Indira’s fugitive husband still at large, Federal Court ‘concerned’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Indira is appealing against Muhammad Riduan’s covert conversion in 2009 of their three children — then aged 12 years old, 11 years old, and 11 months old — without their knowledge and without Indira’s consent. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Indira is appealing against Muhammad Riduan’s covert conversion in 2009 of their three children — then aged 12 years old, 11 years old, and 11 months old — without their knowledge and without Indira’s consent. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 30 ― The Federal Court today raised concern on Muslim convert Muhammad Riduan Abdullah’s continued absence and failure to clear his contempt of court in a case on his unilateral conversion of his three children to Islam.

Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the panel, asked for progress on a previous court order compelling the Inspector-General of Police to execute a warrant of arrest against Muhammad Riduan over his unpurged contempt.

“Otherwise it’s as if the court is not bothered by an order made by court…The record must be made known. What is the progress? Otherwise anybody can just run away, not bothered by order of the court.

“This is a case of public interest. We don’t want that to be treated as if the court is not concerned. We are indeed concerned,” he said today. Read more

Come see why we put up blockades, Orang Asli group tells Kelantan MB (VIDEO)

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― A group in support of the indigenous people, who have been defending a forest reserve in Gua Musang from logging activity for over two months now, has called on Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob to visit the area to find out its exact situation.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) chairman Tijah Yok Chopil said Ahmad should have firsthand experience in viewing the results of logging activities in the area and the reason why locals were putting up blockades to prevent further deforestation at the forest reserve.

“The blockades are set up because the forest is on the verge of being destroyed…[and besides] it is proven that the effects of extensive logging has caused a massive flood in Kelantan in 2014, resulting in destroying of properties of the Orang Asli community and the people of Kelantan.

“Is the Kelantan government still refusing to accept this fact? Is money from logging activity more important than the plight of the people?” Tijah said in a statement. Read more

Sindiket bayi: Polis puas hati kerjasama wartawan Al-Jazeera

Sumber: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar berkata polis sudah memanggil wartawan Al-Jazeera berhubung sebuah program disiarkan yang mendedahkan sindiket penjualan bayi di Malaysia, dan berpuas hati dengan kerjasama yang diberikan.

Ketua polis negara itu berkata Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah menghubungi seorang wanita tempatan pada hari sama laporan Al-Jazeera itu diterbitkan.

“Kita merakam keterangannya dan beliau memberi kerjasama baik. Kita sedang meneliti maklumat yang diberikannya dan mencari maklumat lanjut.”

Khalid berkata pihaknya juga akan bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat (KPWKM) dan Kementerian Kesihatan untuk mengenal pasti mereka yang terlibat.
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Zunar on why he’s willing to risk prison

Source: FMT News

Cartoonist Zunar tells the New York Times that the biggest enemy for anyone in the world is self-censorship. Pic from FMT News.

Cartoonist Zunar tells the New York Times that the biggest enemy for anyone in the world is self-censorship. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: With several laws and the police zooming in on critics of the government, people are turning to social media to vent their feelings, says cartoonist Zunar.

Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, told the New York Times in an interview that more and more people were not happy with the government.

However, there were many laws “stopping them from being in the front row and being very, very vocal”, so they would use any type of form, of tool, to express their views or to protest, he added.

“So now, social media is something that is a very effective tool. People are starting to be creative in social media by using drawings, cartoons, posters or video clips.”

Saying the government felt threatened by this, he noted that it was either introducing new laws or increasingly using existing laws such as the Sedition Act to stifle dissent.

Zunar told the NYT that when protesters disrupted his art exhibition at the George Town Literary Festival on Saturday, he had assumed that the police would want his help identifying those responsible.

Instead, Zunar said, he was questioned by the police, detained for a day and informed that he was under investigation for producing cartoons that purportedly defamed Prime Minister Najib Razak.

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With Sosma abuse, it’s time for repeal, says lawyer

Source: FMT News

FMT News file pic

Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) — FMT News file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: A security law passed in 2012 must be abolished as the government has abused it to silence critics, a Bar Council member said.

Ravi Nekoo said this law has been used against three persons, the latest being Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah on grounds her act was “detrimental to parliamentary democracy”.

“Prime Minister Najib Razak did not keep to his promise when the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or Sosma was introduced,” he told a forum themed, Sosma: The new ISA?

He said this was similar to the introduction of the now repealed Internal Security Act in 1960 to counter the communist insurgency.

Ravi, the Bar Council’s National Legal Aid Bureau chairperson, said the ISA was later used against government dissidents and others, including NGO members and journalists.

He said Najib had assured that Sosma, a procedural law, would be used to check extremism and terrorism in the country and which originated outside Malaysia.

“Section 4(3) of Sosma details out that no person will be arrested and detained solely for his political belief or political activity. But is this the case?” he asked. Read more

C4 kutuk ‘taktik kekerasan’ penahanan Orang Asli

Sumber: FMT News

Pertubuhan C4 menyelar kerajaan negeri Kelantan kerana menangkap Orang Asli di Guan Musang hanya kerana masyarakat itu mempertahankan tanah adat mereka. Gambar FMT News.

Pertubuhan C4 menyelar kerajaan negeri Kelantan kerana menangkap Orang Asli di Guan Musang hanya kerana masyarakat itu mempertahankan tanah adat mereka. Gambar FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: NGO Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center) mengutuk tindakan pihak berkuasa yang menahan 40 pemimpin Orang Asli yang mempertahankan sekatan di tanah adat mereka di Simpang Petei berhampiran Pos Gob, Betau Cawas dekat Pos Bihai dan Kelawong di Pos Pasik.

