Malaysian activist Nisha Ayub is first transgender to win US Women of Courage award

Source: Asian Correspondent

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

Nisha Ayub accepting the International Women of Courage award from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: Twitter

MALAYSIA’S leading defender of trangender rights, Nisha Ayub, was a recipient of the prestigious International Women of Courage Award on Tuesday in Washington D.C.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the award to Nisha and 13 others in recognition for their courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress.

In his speech, Kerry lauded Nisha for standing up for Malaysia’s transgender community, which still faces violence, discrimination, and oppression.

He said that despite threats to her own safety, Nisha remained committed to her work because “it’s what she cares about and because she knows it’s the right thing to do”.

“Nisha Ayub – for your extraordinary work to promote societies that are more just, fair and tolerant, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, we honor you,” said Kerry. Read more

Death penalty: Home Ministry says 12 executed in last six years

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Death Penalty

Death Penalty

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― Malaysia has executed 12 out of a total 829 people who were sentenced to death since 2010, the Home Ministry said today.

In a written parliamentary reply to Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, the ministry added that 95 others have received either a royal pardon or had their death sentence commuted.

“The sentence has been handed out due to the offences of murder, drug trafficking, smuggling firearms, and also kidnapping,” the ministry said.

Gobind had asked the government to give a breakdown on the death sentences meted out since 2010.

Last week, prison authorities came under criticism for what was described by Amnesty International as the “secretive” hanging of a 34-year-old man at the Taiping prison.

This was because Gunasegaran Pitchaymuthu was reportedly given very short notice regarding his execution.

Discussions and debates to abolish death penalty in Malaysia, especially under the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) had been taking place in Malaysia since 2011, but no legislative amendments had been proposed to date.