Gay marriages or the future of human beings? — Surendra Ananth

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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This is my opinion

BY SURENDRA ANANTH

JUNE 30 — The most talked about topic at the moment is the decision of the US Supreme Court, which, perhaps with good reason, overshadowed other news.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is reason to celebrate, but it would be great if the public would be equally passionate on other issues, such as, let’s say, the survival of human beings!

One news which deserves far greater recognition was the decision of the Dutch court in holding the state responsible for the dangers caused by climate change. Read more

Same-sex marriage in Malaysia? Advocates say even basic rights still in short supply

Source: The Malay Mail Online

US has joined a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage. ― Malay Mail file pic

US has joined a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage. ― Malay Mail file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 ― With the US last week joining a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage, the locally taboo subject has again popped up in Malaysia.

But while the developments abroad has prompted discussions about Malaysia following suit, local activists said such talk was premature given the current state of human rights in the country, particularly that of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“Can we even begin to talk about marriage equality when many LGBT in Malaysia are worried about losing their jobs because of who they are, they are worried of being kicked out of their families, they are worried of being bullied at schools because of who they are?” human rights activist Pang Khee Teik said.

“We don’t even have basic rights. We don’t even get the chance to have public conversations about it without being shut down,” the founder of sexuality rights festival Seksualiti Merdeka told Malay Mail Online, also saying that human rights activists need to fight for an equality that is bigger than just marriage. Read more

The harsh realities of rebuilding livelihoods in the aftermath of the 2014 floods in Malaysia

The true impact of the December 2014 floods on Malaysians remains visible and distressing.  It is heartbreaking to see that after having their lives completely disrupted by disaster, and in some cases, even ruined, the flood victims continue to endure harsh realities post disaster – the hardships faced as they attempt to rebuild their lives with whatever possessions or opportunities remaining within their grasps.

Their stories serve as a reminder that the responsibilities of government in respect of disaster management are not limited to merely ensuring the safety of the people during the disaster but also extends to the post-event duties of rehabilitation, reconstruction, among other things, and assisting victims in rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, in line with Article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights —

Rice

Following are a handful of such stories, told from the perspectives of the 2014 flood victims:-

Read more

Supreme Court strikes a blow to death-penalty opponents

Source: Business Insider Malaysia

death_penalty_a_simple_recipe___alexandre_aprilJune 29, 2015 — The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled against three prisoners who had brought a case arguing that a controversial lethal injection drug violates the Constitution.

Those prisoners argued that the lethal injection drug midazolam violated the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

On Monday, the court ruled that the three inmates failed to show that they would likely be able to prove their claims that the drug violates the Eighth Amendment — a necessary requirement to get a preliminary injunction to get the government to stop using the drug.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the 5-4 opinion and was joined by the court’s conservative justices in upholding an appeals court decision which found the inmates had failed to show that the drug was ineffective. Read more

Mahasiswa dakwa tertindas, desak Suhakam nyata pendirian

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia kecewa dengan penindasan terhadap hak mahasiswa yang disifatkan menyekat tindakan mahasiswa bersifat progresif. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 29 Jun, 2015

Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia kecewa dengan penindasan terhadap hak mahasiswa yang disifatkan menyekat tindakan mahasiswa bersifat progresif. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 29 Jun, 2015

Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia hari ini menggesa Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) menyatakan pendirian secara terbuka berhubung penindasan hak mahasiswa yang berlaku sepanjang tempoh 2 tahun ini.

Pengerusinya, Khairol Najib Hashim berkata pihaknya memberi tempoh 3 hari kepada Suhakam untuk menyatakan pendirian itu dan ia termasuk membabitkan kes seperti UKM13 dan UIA2.

Selain itu, katanya, kesatuan mendesak Suhakam dan Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia menyemak kembali Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti serta Peraturan Universiti yang bertentangan dengan hak serta kebebasan bersuara seperti termaktub dalam Perkara 10 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Khairol berkata, tuntutan itu dibuat kerana kecewa dengan tindakan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) dan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) yang memanggil mahasiswanya untuk dihadapkan di mahkamah.

