Insidious attempt to rewrite reality — Zurairi Ar

Source: Malay Mail Online

By ZURAIRI AR

DECEMBER 17 — There are few things more depressing than celebrating Human Rights Day in a country that refuses to fully recognise the rights of some of its citizens.

Adding salt to the wound, this year saw a group’s brazen attempt to rewrite the reality lived by many in this country.

We saw the first public lobbying by a new coalition calling itself Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process, or Macsa in an attempt to re-shape human rights in this country.

Macsa’s demands are blatant. Firstly, it wishes for limitations in freedom of speech that includes blasphemy laws.

What this essentially means is continued endorsement of the use of the State’s power to punish citizens under vaguely-defined laws that promise to protect religions against insults and mockery.

In reality though, the enforcements of such laws would inevitably just protect the status quo that already holds considerable political power, in addition to extra authority through a separate parallel judiciary system. Read more

Holding human rights to ransom — Zurairi AR

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY ZURAIRI AR

opinion-clipart-k12118272DECEMBER 11 — As I turned one year older on Human Rights Day yesterday, I contemplated the human rights situation in this country.

Malaysia was cited for “grave violations” of the rights and treatment of the non-religious in the annual Freedom of Thought Report by International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) — a worldwide umbrella of humanist, atheist, secular and similar organisations .

With a score of 4.5 out of the worst score of 5, Malaysia joins Muslim-majority neighbours Indonesia and Brunei as the worst offenders in the region — especially with the existence of Shariah laws that heavily punish apostasy, even with death, although the penalty cannot be enforced yet.

In the category of “family, community, society, religious courts and tribunals”, IHEU noted that there exists “systemic religious privilege results in significant social discrimination” and “religious control over family law or legislation on moral matters.” Read more