Gender inequality, discrimination against minorities still rife, Comango reports

Source: The Malay Mail

(From left) Executive director of EMPOWER, Angela M. Kuga Thas, Advocacy and Capacity-building officer EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, executive director of Suaram, Sevan Doraisamy, and Migration Working Group (MWG) coordinator, Bina Ramanand, hold copies of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — In its report to the United Nations (UN) launched today, a coalition of local NGOs highlighted the continued rampancy of gender inequality and discriminations over religion, race, sexual orientation and gender identity, rights of the Orang Asli, and disabilities here.The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), specifically highlighted the country’s dismal performance at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) review earlier this year.

“The Cedaw Committee’s questions on matters that violate Muslim women’s rights were attacked by government-linked, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (Macsa) and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), both of which adhere to the Islamic human rights framework of the Cairo Declaration and therefore, reject gender equality.

“They and government officials claimed that female genital mutilation or cutting, whipping, polygamy, and women’s and girls’ unequal inheritance are non-issues in Malaysia,” said the report launched today. Read more

Blaming LGBT won’t cure HIV, AIDS, council says

Source: Malay Mail Online

The Malaysian Aids Council said hate attitudes against people with HIV or AIDS will worsen the current situation in the country. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Taking a combative and homophobic or transphobic attitude towards people with HIV or AIDS will not stop the disease from spreading, the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) said today.

It added that such hate attitudes, especially if adopted by medical professionals, will worsen the current situation in the country where infection rates have already reached a whopping 84 per cent.

“With the rise of sexually transmitted HIV (which accounted for 84 per cent of new infections last year), certain quarters were quick to point the finger of blame to these sexual minorities and the LGBT community.

“In response, we warned about the harms of hate and fear mongering and spoke against allowing homophobia and transphobia from pervading the HIV/AIDS discourse,” ,” MAC president Bakhtiar Talhah said in a statement to mark World AIDS day today. Read more

Take own advice on human rights, M’sia told

Source: MalaysiaKini

AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni

Malaysia should heed its own advice to the United States, for calling on the superpower to improve its human rights record, Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia said.

Malaysia advised the US to do so during the 22nd Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in Geneva on Monday.

“Malaysia must remember that the world is aware of its failing human rights record at home, especially against critics and dissent.

“The recent mass arrests of peaceful protesters, the clampdown on the freedom of expression, offline and online, as well as continued use of the death penalty for non-serious crimes constitute only a handful of human rights violations committed by Malaysia.

“Perhaps, it is time that Malaysia takes its own advice,” AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysia’s advised the US to stop excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, address discrimination against minority groups and ban torture and inhumane treatment of detainees.

Shamini said these were the same recommendations made to Malaysia its own UPR last March, which it had rejected. Read more