Report: Asean not spending enough on cybersecurity

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Although awareness of digital attacks is high, Asean countries including Malaysia are not spending enough on cybersecurity, a global consulting firm says.

In a report released on Tuesday, AT Kearney said in 2017, Asean countries collectively spent only 0.06% of their GDP, or US$1.9 billion (RM7.4 billion), on cybersecurity.

This was in contrast to the global average of 0.13%.

Read more

‘Malaysia must lead Asean on Rohingya crisis’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The Malaysian Insight pic, December 16, 2017.

(From left) Iftikhar Rashid, Prof Romel Zaman, Prof Emeritus Marika Vicziany and Prof Greg Barton at an international conference in Melbourne, Australia. – The Malaysian Insight pic, December 16, 2017.

ASEAN must end its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a member state and get tough with Myanmar over the Rohingya crisis, experts said at an international conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Malaysia should take the lead, given that it bears the brunt of the human migration crisis out of Myanmar, the experts on South Asian and Southeast Asian affairs said.

Since August, an estimated 650,000 refugees have fled a military operation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, described by the UN and US as “ethnic cleansing”. Most are in Bangladesh but an estimated 62,000 Rohingya now live in Malaysia.

Recently, the Bangladeshi authorities arrested an alleged human trafficker and intercepted two Rohingya refugees preparing to board a boat for Malaysia. 

“This is not a domestic issue anymore (for Malaysia),” Monash University PhD candidate Iftikhar Rashid told The Malaysian Insight, expanding on remarks he made at the Rohingya roundtable organised by the university’s National Centre for South Asian Studies (NCSAS) and the Asia Centre in Bangkok.

“Malaysia should take the lead, given (that) out of all the Asean countries, it bears the brunt the most, that is, about 200,000 refugees.” 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

Crackdown against undocumented migrants in Malaysia

Source: Asian Tribune

Lawmakers from across the ASEAN region expressed concerns today over the Malaysian government’s ongoing crackdown against undocumented migrants in the country, which began on 1 July and has already resulted in thousands detained in facilities notorious for their poor conditions. APHR Board Member Mu Sochua – a member of the Cambodian National Assembly.

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a collective of regional lawmakers, urged the Malaysian government to prioritize the protection of human rights and ensure the fair treatment of all workers, many of whom end up undocumented through no fault of their own.  Read more

Conclude regional agreement to protect foreign workers, says Malaysian Bar

Source: FMT News

M Ramachelvam says the present arrangement of bilateral labour agreements does not adequately protect migrant workers or workers’ welfare, or ensure decent work for migrants. Pic drawn from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The welfare of foreign employees can be enhanced if the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) formalises a decade-old declaration to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers, says the Malaysian Bar.

Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Committee chairperson M Ramachelvam said the Asean declaration was initiated in January 2007.

“Article 22 of the declaration tasked Asean with developing an instrument which is in line with the region’s vision of a caring and sharing community,” he said.

However, he added that Asean had failed to adopt the framework during a meeting in April this year.

“It is hoped that the instrument will be adopted at the next Asean Summit in the Philippines in November,” he said. Read more

3rd Meeting of the Task Force on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community


The Task Force on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community has concluded its third meeting on 22-23 June 2017 in Phuket, Thailand. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Leo Herrera-Lim, Chair of the AICHR and Representative of the Philippines to the AICHR and H.E. Dr. Mu’man Nuryana, Chair of SOMSWD and SOMSWD Focal Point of Indonesia.

The Meeting extensively discussed the outline of the Regional Action Plan on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN, taking into consideration the priority areas indicated in the Mobilisation Framework of ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2011-2020. Read more

Civil society Groups push for Asean human rights court


Civil society organizations across Southeast Asia on Saturday called on their governments to prepare the ground for the establishment of an independent regional court to promote and protect human rights and prosecute abuses by member states.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Civil Society Conference (ACSC) said it was time for the regional bloc to create its own human rights court, especially since governments in the region were “installing laws and committing actions that continue to destroy the enabling environment for civil society organizations and grassroots organizations.”

“Ordinary innocent people become targets of extrajudicial killings. Leaders of groups challenging government policies are harassed, jailed, disappeared or even killed,” said Jelen Paclarin, ACSC’s regional steering committee chair. Read more

Southeast Asia’s leaders steer away from democracy, say activists

Source: FMT News

By every measure, the region is falling deeper into dictatorship, repression, and rights abuse. Pic from FMT News.

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war is part of a worrying assault on human rights and democracy across Southeast Asia, activists said as regional leaders gathered in Manila on Friday.

Duterte has been condemned in the West for the crackdown, which has claimed thousands of lives since he took power last year, but he is expected to enjoy the support of most of his guests as he hosts the heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

This is partly because the leaders of most other countries in the region have few democratic credentials themselves, or have human rights clouds hanging over them, according to Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. Read more

Tackling human trafficking in ASEAN — Ruji Auethavornpipat

Tackling human trafficking in ASEAN — Ruji Auethavornpipat

Source: New Mandala


ASEAN’s new convention against human trafficking is noteworthy progress on an issue that plagues Southeast Asia. But without a focus on prevention, trafficking won’t stop, writes Ruji Auethavornpipat

Taken from

Taken from

On 6 February, the Philippines became the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ratify the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). The ACTIP will now come into force in 30 days.

This is monumental for ASEAN as the ACTIP is the first legally-binding regional instrument to tackle human trafficking. However, three fundamental issues will impede the successful eradication of human trafficking in the ASEAN region. Read more

Talking Refugees: ASEAN and Refugee Crisis in the Region, Practices, Policies and Solutions

Talking Refugees: ASEAN and Refugee Crisis in the Region, Practices, Policies and Solutions

The Habibie Centre of Indonesia, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and IMAN Research Malaysia will present their findings on Rohingyan refugees on February 15, 2017 at Ruang by Think City, “Talking Refugees.”

There will be a film screening, Bodies for Sale by Mahi Ramakrishnan with a Q & A after that, and a panel discussion.

There will also be a photo exhibition by Greg Constantine, an award-winning photographer from the US who has spent more than a decade photographing stateless people around the world, including the Rohingya. His photos on the Rohingya refugees have been exhibited at the United Nations, US Holocaust Museum, Peace Palace in The Hague, European Parliament in Brussels amongst many other places.



1.30pm to 2.00pm Guests registration

2.00pm to 2.15pm Welcome addresses

2.15pm to 3.15pm Film screening “Bodies for Sale” and Q & A

3.15 to 3.30pm Break

3.30pm to 4.30pm
Platform Overview of Refugee Situation in SEA – Presentation by The Habibie Center
Presenters: Wirya Adiwena and Mohamad Hasan Ansori, The Habibie Centre

4.30pm to 5.30pm
Panel discussion – ASEAN & Malaysia: Situation On The Ground and Regional Implications
Moderator: Kyai Win, Burma Human Rights Network
Panelists: YB Charles Santiago, MP Klang; SM Anwar, Rohingya Vision TV, Haji Ahmad Azam, ABIM, Lilianne Fan, (International Director, Geutanyoe Foundation)
Q & A

For more information on the event, please contact Badrul Hisham Ismail, Programme Director, IMAN Research at