Finally free from ‘abuse’ after 10 years, children may now lose their home

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

IPOH, Dec 27 — After enduring physical and mental abuse for about 10 years while living in a home for underprivileged children, a group of 12 girls finally spoke up. But now they are in danger of losing the very home that has given them some semblance of normalcy… despite the alleged abuse.

The girls, aged between seven to 18, live in Kaakum Karangal (Tamil for “Caring Hands”) located in the middle-class Lim Garden neighbourhood of Ipoh.

They study at the Tarcisian Convent primary and secondary schools which are just walking distance away and largely regarded as one of Ipoh’s more prominent schools.

The home, established in 2002, is funded by the Society of Caring Hands Ipoh, an NGO comprising successful and respected Indian businessmen, retired top civil servants, and other highly-regarded professionals from Ipoh.

But earlier this year, an unexpected turn of events caused the previously passive members of the society to look closely at how the home was run, which later brought to light allegations of both physical and mental abuse. Read more

Wujudkan ‘sistem khas’ urus Rohingya, kata Syed Hamid

Sumber: FMT News

SELAYANG: Kerajaan perlu mewujudkan “sistem khas” untuk menguruskan peningkatan jumlah kaum Rohingya di Malaysia, kata Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, Duta Khas Pertubuhan Kerjasama Islam (OIC) ke Myanmar.

Beliau berkata terdapat 50,000 Rohingya di Malaysia dan jumlah itu semakin meningkat dengan ramai di antara mereka mempunyai anak pada usia muda.

“Mereka berkahwin awal, mempunyai ramai anak. Kita tidak mahu anak-anak itu dieksploitasi mana-mana kumpulan jenayah bagi kepentingan mereka,” katanya selepas memberi bantuan makanan kepada kira-kira 200 Rohingya.

Acara ini diadakan di sebuah pusat pendidikan komuniti Rohingya di Selayang.

Beliau berkata, pendekatan baru diperlukan untuk menguruskan masyarakat Rohingya. Read more

Envoy moots special card to legalise, protect stateless Rohingya

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Organisation of Islamic Countries special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (right) is pictured distributing aid to the Rohingya community in Taman Selayang, Gombak December 26, 2016. MMO pic.

Organisation of Islamic Countries special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (right) is pictured distributing aid to the Rohingya community in Taman Selayang, Gombak December 26, 2016. MMO pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — A special immigration card to identify and confer legal status to the stateless Rohingya community should be established, Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar suggested today.

Rather than relying on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) card which identified refugees, the proposed new system would enable the Rohingya to be legally employed, receive medical attention and their children enrolled into legit schools, he added.

“We must have a system of registration. It would be easy for them to get jobs and make them not illegal. A card system like the immigration card can be issued to them,” he told a news conference after handing out welfare aid to the Rohingya community here.

‘The UNHCR cards only show that they are refugees. We want them to have rights before problems in their country is solved under international laws,” he added.

Syed Hamid also said that while Malaysia accepts the Rohingyas escaping their conflict-riddled home state in Myanmar, there is currently no structured framework in place to prevent the people from being exploited.

“We need to structure ourselves properly. We cannot be like now… so that they can get healthcare, go to school and get rights. Read more

Malaysians will protest Rohingyan plight with rage, then they forget — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

IT was only a few months ago when Malaysians grew livid and disgusted with what was happening to the Rohingya in Burma, accusing the Burmese government of not only oppressing the people but even of ethnic cleansing as well.

They carried out protests, chanted and fumed at the Burmese government. Even the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak got in the act and attended a huge rally at a stadium organised by his ruling party.

Why a prime minister and his administration would need to organise a demonstration leaves a big question mark since they are in a position to create policies and use diplomatic ties to act. But that is not the point of this article.

The point of this article is to question what has happened following all the angry protests. It seems that as the trend of protesting in support of the Rohingya slowly fizzles out, the passion exuded by most of the Malaysian people followed suit. Read more

The Palestine tragedy — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

IMAGINE being evicted from your home and land where you have lived for generations; and the “evictor” settling on your land. This is utter lawlessness. Yet it is the reality in Israel-occupied Palestine.

In one such typical case, Palestinian landowners in a village in the occupied West Bank were forcibly removed – to make way for the settlement of 40 Israeli families.

The dispossessed Palestinians took this matter to court. To its credit, the Israel High Court ordered that the settlements be dismantled; and the land restored to the owners.

Read more

Putrajaya ramps up request for Facebook users’ data in first half 2016

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Facebook’s latest Global Government Requests Report said Putrajaya has requested data for 35 users and accounts.

Facebook — AFP pic

Facebook — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — The Malaysian government has asked Facebook 19 times for data on its users in the first half of this year compared to just 13 requests in the previous half, a report has revealed.

The social media giant’s latest Global Government Requests Report said Putrajaya has requested data for 35 users and accounts, almost double from just 18 in the previous half.

