Putrajaya must end unilateral conversion of minors, says lawyers’ group

Source: The Malaysian Insider

M. Indira Gandhi’s case shows that non-Muslim parents have no recourse to justice when their children are converted to Islam by another spouse. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 3, 2016.

The government must‎ put a stop to the unconstitutional ‎practice of unilateral conversion of children, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said today.‎

The lawyers’ group said‎ the case of M. Indira Gandhi showed that non-Muslim parents in similar predicaments have no recourse to justice.

‎The Court of Appeal, in a majority ruling on Wednesday, held that the validity of conversion of Indira’s three children by their Muslim father‎ Muhammad Riduan Abdullah could only be determined by the Shariah Court.

“This is clearly preposterous as Indira will not be able to obtain justice due to the simple fact that the Shariah Court has no jurisdiction over a non-Muslim.

“In addition, the Shariah Court has no jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of the conversion which is still in dispute, as it is an inferior court,” Melissa Sasidaran, LFL’s legal and campaign coordinator, said in a statement.‎ Read more

Obama’s visit a missed chance to discuss human rights, says Zunar

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, Zunar, was in the US to receive a press freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists during President Barack Obama’s visit to Kuala Lumpur in November. – AFP pic, January 3, 2016.

Malaysian cartoonist, Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, said US president Barack Obama’s visit to Malaysia, was a missed opportunity to put human rights on the table.

In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, he said Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had focused solely on fighting extremism and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, to the exclusion of other issues.

“Obama is eagerly courting Malaysia in his efforts to fight extremism and to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and his meeting reportedly focused on that to the virtual exclusion of everything else.

“That’s a grave disappointment and a missed opportunity. Obama has a responsibility to put the issue of human rights on the table,” Zunar said in the article published on New Year’s day.

He said during Obama’s trip to Kuala Lumpur in November, the third face to face meeting with Najib, Zunar himself was in the US to receive a press freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Read more

Kuantan facing severe danger

Source: The NST Online

The red sea phenomenon off Kuantan is believed to be due to bauxite ore stockpiled near Kuantan Port. Pic taken from NST Online.

The red sea phenomenon off Kuantan is believed to be due to bauxite ore stockpiled near Kuantan Port. Pic taken from NST Online.

KUALA LUMPUR: A team of scientists has warned that the damage to the environment from the indiscriminate and poorly regulated mining of bauxite may be so severe that the ecosystem may never recover.

The adverse health effects on the Kuantan public could be devastating, and could last for generations.

The group of 17 professionals covering a diverse array of environmental disciplines have called for the Pahang government to issue an immediate stop work order on bauxite mining in the district.

This marked the first time that a group of independent scientists had arrived at a consensus and issued a dire and comprehensive warning of the consequences of the unrestrained mining of bauxite in the state. Read more

Hak asasi manusia di Malaysia mundur dengan Akta MKN, kata Suhakam

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Hak asasi manusia di Malaysia makin mundur jika Rang Undang-undang Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) 2015 dijadikan sebahagian undang-undang negara, kata Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Hasmy Agam. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 3 Januari, 2016.

Malaysia akan semakin mundur daripada segi hak asasi manusianya jika Rang Undang-undang (RUU) Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) 2015 dijadikan sebahagian undang-undang negara, kata Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

Dalam satu wawancara sebelum berakhirnya tempoh perkhidmatan beliau pada April, Hasmy berkata, beliau melihat hak asasi manusia di negara ini sekurang-kurangnya sejak 5 tahun lalu sehingga kini, tidak menyaksikan perubahan besar.

Ini kerana, langkah positif yang diambil seperti memansuhkan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) kemudiannya dibatalkan dengan penggubalan undang-undang baru yang menyekat kebebasan awam.

Komen Hasmy ini mengungkapkan satu tahun yang gelap daripada segi hak asasi manusia di Malaysia ketika Putrajaya mengukuhkan lagi undang-undang yang menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan pihak berkuasa mengambil tindakan keras terhadap pengkritik pentadbiran Najib.

“Setakat ini, kita (Malaysia) tidak banyak melakukan perubahan besar. Walaupun terdapat beberapa perkembangan positif seperti pemansuhan ISA, terdapat juga perubahan yang meletakkan kita jauh ke belakang dalam hak asasi manusia. Read more