NGOs want govt to have comprehensive policy of migrant labour

Source: The Star Online

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of NGOs working on migrant rights have urged the government to come up with a comprehensive policy on labour migration.

The Right to Redress Coalition (R2R) said there were many contentious issues associated with labour migration in Malaysia, and they were not problems that can be ignored.

R2R member Rani Rasiah said that given the significance of migrant workers to the economy, and their numbers, it is not a problem we can afford to ignore.

She estimates that migrant workers make up one third of the workforce, and 20% of our population.

More than half the migrant workforce in the country is undocumented, she added.

“Certain economic sectors have become so dependent on migrant workers that there’s a fear of collapse if they are withdrawn,” said Rani who is with the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).   Read more

Important to widen our view on terror

Source: The Star Online

The bad guys: A file picture of members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group operating in southern Philippines. In 2014, the Abu Sayyaf declared allegiance to the Islamic State. Pic taken from The Star Online.

The bad guys: A file picture of members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group operating in southern Philippines. In 2014, the Abu Sayyaf declared allegiance to the Islamic State. Pic taken from The Star Online.

THERE is nothing Islamic about the so-called “Islamic State militant group” – how many times have we heard this from terror experts, religious scholars and enforcement authorities?

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has noted that the perverted ideology of IS has no place in Islam.

Unfortunately in Malaysia, we cannot escape from religion in discussions about radicalisation and violent extremism, said Nicholas Chan, research director with Iman Research.

As Chan pointed out at the recent Civil Society Conference on National Security in Kuala Lumpur, this is because Islam is entrenched in our security framework.

“National security in Malaysia has been defined largely in religious terms since the early 1980s (especially with the ulama takeover of PAS after party president Tan Sri Mohamad Asri Muda stepped down).

“And since our security is invariably linked to Islam, any discussion of security threats also goes back to the religion, despite our leaders, like the PM, trying very hard to disassociate Islam from groups like IS,” he said. Read more

Better safe than sorry?

Source: The Star Online

Public protection: Military and police personnel guarding KL Sentral. Pic taken from the Star Online.

Public protection: Military and police personnel guarding KL Sentral. Pic taken from the Star Online.

Civil society groups vow to continue questioning the constitutionality of the newly enacted National Security Council Act 2016.

THE army is trained to kill (in combat). They are not trained to engage civilians….”

Former Royal Malaysian Air Force officer Lt-Col (Rtd) Mohd Daud Sulaiman warned of the dangers of using the military in internal security operations, as provided for by the newly enacted National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016.

“The use of the military in internal security operations must be done with care because the way the military is trained and carries out its business is not the same as other enforcement authorities,” he said.

Mohd Daud was one of the speakers at the Civil Society Conference on National Security in Kuala Lumpur held on 18 August 2016, organised by members of civil society, including Amnesty International Malaysia, the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), Institut Rakyat, Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Malaysia (Proham) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram). Read more

Put truth into the public sphere, journos told

Source: FMT

Former Washington Post reporter John Dinges says journalists must commit themselves to the truth even when oppressed by repressive governments.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is the journalist’s job to put the truth into the public sphere, even when the ruling government is a repressive one, says former Washington Post reporter John Dinges.

Dinges, a former foreign correspondent, recounting his experiences in Latin America in the 1970s, said: “None of the journalists tried to criticise the government, but what they did was try to be more factual and accurate to serve the people with more information.”

Now a journalism professor with Columbia University, Dingers once worked for Time magazine and the Washington Post newspaper.

Commenting on the time when Latin American dictatorships were beginning to acknowledge the American stance on democracy, Dinges said that news agencies began to work around the still-present, but loosening restrictions imposed by the government. Read more

Don’t sound like the opposition, ex-Washington Post reporter tells Malaysian journalists

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Journalism professor John Dinges (right) speaking at the Cooler Lumpur Festival's ‘Journalism in Service of Democracy’ discussion in Kuala Lumpur, September 10, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Journalism professor John Dinges (right) speaking at the Cooler Lumpur Festival’s ‘Journalism in Service of Democracy’ discussion in Kuala Lumpur, September 10, 2016. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — While the independent media has the duty to hold those in power accountable, it must also refrain from acting as the voice of the opposition, a former journalist with The Washington Post advised Malaysian journalists.

John Dinges — an esteemed former correspondent with the US daily as well as with Time magazine who had spent most of his earlier days as a reporter in Latin America during its repressive period in the 70s and 80s — said impartial reporting is the hallmark of a genuinely independent media.

Journalists have to constantly remind themselves that they have a duty to the people, Dinges added, while cautioning them that a media that is seen as too close to the opposition risks losing credibility.

“Journalists have to be more careful about the accuracy and precision of their reporting because you know you’re being scrutinised and you need to be the ones that people can trust,” the former reporter told Malay Mail Online in a brief interview here yesterday.

“So if all the journalists do is identify with the opposition, and scream and holler to say we’re victims…if you raise your journalism to the level of rhetoric, you’ve become a political actor,” he added. Read more