Kok’s talk on marital rape law misses the point, says WAO

Source: FMT News

Women’s aid group says new law not needed to criminalise marital rape, only an amendment to the existing law that gives husbands 'permission' to rape their wives.  Pic taken from FMT News.

Women’s aid group says new law not needed to criminalise marital rape, only an amendment to the existing law that gives husbands ‘permission’ to rape their wives. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Woman’s Aid Organisation (WAO) has dismissed the so-called “challenges” hampering the criminalisation of marital rape, saying it should not be used as an excuse to explain why forced sex during marriage cannot be recognised as a crime.

WAO advocacy manager Yu Ren Chung said this when commenting on a statement by DAP MP Teresa Kok that criminalising marital rape was a “challenge”.

Kok, who is on the Select Committee on the Review of the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, said the term “marital rape” was difficult to place within the context of the law as it was difficult to prove.

Kok said that was why the act of a husband causing hurt to his wife with the purpose of soliciting sex was an offence under Section 375A of the Penal Code.

However Yu disagreed, saying most people missed the point altogether as they were too “hung up” with the term “marital rape”.

“We don’t need to create a new law that criminalises rape in a marriage. Section 375 of the Penal Code defines rape, but then adds an exception that states it is not rape if the act is committed by a husband against the wife.”

Yu said this gave husbands “permission” to rape their wives, which should not be the case. Read more

Kenapa masih belum ada tangkapan kes Balamurugan, kata peguam

Sumber: FMT News

N Surendran dan Latheefa Koya berkata menteri dalam negeri tidak boleh mendiamkan perkara itu kerana sudah 5 minggu kes itu berlarutan sejak kematian Balamurugan dalam tahanan polis. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

N Surendran dan Latheefa Koya berkata menteri dalam negeri tidak boleh mendiamkan perkara itu kerana sudah 5 minggu kes itu berlarutan sejak kematian Balamurugan dalam tahanan polis. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Lima minggu selepas kematian dalam tahanan S Balamurugan, peguam mewakili ahli keluarganya mempersoalkan tiada lagi tangkapan atau pertuduhan dibuat berhubung kes itu.

Dalam satu kenyataan bersama hari ini, peguam N Surendran dan Latheefa Koya mempersoalkan mengapa masih belum ada tindakan walaupun gambar bedah siasat menunjukkan tahap kecederaan Balamurugan.

Peguam itu berkata keputusan bedah siasat kedua yang dijalankan Hospital Kuala Lumpur menunjukkan Balamurugan mengalami beberapa kecederaan di dada, kepala, kaki dan belakang, membuktikan beliau diserang dengan teruk ketika dalam tahanan polis.

Bulan lalu, pegawai polis yang dipercayai terbabit dalam kematiannya dipanggil untuk soal siasat. Bagaimanapun, Ketua Polis Selangor Abdul Samah Mat berkata pegawai terbabit tidak boleh digantung tugas.

“Kami masih menyiasat mereka. Kami tidak boleh menghukum seseorang sebelum siasatan lengkap untuk menentukan jika berlaku sebarang salah laku,” kata Abdul Samah.

Balamurugan, 44, meninggal dunia pada 8 Februari ketika ditahan di balai polis Klang Utara. Dia ditahan pada 6 Februari dan dibawa ke mahkamah bagi mendapatkan perintah reman keesokan harinya. Read more

Shocking neglect of duty by 1MDB board and chairman, says Pua

Source: FMT News

Men walk past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Men walk past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund’s flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua says it is ridiculous that the three-man board of 1MDB, chaired by Irwan Siregar, has not met since before July last year, with all that is happening around the world linked to the state-owned investment firm.

Referring to his question on the re-audit of 1MDB accounts for the year 2013 and 2014 in the Dewan Rakyat last week, Pua noted that the finance minister had responded that the Board of Directors will make a decision “after further discussions with the new auditor”.

“The ministry’s reply also stated that the last time the Board of Directors met to discuss the implications of the US Department of Justice asset-seizure suit was prior to July 26, 2016 when 1MDB had issued a press statement.

