Calls for better regional effort to stop influx of Rohingya

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights groups claim the outflow of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar can only be controlled through greater regional cooperation.

Responding to a statement yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, several human rights groups claimed a durable solution to the refugee crisis can only come about if there was a greater sharing of responsibilities by countries near Myanmar.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, had said the Malaysian government would not arbitrarily issue the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) card to Rohingya refugees as it wanted to better manage their influx into the country.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” Zahid had said, but added that Malaysia did not wish to be a receiving country for Rohingya refugees whenever there were problems in Myanmar. Read more

MP wants independent probe of death in police custody

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Opposition MP M Kulasegaran has asked for an independent probe into the death in custody of security guard Baskar Rao.

The DAP politician said he had just attended the final rites of Baskar, 47, who allegedly set himself on fire while handcuffed at the Jelapang police station on Aug 22.

“Baskar’s mother wept uncontrollably not knowing how her loving son was burnt to death while in the custody, care and control of the police.

“He was in his hospital bed for the last nine days. He was fighting for his life,” said Kula in a statement.

Baskar is survived by A Thanaletchemy, 45, and his two children. He died yesterday at 4.10pm, the statement said. Read more

Wife of pastor missing for 200 days pens scathing letter to IGP

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — The wife of pastor Raymond Koh penned an open letter to police today, the 200th day since her husband was abducted, to express disappointment and consternation over the handling of the investigation.

In Susanna Liew’s letter, she said her family was denied updates on the investigations and forced instead to learn of new developments via the Inspector-General of Police and his officers’ remarks reported in the news.

Liew also noted that investigations appeared to shift towards Koh and his alleged proselytisation prior to his abduction, rather than on locating the missing Christian pastor.

Police announcements on the case were also “disturbing”, she said when complaining that these were often “sensationalist” and “inconsistent”. Read more

Move to set up committee to discuss laws to benefit children

Source: The New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR : A mediation committee comprising Muslims and non-Muslims should be set up to implement the provisions of the amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) deputy chief executive officer Prof. Madya Dr. Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil said this would enable parties to negotiate to reach a consensus to benefit children.

He also said the coordination of administrative aspects of the Syariah Court needed to be streamlined through the role of Malaysia Syariah Judiciary Department without affecting Islamic religion in other states.

“This mechanism should be implemented to ensure that efforts to upgrade the Syariah Court jurisdiction through Bill 355 can be realised,” he said. Read more

DPM denies arbitrary issuance of UNHCR card for Rohingyas

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Malaysia will not arbitrarily issue the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card to the Rohingyas who have sought refuge in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this was to avoid Malaysia and its people from being overburdened with a flood of Rohingyas fleeing the ethnic clashes in Myanmar.

The decision to deny arbitrary granting of the refugee card to the Rohingyas had the cooperation of the UNHCR itself, he said to reporters after handing over sacrificial cows for Aidiladha in his parliamentary constituency of Bagan Datuk, here, today.

“Our priority is our people and their welfare. It is not that we are not being humanitarian. I think the international community should show concern for the plight of the Rohingyas,” he said. Read more

Human trafficking eyes in the sky

Source: The Malay Mail Online

(From left) Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) president Nancy Rivard, American Airlines flight attendant Donna Hubbard and Alaska Airlines stewardess Andrea Hobart.Pic by The Malay Mail Online

SEPANG, Aug 29 — Airline staff can play a vital role to stop human trafficking in Southeast Asia and around the world, as they are at the front line of the fight against a crime which sees victims transported on major flights on a daily basis.

Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) president Nancy Rivard said air travel had become a popular human trafficking method because the mode left victims in the strong grip of traffickers.

“Picture this: A 10-year-old boy from a non-English speaking country is brought across international borders by his trafficker.

“He doesn’t understand what is going on, he is closely monitored by his trafficker, and his documentation is not with him.

“This child would be terrified for his life and the trafficker succeeds in smuggling yet another human,” Rivard said during a recent anti-trafficking roadshow orgarnised by AirAsia. Read more

Women’s council should be led by women, says Marina

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Prominent activist Marina Mahathir has slammed the appointment of two men including the prime minister to helm Putrajaya women’s empowerment council, saying it reflects a narrow “patriarchal belief” that only men can lead.

Speaking to FMT, Marina said it should be obvious to anyone that a council for women, if it sincerely wants to help them, should be led by them.

“Men appointing themselves as heads of a women’s council is another example of the sheer tone-deafness of male privilege. It underscores the patriarchal belief that only men can lead,” she said.

She was responding to the recent appointment of Najib Razak and advertising mogul Lim Kok Wing to chair national women’s empowerment council, Women’s Innovation Academy, better known as myWIN. Read more

Two Bersih leaders, PKR MP freed from 2015 #KitaLawan rally charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — The Magistrate’s Court discharged today polls reform group Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah and two others from an 2015 criminal case over a #KitaLawan rally, but issued an arrest warrant for the fourth person charged.

Lawyer Vince Tan, who represented Bersih 2.0 secretariat manager Mandeep Singh — one of the three people freed — said today was initially set for trial for the two-year-old case.

Tan said the defence team for the accused were ready for the trial, but the original deputy public prosecutor’s absence led to the discharge of three of the four accused present in court — Maria, Mandeep and PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin.

Another deputy public prosecutor had attended court proceedings today for a mention of the case on behalf of the initial deputy public prosecutor, he said.

“The court gave discharge not amounting to acquittal to all accused because the prosecution was not there. So the magistrate decided the matter, three of the accused given discharge not amounting to acquittal,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read more

Non-interference must give way to human rights — Centhra

Source: The Malay Mail Online

AUGUST 28 — The Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) is deeply concerned over the renewed violence affecting the Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine state in Myanmar which has caused hundreds of innocent lives killed and thousands other to flee to the border with neighbouring Bangladesh, whose border guards are turning them back in breach of international humanitarian principles.

While Asean members continue, disappointingly, to turn a blind eye, even the Pope, Francis I, has condemned the renewed violence and called for an end to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, which Centhra welcomes.

It must be emphasised that the current crisis in Rakhine state in Myanmar has the potential of unravelling the entire Asean project unless member states deal with it wisely. To this end, two international treaties binding the Asean community as a whole, namely the Asean Charter and the Asean Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). Read more

Rohani says 581 child abuse cases reported from 2015 until June

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — A total of 581 child abuse cases involving child caregivers were reported from 2015 until June this year, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said according to statistics from the Welfare Department, 146 of these cases occurred from early this year until June.

“Action in the form of written directives were taken against 32 nurseries while seven nurseries had their premises sealed off, 14 nurseries were issued with compounds, four were ordered to be closed temporarily, 52 had their registration terminated and another two were prosecuted within that period.

“My ministry views seriously cases of child abuse and neglect that occur in various places, including in nurseries,” she said when closing the Kindergarten at Home special workshop, aimed at ensuring all nurseries are registered with the ministry, in Putrajaya today.

She said most cases of accidents that occurred in the nurseries were those that were unregistered and arising from the caregivers having not attended the PERMATA Early Childhood Teaching and Care Course (KAP).