Interfaith buka puasa in PJ mosque a hit

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Interfaith buka puasa in PJ mosque a hit

Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz hosted a buka puasa today which many non-Muslims found an eye-opener. – The Malaysian Insight pic, June 4, 2018.

A MOSQUE in Petaling Jaya hosted a multi-faith breaking of fast today and 100 residents attended what some described as an “eye-opener” event.

Among the attendees were church goers who said they never went near Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz because they thought they were not welcomed.

Stephanie Yong, 26, said she has never entered a mosque because of fears that she might not be allowed in. Today’s event, she said, opened her eyes on Islam.

She thought the patrons would be reserved and non-approachable.

“But it turns out that they were so welcoming and excited to have us there just as I was.

“They were friendly, approachable, giving and eager to share with everyone,”  she told The Malaysian Insight. Read more

EC’s redelineation exercise promotes racial politics, says group

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Voters queueing at polling streams for their turn to cast their votes — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The Election Commission’s (EC) admission that its redelineation proposal drew constituency boundaries along racial lines is proof that it practises racial politics, a group said today.

In a press statement today, human rights group Pusat Komas said it was “astounded” and disappointed by EC Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah’s admission.

“Pusat Komas views that the delimitation has not only done injustice to the people’s vote, but also has the long-term effect of imperilling national harmony and the unity of Malaysians.

“The election, which is supposed to be a festivity for the people of a democratic country, now seems to be a tragedy waiting to happen where Malaysians are made to go against each other.

“This is a direct implication of the divide and rule activities conducted by the EC that draws electoral constituencies according to ethnic lines,” the statement read. Read more

Report: Muslims-only, Chinese-only show Malaysia’s growing racism

Source: Free Malaysia Today

The Malaysian Racial Discrimination Report 2017, released today, said the government had reneged on its promises to promote national unity.

“In fact, racism has become more pronounced and is being increasingly used as a tool to divide and rule.”

It added that with the 14th general election (GE14) around the corner, politicians from both sides of the political divide had resorted to race-based politics to win support.

The 46-page report said the rise in racial and religious discrimination was not only worrying but also highlighted the inherent danger due to the overreach of bureaucratic Islamic institutions.

According to the report, 2017 saw an increase in incidence of racial discrimination. Read more

Activist avoids jail, fined RM10,000 for showing unapproved movie

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lena Hendry arrives at the Magistrate Court in Kuala Lumpur for the decision on the film censorship case, February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy Ma for the MMO.

Lena Hendry arrives at the Magistrate Court in Kuala Lumpur for the decision on the film censorship case, February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy Ma for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 ― Activist Lena Hendry was today penalised RM10,000 for screening a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war that was not approved by the Film Censorship Board.

The was handed down in the magistrate’s court here by Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris, who last month found the Pusat Komas programme manager guilty of the charge under the Film Censorship Act 2002.

Lena had been liable for up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000, under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002.

Her lawyer, New Sin Yew, said she will pay the fine today, before the 4pm deadline. Read more

Report: Racial discrimination in Malaysia growing despite Putrajaya’s efforts

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Pusat Komas recommended harsher punishments for individuals, especially politicians, who make racially inciting statements. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

Pusat Komas recommended harsher punishments for individuals, especially politicians, who make racially inciting statements. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

PETALING JAYA, March 21 — Discrimination based on the colour of one’s skin seems to be on the rise in Malaysia despite the government’s efforts to promote moderation and racial harmony.

The Racial Discrimination Report 2016 by non-profit social outfit Pusat Komas released tonight found that strained ethnic relations are growing although the National Unity Consultative Council has been working to bolster ties.

“Recent incidents of racial discrimination, racism and stained ethnic relations within the Malaysian society have increasingly surfaced over the years despite the Prime Minister’s numerous assurances and claims at home and abroad that the government promotes moderation in the country,” the report presented by programme coordinator Ryan Chua read.

The report added that the growth of social media has also made the racial divide further with more room for such negative sentiments to be propagated. Read more

Film censorship is being used to quell discourse in Malaysia — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

AS a documentary filmmaker, I regularly screen my films and also give talks and workshops, both locally and internationally. When I am out of the country, I always get asked the question of how local filmmakers deal with the strict censorship laws in Malaysia.

