Bersih kicks off campaign to encourage voter registration

Source: FMT News

Bersih 2.0 staff and supporters campaigning to encourage more people to register as voters as part of a campaign to boost voter registration. The electoral watchdog also urges Election Commission once again to give them ARO status so they can help register eligible voters.

Bersih 2.0 staff and supporters encourage more people to register as voters as part of a campaign to boost voter registration. The electoral watchdog also urges Election Commission once again to give them ARO status so they can help register eligible voters. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 took to the ground to encourage more people to register as voters as part of a campaign to boost voter registration.

The nationwide campaign kicked off in several locations today including Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Sabah and Kedah.

Former Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan campaigned at the Pudu Sentral entrance and even escorted those who wanted to register as voters to the nearest post office where she waited until they completed the registration process.

“We want as many people to register before the end of the month because we don’t know when the next general election (GE14) will be held.”

In Kuantan, Pahang, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah led the campaign at the Kuantan Urban Transformation Centre (UTC). The campaign was also held in Donggongon and Inanam, Sabah as well as Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah and Jitra in Kedah.

Ambiga said the campaign was aimed at showing people how quick and easy it was to register as a voter.

“Perhaps many feel it is a tedious process, but as we saw for ourselves, the registration process took under five minutes after a person’s queue ticket number was called.” Read more

Help stop child exploitation

Source: The Star Online

MEMBERS of the public are being urged to take photos of children begging or being forced to work, and send the images to the police.

Speaking to reporters after the Perak Police Contingent Headquarters (IPK) monthly assembly, Perak CID Chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Gan Tian Kee said, instead of feeling pity and providing money, people should be assisting the police to ensure that children are not being exploitated.

“If you see a child beggar, do not give them any money. Take a photo and send it to us. We will immediately take action.

“The child is not going to benefit because the money you give them may be going to a syndicate and that should not happen at all,” he said.

“In our country, we should not have child beggars but it is still happening,” SAC Gan lamented.

“Sometimes I wonder if we have become less caring. Give us information instead of giving them the money and you might save that child from syndicates,” he added. Read more

Baby dumping: Are we all to blame? — Gayatri Unsworth

Source: FMT News

BY GAYATRI UNSWORTH

Picture taken from FMT News

Picture taken from FMT News

A baby was born a few days ago. Soon after, he was hastily wrapped in a piece of cloth and tied outside to the grill of a window. His young mother then tried to feign discovery of him as she alerted her family to his presence. The physical strain of having just given birth however, was simply too much to conceal and she eventually admitted to investigating officers that the child was hers.

This 19-year-old mother, not too long ago a child herself, had somehow managed to keep her pregnancy a secret from her family. As a consequence, she had no choice but to give birth to her baby unassisted, before somehow summoning the strength to disguise that baby and pass him off as someone else’s. One can only imagine the immense pain and exhaustion she must have endured, not to mention the agony of having to suffer that pain silently so as not to alert anyone else in her household of her situation.

That baby is one of the lucky few, however. At the very least, despite clearly not wanting to claim him as her own, his young mother nevertheless kept him alive. Many undesired infants before him, have suffered far more terrible fates. We have all heard of the innumerable cases of babies being abandoned upon birth and in all likelihood, we will continue to hear of more such incidents in the future.

Over the years, babies have been dumped and discarded in the most horrific of places all over the country, with many dying tragic deaths, within hours of being born. Babies have been flushed down toilets, chucked in garbage bins, discarded at playgrounds, dumped in bushes and disposed of at bus-stops. One newborn baby was flung alive, from the third-floor of an apartment block by her mother, the impact causing her skull to shatter. She was found covered in blood by passersby, her umbilical cord still attached. Read more

Report: Carey Island port project threatens ancestral home of native Mah Meri

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File photo showing members of the Mah Meri tribe performing a ritual dance during a thanksgiving ceremony on Carey Island. — Reuters pic, drawn from MMO

File photo showing members of the Mah Meri tribe performing a ritual dance during a thanksgiving ceremony on Carey Island. — Reuters pic, drawn from MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Mah Meri Orang Asli will lose not only their ancestral homes but their age-old lifestyle on Carey Island if the federal government goes ahead with plans to build a mega port city there.

In a report today, Al Jazeera pointed out that the indigenous Mah Meri have a very close relationship with their ancestral land and the natives were upset that they may be relocated due to the port project.

“It’s not that fair… if they want to take, they will take. There is no land title or grant,” one of the tribesmen identified by a single name, Kemi, told the Qatari broadcaster.

Rashid Esa who manages the Mah Meri Cultural Village on the island, said the island was home and that it meant everything to the indigenous people.

“Their environment, their surroundings, this is their life… (Mah Meri) are unique people. They are not from our time, really,” he was quoted as saying.

The resistance to the Carey Island port proposal was not limited to the older generation. Sazrin Gali, 15, was also reported saying that he will fight for the island if it was taken away from him.

“I will resist… this is the land where I was born. Everyone will protest,” Sazrin was quoted as saying. Read more

Abused workers kept in jungles, says Tenaganita

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Most cases involving the abuse of migrant workers occur deep in jungles and in plantations located far from towns, the human rights organisation Tenaganita has alleged.

According to Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das, the abused workers, including those with families, are kept in “absolute isolation” from the outside world.

“Many don’t even know where they are and are too afraid to leave or run away because they have been threatened by the employers and agents, who use local gangsters to control them,” she told FMT.

She said Tenaganita was also aware of families brought into Malaysia on tourist visas and then sent to work deep in the jungles. She said they would remain in employment after the expiry of their visas.

“The agents and employers practise this form of exploitation and violation because there is no clear comprehensive policy for recruitment, placement and employment of migrant workers,” she added.

She was responding to a recent news report about human trafficking and the abuse of eighteen people at an oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu.

According to The Star daily, the victims, including five children, were lured to the isolated plantation, accessible only by four-wheel drive along dirt roads. After their rescue, they told police they were made to work long hours, with the children forced to carry the harvested fruits. Read more

4.1m Malaysians yet to register as voters, says EC

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SHAH ALAM, March 3 — A total of 4.1 million Malaysians who are eligible to vote have yet to register as voters as of February this year, Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said today.

He said the comprised of various races, with the majority comprising those around 21 years of age.

As such, he said the commission was working with the private sector to organise various programmes to get them to register.

“Based on the latest statistics, about 45 per cent of Malaysians are the young people, with more than four million of them not registered as voters, it is worrisome.

“If they do not register as voters, there is no point talking (on the country’s political situation) on the social media, if what is spoken cannot be translated into votes,” he told reporters after launching the Voter Registration Campaign at Kompleks Media Kumpulan Karangkraf here today.

He said among the factors the young people did not register as voters was they did not understand the important of the “people’s power” or the absence of facilities, especially in the rural areas, for them to do so. Read more