US, Southeast Asia work on ending human trafficking

Source: The Malaysian Insider

US President Barack Obama says certain conditions in TPP are to ensure partners put in place measures to prevent activities linked to human trafficking. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 22, 2015.

The United States is working closely with countries in Southeast Asia on mechanism to end human trafficking in the region, said President Barack Obama.

Describing human trafficking as a critical problem, Obama said Washington took up the matter seriously with dedicated agencies back home to solve the problem.

He added that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, involving 12 countries, including Malaysia also touched on the importance of advancing human rights.

The president said this before leaving Malaysia after attending the 3rd Asean-US Summit as well as the 10th East Asia Summit on the sidelines of the 27th Asean Summit hosted by Malaysia.

Obama, who was in the city for three days since Friday, said the requirements on human rights underlined in the TPP were to ensure that prospective partners put in place measures to prevent activities linked to human trafficking. Read more

Civil society, free press important for country to thrive, Obama tells Najib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (right) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Civil society activists sit down to a meeting with US President Barack Obama (right) at his hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 21, 2015. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — A developed civil society and free press are important markers that reflect the development of a country, US President Barack Obama said today.

The world leader said he has emphasised the importance of civil society and press to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, after a rare meeting here yesterday with some of Malaysia’s civil society leaders and voiced the US government’s support for their work.

“I also emphasised to PM Najib the importance of civil society and free press,” he told a news conference during the Asean Summit here.

He added that while the US does not expect every country to follow its standards, a certain basic level should be met.

“Every country here has different levels and stages of development both socially and economically.

“We don’t expect that everybody follows the same pattern the US does, but there are some basic principles that are important for us to uphold, as friends and partners to the countries that we are talking to,” he said.

Obama has described Malaysia as a country with diverse faiths and cultures that will benefit from allowing a multitude of voices to be heard, after meeting several prominent civil society activists, including National Human Rights Society president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, electoral reforms watchdog chief Maria Chin Abdullah, anti-graft group C4 director Cynthia Gabriel, and Nisha Ayub from the Justice for Sisters group. Read more

Cops probe into NOW for ‘unlawfully obtaining’ Yapeim documents

Source: The Malaysian Insider

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File pic

Police have started their investigations on whistleblower group National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) for “unlawfully obtaining” documents related to Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim), Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

This came after a police report lodged by the Yapeim chief executive officer Datuk Abibullah Samsudin at the Dang Wangi police headquarters on Wednesday.

“Yes, we have started investigation. As for the misuse or abuse of power case, it is being handled by Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC),” said Khalid.

He said so far, no arrest has been made as the investigation is still at the preliminary stage. Read more