My first response is always to correct their question. The question shouldn’t be how we Malaysian filmmakers deal with strict censorship laws; it should be how we deal with vague, unclear and inconsistent censorship laws.

Take for example, Lena Hendry, who is a former employee of a Malaysian-based human rights non-governmental organisation called Pusat KOMAS. She was found guilty of screening the documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka’ without censorship approval in 2013.

Hendry was convicted under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002 on Feb 21, 2017 and could now face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000 (US$6,750). Sentencing has been set for 22nd March. Read more

Pushing the principles of non-discrimination

Source: Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has what it takes to inspire the Malaysian Government to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

The State is already a shining example of racial and religious harmony in the country but human rights bodies believe that the State Government can take it one step further by implementing the principles of non-discrimination in the administration of the State.

A close-door roundtable discussion, jointly organised by Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas) and Suhakam, was held on Thursday, which aimed to engage stakeholders in the State Government to promote the implementation of the ICERD principles.

Organisers hoped the engagement could be treated as a commitment by the State Government to present itself a model government in eradicating race-based politics and reduce racial discrimination in Malaysia.

Malaysia is one of 15 out of 175 United Nations member countries that are not yet party to the ICERD, including North Korea, Myanmar and a dozen authoritarian countries.

Of the seven UN treaties, Malaysia has ratified three, namely the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (CRPD).

Suhakam, however, believes that the country is ready to ratify the ICERD, although it has had to deal with many issues concerning racial and religious discriminations. Read more

Activist Lena Hendry disappointed over conviction

Source: The Star Online

Lena Hendry - Pic from Human Rights in ASEAN Online Platform.

Lena Hendry – Pic from Human Rights in ASEAN Online Platform.

KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Lena Hendry was convicted by a magistrate’s court over the charge of screening a Sri Lankan civil war documentary that had not been approved by the Censorship Board.

Hendry, 32, who stood expressionless in the dock upon hearing the verdict, said she was disappointed with the judgment.

“We will definitely appeal. No proof to convict me,” Hendry, who was accompanied by her lawyer New Sin Yew, told reporters here Tuesday.

Her well-wishers, friends and supporters surrounded her after the judgment, and they hugged and consoled her.

A supporter of her was holding a placard saying “Human Rights Documentaries are not dangerous”.

One of those present in the public gallery was Ivy Josiah, who is Hakam’s (National Human Rights Society) exco member and former executive director of Women Aid Organisation. Read more

Court finds film activist guilty for showing Sri Lanka war documentary without approval

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Activist Lena Hendry has been found guilty by the Magistrate Court today for allegedly screening a documentary on the Sri Lankan civil war without the approval of the Censorship Board.

Magistrate Mohd Rehan Mohd Aris found the Pusat Komas programme manager guilty of censorship charges after the defence failed to prove reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case.

He did not hand out any sentence after Hendry’s lawyer New Sin Yew requested for a written submission to be handed in.

“He found her guilty but he has fixed sentencing for another day. He wants a written submission by first of March,” New told reporters after the case today.

New added if convicted, Hendry would face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000, under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002.

Mohd Rezan also set March 22 for the next hearing and for the sentencing to be done. Read more

Smartphone app to report racism

Source: FMT News

Pusat Komas launches 'Report Racism MY', an app for Malaysians to report incidents of racism and collate data for studies. Pic from FMT News.

Pusat Komas launches ‘Report Racism MY’, an app for Malaysians to report incidents of racism and collate data for studies. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Local NGO Pusat Komas today launched “Report Racism MY”, a smartphone app for Malaysians to report cases of racism.

Apart from allowing Malaysians to submit reports of racist incidents, the complaints will also be collated into data that will be published in next year’s Racial Discrimination Report.

“The only way to transform (society) is to know how bad the situation is. Most times we only remember one or two incidents, and keep repeating them over and over again,” noted Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph.

“So it is good that (the situation) is balanced by innovative ideas. While we generate the sad painful list of complaints, we also get new ideas how to overcome it.” Read more