Pengarah C4 Cynthia Gabriel berkata Timbalan Menteri Besar Kelantan Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah sebelum ini sendiri berjanji akan ke tempat sekatan itu bagi berbincang lanjut isu berkenaan dengan masyarakat Orang Asli.

Namun, perjumpaan itu tidak pernah diadakan dan pihak berkuasa menggunakan “taktik kekerasan” dalam menangani bantahan masyarakat Orang Asli itu.

Dalam satu kenyataan dikeluarkan hari ini, Gabriel berkata C4 bekerjasama rapat dengan masyarakat itu dan berusaha membawa pegawai ke Gua Musang untuk mendengar rintihan Orang Asli. Read more

NGO slams Putrajaya’s ‘empty’ Sosma assurances

Source: FMT News

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

KUALA LUMPUR: Assurances by the government on the proper use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma, are empty promises, said EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam.

“We fear the raid on our office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders,” she added in a statement.

EMPOWER stands for Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor.

Sosma was supposed to be used for terrorist-related offences.

The NGO condemned the police raid on its premises, “and the interrogation of staff, without legal representation”, and “the attempts to tarnish its work”.

“There’s no law that forbids civil society organisations from receiving funds, whether local or foreign,” said Janarthani. “All funds received are based on objectives and activities under our Constitution.”

In fact, she said, her NGO had submitted annually all documents required by the Registrar of Societies, in reporting on yearly activities. “This includes audited financial reports.”

Janarthani said that EMPOWER’s efforts were out there for the world to see. “We are about securing equality and democracy for all, especially for women and marginalised communities.” Read more

Crossing the line — Lim Li Ann

Source: New Mandala

BY LIM LI ANN

Are electoral boundaries being redrawn in Malaysia to stifle the opposition vote?

IMAGE CREDIT: FIRDAUS LATIF

IMAGE CREDIT: FIRDAUS LATIF

On 15 September 2016, Malaysia’s Election Commission (EC) announced the results of its redelineation review exercise. Redelineation is the redrawing of electoral boundaries, with the purpose of balancing voter populations between constituencies. If passed in Parliament, this would mark the country’s seventh redelineation since independence in 1957, and its first in 13 years. This time around, redelineation has worsened the inequality between differently sized constituencies, and appears biased towards the federal government.

Earlier this year, the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity Survey ranked Malaysia as having low to very low electoral integrity, and the third worst country in Asia. This latest proposal will only make things worse.

Malaysia’s electoral system has been historically unfair. The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, ruling since independence, have consistently gained seats disproportionately more than the popular vote suggests it deserves. Mathematically, the opposition experiences the opposite.  (Refer to Graph 1)

In other words, the value of each vote for the BN is worth more than a vote cast to any party outside the BN alliance. During the last general election, one vote to BN was worth 1.2645  votes (based on the percentage of seats won divided by popular vote), while a vote to then-opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat was worth 0.7621 votes. With this, the BN coalition won the elections with 60 per cent of parliamentary seats, despite losing the popular vote at 47 per cent.

As of the 2016 redelineation review, Selangor comprises 22 parliamentary seats and a total electorate size of 2,078,311 people. Read more

Malaysian mother’s battle sparks reform against ‘child snatching’ cases

Source: FMT News

The proposed reforms seek to outlaw conversion by one parent, which advocates say will safeguard a mother's equal access to custody rights and quell unease among religious minorities. Pic from FMT News.

The proposed reforms seek to outlaw conversion by one parent, which advocates say will safeguard a mother’s equal access to custody rights and quell unease among religious minorities. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian kindergarten teacher Indira Gandhi last saw her infant daughter in 2009 before her estranged husband snatched the 11-month-old away after an argument.

“I thought he would return in one or two days with (her). I never thought this was going to happen, I was devastated,” the 41-year-old said.

Indira is one of several women whose husbands converted to Islam in Muslim-majority Malaysia, before secretly converting their children and then applying for custody of them in an Islamic court.

As a Hindu, Indira is unable to challenge his bid in the Islamic court because she is not a Muslim.

Now the Malaysian parliament, spurred by her case, is considering legislative reforms to stop such cases of secret conversion, sometimes dubbed “child snatching”.

Campaigners say it is a strategy mostly used by husbands seeking an upper hand in custody battles. Read more

Malaysia to hold gathering in protest over Myanmar’s Rohingya violence, Zahid says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Participants at a gathering to condemn the actrocities against the Rohingya in Gelugor, Penang, last Thursday. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin for the Malay Mail Online.

Participants at a gathering to condemn the actrocities against the Rohingya in Gelugor, Penang, last Thursday. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin for the Malay Mail Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Malaysians must stand against the aggression and genocide on the Rohingya carried out by the Myanmar government, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the Foreign Ministry had contacted the Myanmar ambassador to Malaysia last week and handed him a protest note.

“The major gathering on Dec 4 is to express our concern over the violence taking place on the Rohingya,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said the gathering was not only among Muslim non-governmental ogranisations as the main reason was to stand against the violence of the Myanmar government, which affected Asean.

So far, from the Opposition, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has confirmed his attendance.

“I hope we can all do away with our differences and work together on a bigger problem,” Ahmad Zahid said. Read more