No excuses for nixing human rights standards

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Women’s rights activist Ivy Josiah today denounced those who cite cultural and religious rules for rejecting international human rights standards.

She said governments had no choice but to say “yes” to Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw).

“The article deals with how a state or government must address stereotyping and prejudices because of culture,” she pointed out. “It must do all in its power to change that mindset. One might say it will take a long time to do that, or that I’m not going to do that ever because it’s part of my culture and religion. No. Religion and culture cannot be used as an excuse to violate someone’s rights.” Read more

Criminals are people too

Source: FMT News


Does a murderer deserve to live? Ask anybody that question, and chances are high that you get an instant and emphatic no.

Confront them, however, with real life cases of murderers on death row, and the odds take a steep drop in the other direction.

Roger Hood, a criminology professor from Oxford University, asked more than 1,500 Malaysians in a 2013 survey whether they supported capital punishment. A whopping 91% said yes for murder. Between 74% and 83% approved it for drug trafficking or firearms offences.

“But when he confronted them with a variety of scenarios consistent with capital crimes as defined in the statute books, only 1.2% said the culprit should be executed in all cases,” wrote writer Thomas Hubert in an article published by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

The survey, like a previous one Hood conducted in Japan, also shows that popular support for or opposition to the death penalty depends a lot on how the question is asked and on how much information the public has. Read more

Ending child marriage an economic gain for nation — Sharifah Halimah Jaafar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Young Muslim girls in Malaysia - APF / Manan Vatsyayana

Young Muslim girls in Malaysia – APF / Manan Vatsyayana

APRIL 7 — Mariam was a 14 year-old Form 2 student when she was forced to stop schooling after she had granted marriage to a 28 years old school clerk by her parents. She is now 20 years old, abandoned by her husband, left her with 3 young children without any financial support.

She works in a factory earning a meagre income besides getting some monthly financial aid from local Welfare Office. When asked about how she would care for her young children, she stared blankly and muttered, “I wish I hadn’t left school that early!”

The burden of child marriage in Malaysia

Globally, child marriage has affected an estimated 400 million women now aged between 20-49 years old. According to United Nation (UN) estimates, without concerted action taken, in the coming decade, approximately 14 million girls annually or 39 000 daily will get marry too young! Read more

Malaysia seeks to shut down 1MDB scandal as report blames ex-CEO

1MDB amassed more than RM50 billion of debt over six years, using some of it to purchase energy assets, including joint ventures with companies in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. ― Reuters pic

1MDB amassed more than RM50 billion of debt over six years, using some of it to purchase energy assets, including joint ventures with companies in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― Malaysian lawmakers sought to draw a line under the corruption allegations surrounding state investment company 1MDB, pinning the blame for financial lapses on its former chief executive and absolving his political bosses of responsibility for a scandal that’s roiled markets and sparked worldwide graft probes.

A bipartisan parliament committee identified at least US$4.2 billion (RM16.55 billion) of unauthorised or unverified transactions at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), in a report published yesterday. It recommended that former CEO Datuk Shahrol Halmi and other managers should be investigated, and a group of advisers headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak ― who wasn’t otherwise mentioned in the 106-page document ― be disbanded. The board of directors offered to resign. Read more