Gov’t should not wait to amend law, say anti-death penalty groups

Source: Malaysiakini

The government must stop dragging its feet in amending the death penalty law, following the recent announcement that a review of capital punishment in Malaysia has been completed.

Anti-death penalty groups have urged for prompt reform, saying that proposed changes to capital punishment sentences were overdue.

“The attorney-general has said he is not objecting (to reform of mandatory death sentences) last November. (Minister in Prime Minister’s Department) Nancy Shukri has already said she will table the amendments in March 2016. The study was commissioned quite some time ago.

“The government should table the proposed amendments speedily. Delay in amending the law is ‘torturous’ for those still under the death sentence by reason of the existence of the mandatory death penalty provisions in law,” Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) coordinator Charles Hector told Malaysiakini.

Meanwhile, regional grouping Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (Adpan) cited Malaysia’s response at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report in front of UN member countries in late 2013.

“The Malaysian government has, time and again, announced that this study was underway, in response to the UPR review, as well as in response to calls by NGOs for it to abolish the death penalty,” said Adpan executive member Ngeow Chow Ying. Read more

Let ‘terror suspects’ face fair trial, says group

Source: FMT

PETALING JAYA: A lobby group has called for “terrorism suspects” to face a fair trial and for the release of all those being detained without trial under various detention orders.

This included the 15 people arrested last week for investigations into the grenade bombing of a nightspot in Puchong, in which eight people were injured.

The organisation, Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) , said detention without trial was against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

MADPET spokesman Charles Hector said a foreign newspaper report had said that more than 160 people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State network had been detained in Malaysia in the past two years. Read more

How one Malaysian went from having a gun in his face to the director of the NY Gay Pride

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Julian Sanjivan, 34, wants to take the Malaysian LGBT conversation to the world stage. — Picture courtesy of Julian Sanjivan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Now, Julian Sanjivan is a 34-year-old Malaysian who directed the New York edition of this year’s Gay Pride parade, arguably the largest ever in the history of the annual march.

But it was not so long ago that he had still been in Malaysia, where his sexual orientation made him the target of discrimination, harassment, and alleged violence by the authorities.

“…I was surrounded and harassed by a group of policemen who pointed a gun to my face and threatened to use it for merely voicing my rights,” he told Malay Mail Online during an interview.

“They laughed, mocked and called me derogatory terms in the Malay language for being gay. All this happened very close to my work place.”

For the gay man then living in Muslim-majority Malaysia that is intolerant of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, the incident was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Sanjivan packed his belongings and moved to the United States four years ago, in search of the tolerance he did not find at home.

There, he became the first Malaysian to be accepted as a fellow in the Community Solutions Program that was funded by the US State Department. Read more