Suhakam to develop media code of ethics on rights issues

Source: The Borneo Post Online

Chairman of Asean Intergovernmental Commission On Human Rights Phuokhong Sisoulath (front, fourth right) having a group photo with all speakers of AICHR Regional Forum On Media and Human Rights In Asean. Rodziah is third from left.— Bernama photo

Chairman of Asean Intergovernmental Commission On Human Rights Phuokhong Sisoulath (front, fourth right) having a group photo with all speakers of AICHR Regional Forum On Media and Human Rights In Asean. Rodziah is third from left.— Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), together with a group of experienced media professionals, are in the midst of developing a code of ethics to guide media practitioners on human rights issues.

Its secretary, Rodziah Abdul said a document related to the code of ethics was presented to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan.

“We hope the relevant ministries will adopt or build on this code of ethics with the objective of promoting media reporting that provides the public with full, fair and accurate information, and follows a certain standard of conduct in the process.

“Adherence to a certain code of ethics is paramount in ensuring professionalism in media reporting,” she said after attending the Regional Forum on Media and Human Rights in Asean here yesterday. Read more

Penang rep’s transgender committee finally formed

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Teh, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

Teh, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, May 17 ― DAP representative Teh Yee Cheu’s proposed transgender committee was finally realised in the Penang legislative assembly today.

The Tanjung Bungah assemblyman, who proposed the formation of the committee in 2014, said it was formed after eight other assemblymen agreed to join.

“The eight assemblymen have agreed to form the committee today so I would like to thank them for making this a reality,” he said in his debate on the motion of thanks to the Penang Governor’s speech. Read more

‘Judge who sent Kho to hang also heard his appeal’

Source: FMT News

NGOs claim Sarawakian Kho Jabing, who is to be hanged in less than 72 hours, may not have had a fair trial in Singapore as a result.

NGOs claim Sarawakian Kho Jabing, who is to be hanged in less than 72 hours, may not have had a fair trial in Singapore as a result.

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights organisations believe that Sarawakian-born Kho Jabing, who is scheduled to be executed in Singapore on Friday, may not have been given a fair trial when his case was brought to the Court of Appeal on Jan 14 last year.

Kho was convicted of murder in 2010 in Singapore and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty on July 30, 2010.

However, after the 2012 review of the mandatory death penalties, the High Court re-sentenced Kho to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane on Aug 14, 2013.

Then, on Jan 14, 2015, the Court of Appeal re-imposed the death penalty in a three-to-two decision.

“We’ve always focused on putting forth the question of whether the death penalty was indeed suited for Kho since it wasn’t a unanimous decision.

“But Kho’s lawyer told me that something else of prominence in his case is that one of the three judges who heard his appeal in January last year was also the same judge who first sentenced him to death.

“Now, whether this is just or not must be considered,” said Suaram Project Coordinator Dobby Chew at a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) here today.

KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee Vice-Chairman Ngeow Chow Ying, who was also present at the press conference, said there were now two aspects that needed to be carefully examined in Kho’s case which warranted “at the very least” a stay of execution.

“Justice not only needs to be done but needs to be seen to be done. Read more

Civil society condemns ‘arbitrary’ travel ban against Bersih 2.0 chief

Source: The Malay Mail Online

On Sunday, Maria Chin Abdullah was stopped by airport officials when she tried to board a flight to South Korea. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

On Sunday, Maria Chin Abdullah was stopped by airport officials when she tried to board a flight to South Korea. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 ― The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) denounced today the government’s travel ban against Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.

The civil society said Putrajaya’s assertion that it need to provide any reason for banning Chin from leaving the country was a violation of her constitutional rights unless there is a justifiable reason to restrict freedom of movement.

“This is a dangerous exercise of power to ban a citizen’s right to travel without even attempting to offer any valid explanation.

“It is in flagrant violation of the constitutional rights of personal liberty, movement and equality,” Hakam secretary-general Robyn Choi said in a statement. Read more

Raising awareness on the LGBTI people — Helen Clark

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MAY 17 — This year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia focuses on raising awareness of the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.

The global burden of disease from mental disorders is rising. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in gay/bisexual males is about four times that of comparable heterosexual males.

Research has shown conclusively that LGBT individuals show higher than expected rates of psychiatric disorders, but once their rights and equality are recognised these rates begin to drop.

There is growing recognition worldwide that same-sex sexual orientation and diverse gender identity and expression are not mental or physical disorders. Yet, many millions of LGBTI individuals around the world continue to face widespread stigma and discrimination, and many suffer violence and oppression.

This is cause for action. We can and we must do more. Read more

STATEMENT: HAKAM Condemns Action Against Maria Chin Preventing Her From Travelling Abroad

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 17 MAY 2016

HAKAM CONDEMNS ACTION AGAINST MARIA CHIN PREVENTING HER FROM TRAVELLING ABROAD

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

On 15th May 2016 Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah was prevented from boarding a plane to Korea to receive a Human Rights award. No reasons were given for this refusal. Nor was she given the right to contest the order. Even more disturbing is the news report of 16 May 2016 that reported Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed as saying that the government need not give any reasons in this instance.

HAKAM, the National Human Rights Society, condemns this arbitrary act by the authorities to restrict the right of a citizen holding a valid passport and who has not been shown to be guilty of any act to be prevented from travelling abroad. This is a violation of the rule of law and the rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution – which includes freedom of movement accorded to all citizens unless for a cause that can be justifiably established. Read more

Human Rights Watch urges Singapore to grant clemency for M’sian death row prisoner

Source: Asian Correspondent

(File photo) Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division. Pic: AP

(File photo) Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. Pic: AP

WITH less than four days left for Malaysian death row prisoner Kho Jabing to serve his sentence in Singapore, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on President Tony Tan to urgently grant clemency.

Kho, who is due to be executed on May 20, was convicted in 2007 of the murder of Cao Ruyin, a construction worker, in a botched robbery attempt.

HRW Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director said: “President Tan should grant clemency to Kho Jabing in recognition of sentencing reforms under Singapore law. The death penalty is always cruel, and a man’s life should not hinge on a legal technicality.”

On April 5 this year, the Court of Appeal, Singapore’s highest court, dismissed Kho’s appeal. An Appeals Court panel in January 2015 reversed a High Court ruling overturning his death sentence.

The dispute was whether or not his actions during the botched robbery had been done in “blatant disregard of human life”. At the time of Kho’s conviction, Singapore law imposed a mandatory death penalty for the offense, thus preventing the court from considering the full circumstances of the crime. Read more