Putrajaya’s fault, not ours, for delay in new homes for flood victims, says Kelantan

Source: The Malaysian Insider

HUDUD_AFTER_BIG_FLOOD_230515_TMINAZIRSUFARI_01

A mother with her baby, at the flood relief centre in Bandar Utama Gua Musang, Kelantan, who are homeless almost six months after the flood. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 23, 2015

PAS’s Kelantan government has refuted Putrajaya’s claim that setbacks in building homes for victims of the December floods were due to delays in approving land for the project.

Instead, Kelantan has blamed the federal government, citing an incomplete handover of the project tender. Read more

Trying to shoehorn Shariah law into Constitution will backfire, lawyer warns

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Photos by HAKAM

Malik Imtiaz speaking at the Forum on Human Rights & Religion: Are the two compatible?  -- HAKAM

Malik Imtiaz speaking at the Forum on Human Rights & Religion: Are the two compatible? — HAKAM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 ― Those seeking for Shariah law to override the Federal Constitution should put this to a referendum instead of trying to interpret the country’s supreme law to suit their intentions, former Malaysian National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) president Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said today.

Imtiaz also warned that arbitrarily interpreting the Constitution’s meaning would destabilise the country, adding that such open readings of the document could just as easily be reversed at a later date.

“Some of you might want Shariah laws to be the supreme law of Malaysia and if that were possible through a constitutional amendment or a referendum, then so be it.

“But it doesn’t mean you reinterpret the provisions put in place in 1957 and reinforced when Sabah and Sarawak who joined us as a nation on certain footing, we reinterpret as convenient,” the senior lawyer told a forum here.

He said that the idea that the Federal Constitution is a “living document” did not mean that the meaning of the supreme law’s provisions could be “reinterpreted” at will. Read more

Give dignity back to the Rohingya – Farish A. Noor

Source: The Straits Times

BY FARISH A. NOOR

Migrants believed to have come from Burma and Bangladesh on an abandoned boat drifting in the Andaman Sea close. Photo: STR/EPA

Migrants believed to have come from Burma and Bangladesh on an abandoned boat drifting in the Andaman Sea close. Photo: STR/EPA

Today the Asean region is confronted with the challenge of coping with Rohingya who have taken to the seas to seek a safer life elsewhere. At the same time, the European Union is forced to deal with the phenomenon of Africans fleeing their continent to seek a better life in Europe.

In both these cases, the refugees concerned have been portrayed as vulnerable, homeless people who present a challenge to other countries that have become the destinations for them.

For reasons that I will elaborate on, I find this depiction of the Other as the “vulnerable victim” problematic; and I would argue that at this critical juncture we need to seriously interrogate the very language that we use to describe and understand such crises. Read more