“Irwan Serigar must answer as to why he and his fellow directors are so tardy in making urgent and critical decisions on the financial audit of scandal-ridden 1MDB,” the DAP national publicity secretary said in a statement released today.

Irwan Serigar was named chairman of the 1MDB board in May last year.

Saying with court prosecutions having taken place over the past six months in Singapore and Switzerland, against banks which had facilitated money-laundering transactions linked to US$5 billion allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB, Pua questioned how could Irwan Siregar act as if it is no big deal. Read more

Beauty will not meet her Beast after all in Malaysia

Source: FMT News

Dan Stevens (kiri) bersama Emma Watson bergambar ketika promosi ‘Beauty and the Beast’ di London pada 23 Februari 2017. — Foto Reuters

Actors Dan Stevens (L) and Emma Watson pose for photographers at a media event for the film Beauty and the Beast in London, Britain February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

PETALING JAYA: Just when we thought Beauty and her Beast could come out to play, it looks like they will have to stay behind closed doors now that the local distributor has decided to shelve the release of the movie indefinitely despite getting the green light from the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) .

“Beauty and the Beast” met with controversy recently when its director Bill Condon revealed that the movie contained a “nice exclusive gay moment” involving one its characters.

Speaking to The Associated Press, LPF chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid confirmed that the controversial homosexual scene had been axed as it was deemed inappropriate to Malaysian audiences, and the movie given a PG13 rating, requiring that children below 13 years of age be accompanied by a parent.

“We have approved it but there is a minor cut involving a gay moment. It is only one short scene but it is inappropriate because many children will be watching this movie,” Abdul Halim told AP.

He also said the film’s distributor The Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd had not appealed to the LPF about their decision to cut the gay scene. Read more

Women’s rights under assault worldwide: UN chief

Source: New Straits Times

Pic by Brendan Smialowski, for AFP.

Pic by Brendan Smialowski, for AFP.

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES: Women’s rights are under fresh assault worldwide, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday as a two-week conference kicked off at the United Nations to take stock of the fight for gender equality.

President Donald Trump’s “global gag rule” cutting US funding to groups that offer abortion services and Russia’s decision to ease punishment for domestic violence are casting a long shadow on the annual gathering of the Commission on the Status of Women.

“Globally, women are suffering new assaults on their safety and dignity,” Guterres told the opening session of the conference at UN headquarters in New York.

“Some governments are enacting laws that curtail women’s freedoms. Others are rolling back legal protections against domestic violence.”

“Women’s rights are human rights – and attacks on women are attacks on all of us. This is why we have to respond together,” he added. Read more

DAP: Child sex crimes bill must include child marriage ban

Source: FMT News

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching regrets that the opposition has been kept in the dark about the bill to address sexual crimes against children despite requests by the opposition to be included in preparing the bill. Pic from FMT News.

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching regrets that the opposition has been kept in the dark about the bill to address sexual crimes against children despite requests by the opposition to be included in preparing the bill. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A new bill to address sexual crimes against children must include a ban on child marriages, DAP said today.

In a statement, DAP assistant national publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching applauded Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement of the bill, which will be tabled in the current session of Parliament.

However, she said, the party was in the dark over whether the bill would also address the issue of child marriage.

Last October she had requested Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said to include opposition MPs in the preparation of the bill but this was not done.

Teo said many opposition lawmakers had been campaigning for a more stringent and comprehensive law to address crimes against children. She said the war against sexual grooming was apolitical, and that opposition MPs should be included in consultations over the bill. Read more

Stop Batumalai brothers’ execution pending appeal, say Amnesty

Source: FMT News

Rames and Suthar Batumalai’s family members asked to visit them in prison in view of new execution date set for this Friday.

Amnesty International Malaysia calls for stay of execution of death penalties pending appeal. Pic taken from FMT News.

Amnesty International Malaysia calls for stay of execution of death penalties pending appeal. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The reprieve that two brothers on death row had received when their execution was not carried out on Feb 23 as scheduled has proved to be temporary.

Rames and Suthar Batumalai will face the hangman’s noose this Friday, according to Amnesty International Malaysia.

