian Insider

A petition urging the Dewan Negara to reject the National Security Council (NSC) Bill 2015 has garnered over 21,500 supporters since it was launched at the change.org website on December 5.

The petition, posted by “Rakyat Malaysia”, urged senators to reject the bill as it would have a “drastically negative impact on the democracy and peace of our nation”.

Tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on December 1, the bill was passed on the last day of the lower house’s sitting on December 3, after some six hours of debate.

The bill allows a council headed by the prime minister to declare a security area and order arrests, searches and property seizures in that area without a warrant.

Critics said it would grant the prime minister “emergency-like powers” when such authority was with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

In a petition update on the change.org website three days ago, Rakyat Malaysia posted a thank you note to signatories and reminded people that Dewan Negara would start discussing the bill this week.

Urging more to sign the petition, the update also said, “We must not lose out momentum as the days go past, and we must continue our efforts in sharing information and spreading news about how much harm NSC2015 can do.”

The update also said there had been other efforts to lobby the senators through letter-writing and urged people to take action. Read more

Wheelchairs make a difference – Anthony SB Thanasayan

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Most people think that wheelchairs signal the end of the road for anyone who ends up in them.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

The term, “wheelchair-bound” is often wrongly used by the media when describing a person in a wheelchair.

The actual truth of the matter is wheelchairs are wonderfully liberating for a person who is paralysed. Without one, he or she is unable to get out of their homes and interact with the rest of society.

Wheelchairs are a key source to happiness, acceptance of disability and living. They present opportunities to the disabled to find jobs so that they can support themselves.

Wheelchairs also bring about love and romance. Read more

Suhakam budget cuts, a case of ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’? – Khoo Ying Hooi

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Over the past few months, when meeting up with some friends working in government agencies, as well as in my own university, one constant grievance in our conversation is budget cuts.

Similarly, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has met the same fate.

Suhakam’s funding was slashed by almost 50% in Budget 2016 from RM10,986,200 for 2015 to RM5,509,400 for 2016.

This raises the speculation whether the drastic budget cut was due to the commission’s voicing out against several government policies and laws that are deemed not human rights friendly.

In a recent human rights day event that I attended, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, however, denied that Suhakam’s budget cuts were the result of their criticism against government policies and laws.

What indeed “amazed” me was his proposed solution, that is, to use the organisation’s fixed deposits of RM4 million to RM4.5 million.

Following up on that, in a response to the media recently, it was obvious Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam was deeply dismayed with the drastic budget cuts and with the suggestion made by the minister. Read more

Insan Transgender: Hak untuk Memilih Jalan Hidup – Ivy Josiah

Terbitan Istimewa HAKAM sempena sambutan Hari Hak Asasi Manusia 2015
#HAKAM-MMO Human Rights Day 2015 project

INSAN TRANSGENDER BERHAK MEMILIH JALAN HIDUP SENDIRI

Karangan IVY JOSIAH

“Another Yin-Yang-Yuan Butterfly TransGender-Symbol” - By ParaDox, shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

“Another Yin-Yang-Yuan Butterfly TransGender-Symbol” – By ParaDox, shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Kita mungkin pernah membaca berita ini sepintas lalu, tetapi fakta berikut wajar diulang semula – antara bulan Oktober 2014 hingga September 2015, 271 pembunuhan insan pelbagai transgender telah dilaporkan, satu statistik global yang diumumkan pada Hari Peringatan Transgender yang jatuh pada 20 November setiap tahun untuk memberi penghormatan dan memperingati nyawa yang terkorban dalam tindakan jenayah keganasan anti-transgender.

Para aktivitis Malaysia percaya bahawa insan transgender juga menjadi mangsa pembunuhan di negara ini tetapi pihak berkuasa tidak mengiktiraf identiti jantina insan yang terbunuh dan mengiktiraf pembunuhan sebagai jenayah kebencian. 1

Nyawa yang sengaja dikorbankan kerana anda ingin memilih jalan hidup sendiri pastinya tidak adil. Namun kita diyakinkan bahawa hak terhadap kehidupan, kebebasan dan keselamatan diri yang termaktub dalam Perkara 3 Deklarasi Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat (UDHR) wajar dinikmati oleh SEMUA insan, bukan hanya mereka yang kita anggap layak menikmati hak ini. Sebelum Perkara 3, Perkara 1 UDHR mengisytiharkan bahawa “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” dan Perkara 2 UDHR menjanjikan bahawa “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. Read more

Transgender person: The right to live your life – Ivy Josiah

EXCLUSIVE, published in collaboration with MMO
>> Read original article in Bahasa Malaysia 

BY IVY JOSIAH

In September 2015, 12 United Nations agencies issued a powerful joint call to action on ending violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) adults, adolescents and children. — Reuters pic

In September 2015, 12 United Nations agencies issued a powerful joint call to action on ending violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) adults, adolescents and children. — Reuters pic

OPINION, Dec 14 — We may have just glanced over it, but here it is again — between October 2014 and September 2015, there were 271 reported killings of transgender diverse persons, a global statistic released on Transgender Day of Remembrance, which falls on November 20 every year to honour and remember the lives lost in criminal acts of anti-transgender violence.

Malaysian activists believe that transgender persons have been killed here. However, the authorities did not recognise the murdered person’s gender identity and recognise the killing as a hate crime.

A life taken away deliberately because you are living your truth cannot be just.

Yet, we are assured that the right to life, liberty and security of person is enshrined in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) applies to ALL persons, not whom we think deserves to enjoy this right. Read more