Increasing powers of Shariah Courts may lead to violation of human rights in Malaysia — JAG

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MAY 31 — The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) express our concern at the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, to increase the punishments meted out by Shariah courts.

We are concerned of the manner in which this Private Members’ Bill was tabled in Parliament.  JAG urges that the government and the other parties involved give full regard to the democratic way which we must observe in putting forward any legislation, particularly where the public has significant concerns.  Considering the level of debate this has generated in the public sphere, JAG requests that any future tabling of this Private Members’ Bill or anything akin to it go through a thorough process which accords full and fair transparency and debate prior to its tabling in Parliament.  It is our right as citizens of this country to be given our opportunity to present our views on a legislation that will have deep impact on our society in the future. Read more

Chegubard among 10 fined for role in Blackout 505 rally

Source: NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Activists Badrul Hisham Shaharin (popularly known as Chegubard), Adam Adli Abd Halim and Muhammad Safwan Anang@Talib were among 10 people fined RM6,000 each for rioting and being members of the illegal Blackout 505 rally three years ago.

Sessions Court judge Abdul Rashid Daud today handed down the penalties after he ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in proving their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Badrul, 38, Adam, 27, Safwan, 27, and seven others were convicted of committing both offences at Jalan Parlimen, Dang Wangi here, between 9.15am and 11.25am on June 24, 2013.

The other seven accused were Norazimah Mohamad Nor, 41, Ahmad Shauqie Abdul Aziz, 26, Ahmad Syukri Che Ab Razab, 31, Lim Sue Pei, 59, Edy Noor Reduan, 35, Md Sani Md Shah, 38, and Ekhsan Bukharee Badarul Hisham, 25.

Abdul Rashid ordered them to serve nine months imprisonment if they fail to pay the fine. Read more

129,000 trapped in slavery in Malaysia, study finds

Source: The Star Online


Image drawn from The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Almost 46 million across the world are trapped in modern slavery, with 129,000 people in Malaysia enslaved, a study shows.

According to the Global Slavery Index 2016, published by the Walk Free Foundation, there are 28% more people enslaved than previously estimated, with 45.8 million reported last year, compared with 35.8 million in 2014.

The report found that approximately 129,000 individuals, or 0.4% of Malaysia’s population are still trapped in modern slavery.

In the context of Southeast Asia, Malaysia has the fifth highest prevalence of slavery in terms of percentage, placing it behind Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei and Thailand.

According to the report, there were cases of forced labour and exploitation within certain industries. However, in the context of the absolute number of people trapped in modern slavery, Malaysia ranks 50th, far behind countries like Indonesia, with 736,100 people, and Myanmar, with 515,100 people. Read more

Malaysia’s unity, freedoms at risk with hudud Bill, interfaith group warns

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 ― The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) expressed today its opposition to the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016, and warned that the proposed law risks weakening the country’s constitutional liberties, including religious freedom.

Malaysia’s umbrella body representing non-Muslim religions urged Putrajaya to withdraw its support for the private member’s Bill tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Parliament last week.

“It has the potential to undermine religious freedom and fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Constitution. The Non-Muslim’s position too would be in jeopardy under Hudud and they would not have equal rights if implemented,” the group said in a statement.

MCCBCHST said it was “aghast” at Umno minister Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman’s complicity to expedite Hadi’s Bill through the Dewan Rakyat and reminded the Najib administration that all past five prime ministers had rejected previous attempts to introduce hudud law into a multiracial and multireligious nation because it would have jeopardised the position of the non-Muslim communities.

It urged the government not to ignore the advice of the past five prime ministers and the history of the country.

“Our former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had warned the PAS government of Kelantan in 1994 against introducing Hudud Law in the State because ‘Hudud Law punishes victims while actual criminals were often left off with minimum punishment,” it said. Read more