Out of the 19 requests, 18 were for legal process. There was a single request on emergency matters.

Facebook said it has complied by giving Putrajaya 68.42 per cent of the data requested in that period.

Facebook’s Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby said the number of requests from governments worldwide has increased this year which was reflected in the twice annual report.

“Government requests for account data increased by 27 per cent globally compared to the last half of 2015, increasing from 46,710 to 59,229 requests,” he said in a press release. Read more

Delimitation of election constituencies — Syahredzan Johan

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAHREDZAN JOHAN

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

Syahredzan Johan is a young lawyer and partner of a legal firm in Kuala Lumpur. Pic taken from the Star.

Over the past few months, you likely would have read or heard news on the delimitation (also known as redelineation) exercise being undertaken by the Elections Commission (EC).

Many quarters have criticised and objected the proposals for delimitation put forth by the EC. Legal proceedings have been initiated by individuals as well as a state government against the Commission on various aspects of the delimitation exercise. This article will not delve into the legal issues in those legal proceedings. Instead, this article will attempt to provide a concise summary of the whole process.

The delimitation process is provided for by the Federal Constitution. Firstly, the Federal Constitution creates the institution of the Elections Commission, which is tasked to carry out elections to the Dewan Rakyat as well as the Legislative Assemblies of the various states throughout the Federation. The Commission is also tasked to prepare and review the electoral roll for the elections. Read more

Speak out to stay relevant, minister tells Christians

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Christians make up 9.2 per cent of the country’s population according to the last census in 2010, the third largest religious group after Muslims and Buddhists. — Bernama pic

Christians make up 9.2 per cent of the country’s population according to the last census in 2010, the third largest religious group after Muslims and Buddhists. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Christians should be politically active in order to have their opinion heard by Putrajaya, a minister reminded followers of the faith today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said Christians do not necessarily need to enter politics but must raise their concerns on issues in order to avoid seeing their rights impinged.

“The Christian community, you must be politically relevant. I’m not saying you must form a political party.

“You must be united and your voice must be heard in the corridors of the government,” he said during his speech at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas High Tea today.

Low added that the Christian community should raise its concerns to Putrajaya in order to continue being an important religious community in Malaysia.

“Unless until you are politically relevant, you will not be relevant. I’m not talking about engaging in politics but you should be able to influence policy in a way that reflects the ways of the God Almighty,” he said. Read more

No race should seem superior to others, says minister Paul Low

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Paul Low delivers a speech during the Suhakam forum in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Malaysians should avoid ethnic nationalism which will divide the fragile state of multiculturalism here, Datuk Paul Low said today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said one race should not be made to seem better than other races as it goes against the nation’s constitution.

“We must never put the country in a state where we have ethnic nationalism, where one ethnic group says it is superior than the other.

“We should not allow ethnic nationalism to rise in this country. Such ethnic nationalism will basically expound a philosophy of supremacy, a philosophy of exclusiveness,” Low said during his speech at the Christian Federation of Malaysia Christmas High Tea. Read more

ASEAN’s tangled web: Governments flex legal muscles to stifle online dissent

Source: Asian Correspondent

AS the 2016 calendar year draws to a close, analysts and experts are rolling out predictions and looking back at the past 12 months in review – What have we achieved so far? Where will we be at the dawning of 2017?

2016 has witnessed exponential advances in technology: From self-driving vehicles to virtual reality headsets, artificially intelligent voice-controlled butlers and an ambitious plan to colonise Mars, we have seen and heard it all.

The ASEAN economy is chugging along, albeit at a slower rate, but a Focus Economics forecast says dynamics in the region will likely improve next year, after an expected 4.6 percent expansion in 2016.

“They offer important markets with middle-class consumers,” an article in Business Mirror says of emerging economies like Indonesia and Vietnam.

Hand-in-hand with growth is, of course, the demand and need for free flow of information, and the ease at which such information is accessed. As Computer Weekly suggests, the Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly gaining momentum in Southeast Asia. Citing a forecast by Frost and Sullivan, it says IoT spending in the region is expected to grow in value by 35 percent from an estimated US$1.68 billion last year to US$7.53 billion in 2020.

In fact, the region’s Internet economy on the whole is expected to be worth a staggering US$200 billion annually within just 10 years, according to a report released by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Google.

The region of 600 million is also home to highest number of social media users in the world, signalling a marked increase in access to broadband networks and with it, the inevitable shift in news appetites from traditional to new media.

But as evidenced over the year, the proliferation of new media content has stoked government fears of dissent and uprisings by media-savvy youths, and led to the implementation of tougher Internet controls, often on the pretext of maintaining peace and public order.

In fact, despite the region’s high Internet penetration and increased accessibility to web-based resources, almost all of the 10 ASEAN-member countries, with the exception of Burma, have shown either no improvement or a decline in Internet freedom rankings this year. Read more