“The family of Rames and Suthar Batumalai were today handed a letter notifying them of the imminent execution and asking them to visit the two at Kajang Prison for the last time tomorrow.

“This is a surprising move considering there is a clemency application pending a decision by the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board. Rames and Suthar must not be executed while there is an appeal pending,” Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, Amnesty International Malaysia’s executive director said in a statement.

Rames ad Suthar were sentenced to death in April 2010 under Section 302 of the Penal Code after they were found guilty of murdering Krishnan Raman on Feb 4, 2006. The brothers have maintained their innocence. Read more

Malaysia allows Beauty and the Beast screening but censors ‘gay moment’

Source: Asian Correspondent

Director of the movie Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken pose with cast members Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the premiere of "Beauty and the Beast" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Director of the movie Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken pose with cast members Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the premiere of “Beauty and the Beast” in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

MALAYSIA will allow Beauty and the Beast to be shown in cinemas, after reports on Monday its release would be postponed indefinitely.

Disney Malaysia confirmed the premiere and the film’s release on Thursday would be delayed after objections from the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF).

Release of the film, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, was reportedly on hold for “internal review” by authorities.

SEE ALSO: Film censorship is being used to quell discourse in Malaysia

Later in the day, however, LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star Online “the film has been approved with a P13 parental guidance classification, with a minor cut.”

The authorities had made a minor edit on the film after concerns about a “gay moment.”

Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon told gay lifestyle magazine Attitude this month the film would feature “a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

Local cinema companies Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and TGV Cinemas were offering refunds for Malaysian customers who had already bought tickets.

The GSC website still reads “movie not available” where the synopsis of Beauty and the Beast should be. Read more

She strives to help marginalised communities in Malaysia

Source: Star2

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Through Justice for Sisters, Thilaga Sulathireh hope to raise public awareness about issues surrounding violence and persecution of the Mak Nyah community in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Rohaizat Md Darus

Thilaga Sulathireh is brimming with hope. The 30-year-old activist believes there is more support now for the LGBT community, a most vulnerable group in society.

“We see a lot of cis-gender, hetrosexual people speaking out against the discrimination the LGBTQ community faces and that’s really a positive step in our activism. There are limitations in Malaysia when it comes to talking about gender identity. Yet, people want to talk about it now. This is really encouraging and something we cherish.

“Take the recent murder of Sameera (in Kuantan recently) as an example … there was a huge public outcry not just within the trans community but from the general public,” says the co-founder of Justice for Sisters, a group formed to raise awareness on violence and persecution against the transgender community in Malaysia.

Thilaga’s activism began when she began volunteering with the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) as a teenager. Read more

Affirmative action is morally wrong — Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Source: FMT News

By WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN

As long as ethnic-based affirmative action remains, we will continue to be a society operating in a downward spiral of suspicion and discomfort about each other. — Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Wan Saiful Wan Jan - The Star Online file pic

Wan Saiful Wan Jan – The Star Online file pic

Anyone interested to objectively study the topic of affirmative action must read the seminal book by Thomas Sowell entitled “Affirmative Actions Around the World”. The global study of affirmative action was published by Yale University Press in 2004, and it is probably still one of the most authoritative studies on the topic until today.

Sowell said in the book: “Some groups in some countries imagine themselves entitled to preferences and quotas just because they are indigenous ‘sons of the soil’, even when they are in fact not indigenous, as the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka and the Malays in Malaysia are not.”

This is a very strong statement. Sowell commented specifically about Malaysia. And he said that the Malays are claiming the right to preferential treatment through affirmative action because they are indigenous, even though they are not really indigenous to this land.

When affirmative action was implemented through the New Economic Policy (NEP), it was done with all the good intentions. Our second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein had a very good intention to rectify what he saw as structural weaknesses faced by our country at that time.

But as time went by, despite the original good intention, the affirmative action policy turned into an ugly beast.

What was supposed to be a temporary assistance programme evolved into a sense of entitlement, and then morphed into a monster called Malay rights that cannot be debated, let alone be removed. Read more