“Ramadan ini menyaksikan 2 kes panggilan menghadap mahkamah melibatkan 13 mahasiswa UKM dan 2 UIA. Ia tindakan pihak universiti yang tidak berasas. Read more

30 more human trafficking victims buried today

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Kubur di Hutan Simpan Mata Ayer di Lubuk Sireh berada kira-kira dua jam dari kem di Wang Kelian di mana kubur besar mengandungi mayat Rohingya ditemui. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 2 Jun, 2015.

Kubur di Hutan Simpan Mata Ayer di Lubuk Sireh berada kira-kira dua jam dari kem di Wang Kelian di mana kubur besar mengandungi mayat Rohingya ditemui. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 2 Jun, 2015.

The remains of 30 human trafficking victims believed to be Rohingya migrants from Myanmar, found at Bukit Wang Burma, Wang Kelian last month, were buried at a cemetery in Kampung Tualang today.

Kedah Islamic Religious Department (JAIK) director Datuk Noh Dahya said 28 of the victims were men who were buried en masse in a grave, while the bodies of two women were laid to rest in an adjacent grave. Read more

In recurring religious conflicts, Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Muslim MPs noted that the federal government is unable to stop condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals. ― MMO file pic

Muslim MPs noted that the federal government is unable to stop condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals. ― MMO file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 ― Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have raised concerns over the seeming trend of Muslims imposing their beliefs on others, questioning if this is reflective of a wider agenda that is backed by Putrajaya to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

The federal lawmakers noted that the federal government appeared either unable to stop or even condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals. Read more

Activist and Facebook come to the rescue of Orang Asli children

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Dr Hartini Zainuddin (front, right) with Orang Asli children at the fundraiser. Dr Hartini helped raise RM120,000 for a piece of land to be used as an Orang Asli hostel. – Facebook pic, June 27, 2015.

Dr Hartini Zainuddin (front, right) with Orang Asli children at the fundraiser. Dr Hartini helped raise RM120,000 for a piece of land to be used as an Orang Asli hostel. – Facebook pic, June 27, 2015.

A child rights advocate and her Facebook friends saved the day for a non-governmental organisation which was nearing its Tuesday deadline to pay the balance purchase price for a nearly RM1 million piece of land to build a dormitory for Orang Asli schoolgoing children in a village in Pahang.

Orang Asli NGO Semoa Bhd co-founder Rajendran Velu described Yayasan Chow Kit’s Dr Hartini Zainuddin as a miracle for having managed to raise RM120,000 in barely 48 hours after she made a last-ditch effort to put up a Facebook post appealing for the funds. Read more

Malaysia’s alarming trek towards cultural intolerance — Pusat KOMAS

Source: The Malay Mail Online

JUNE 26 — Pusat KOMAS is increasingly alarmed and concerned about the growing trend of cultural intolerance in Malaysia today.

The recently reported incidents are clear indicators of how Malaysia has regressed in terms of being a mature and tolerant multi-cultural society. Furthermore it raises many crucial issues on cultural diversity, tolerance and the will and effectiveness of the authorities in addressing these issues.

For instance in the incident of the individuals who were refused entry for not having complied with the prescribed “dress code” at the Road Transport Department (RTD); the Sungai Buluh hospital; and even the Selangor State Secretariat building in Shah Alam respectively.

These incidents raise many significant questions such as: Which bureaucrat in the long chain of command of these relevant government agencies actually conceived this ingenious “dress code” for the public as criteria to be given service. This is obviously contradictory to the concept of “civil servant”, a term conceived to emphasise the servitude of government officers and workers for the general public. Read more

11MP falls short in meeting Orang Asal overall needs, says economist

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Recognising the Native Customary Rights (NCR) of the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak is one benefit of the 11th Malaysia Plan, but there is little else to help the various indigenous communities in the two states. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 27, 2015.

Recognising the Native Customary Rights (NCR) of the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak is one benefit of the 11th Malaysia Plan, but there is little else to help the various indigenous communities in the two states. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 27, 2015.

The Orang Asal should have been given a national development blueprint of their own in the 11th Malaysia Plan said a Sarawakian economist, adding that piecemeal measures listed in the plan are inadequate for helping the community who are among the poorest Malaysians.

Assoc Prof Dr Madeline Berma said the lack of specific initiatives for Orang Asal communities in Peninsular and East Malaysia would hurt the 11MP’s aim of lifting the incomes of the Bottom 40% (B40) of households.

This is because a majority of Orang Asal communities in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak are at the bottom of the B40, said Berma, an economist with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Read more