Labelled ‘militant’, LGBT community says joined Bersih 5 to uphold democracy

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has defended some of its members’ decision to join the Bersih 5 rally last month, after a group called Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) labelled them “militant” for the act.

In a statement today, the community said LGBT persons and groups stand in solidarity with diverse groups and all people living in Malaysia calling for good, transparent and accountable governance in our country.

“How else could LGBT persons seek justice and create a better Malaysia if not by speaking up and participating in democracy?” it asked in the statement endorsed by 29 civil societies.

“Centhra, however, is suggesting that LGBT persons cannot be seen, be in solidarity, participate and exercise our constitutional rights. For Centhra, LGBT persons should remain hidden, silent and accept the gross discrimination and violence that we experience.

“The fact that there is consistent resistance to LGBT persons whenever we take a visible stance demonstrates deep levels of homophobia and transphobia that need to be addressed through meaningful engagements with LGBT persons and in accordance to international standards of human rights,” it added.

The community said LGBT persons are being denied fundamental human rights and face discrimination and violence just for being who they are, and the views espoused by Centhra only increase risks and challenges they face.

“We remind Centhra that Malaysia is a member of the United Nations and is obligated to uphold international human rights standards. We also call for meaningful dialogue and engagement with the LGBT community to promote understanding instead of misinformed condemnation, moral posturing and fear mongering,” it said. Read more

LGBT Malaysians uphold democracy because we are citizens

Source: Malaysiakini

LETTER

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

LGBT rights supporters join Bersih 5 rally holding a banner by the Pelangi Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016. — Picture courtesy of Joshua Tan, taken from MMO

We are appalled by the absurd, irresponsible and inaccurate claims made by the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in two news articles here and here dated Nov 27, 2016.

In both articles, Centhra irresponsibly labeled LGBT persons and groups as ‘militant’ simply for participating in Bersih 5 and supporting the urging for clean and fair elections. LGBT persons and groups stand in solidarity with diverse groups and all people living in Malaysia urging good, transparent and accountable governance in our country.

In the articles, Centhra also criticised Bersih for allowing LGBT persons to participate in the rallies. We find the urging to isolate and police LGBT groups and persons deeply troubling.

The fact is, LGBT persons are often denied some, if not all, of fundamental human rights because of our sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Many LGBT persons face gross discrimination and violence within homes, schools, workplace, hospitals, and public sectors simply for being who we are. Centhra’s views increase risks and challenges for LGBT persons to seek assistance and access justice when violence occurs. Read more

How serious is Malaysia about helping the Rohingya? — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee Burma. Pic: AP.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee Burma. Pic: AP.

THERE’s been a sudden spike in interest in the region on the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, a crisis that has stretched on for decades. And much of the attention seems to be coming from Malaysia.

On Sunday, the country’s ruling party Umno (United Malays National Organisation) organised a mass rally protesting the Burmese’s treatment of the Rohingya.

Most people know about the Rohingya, an ethnic minority from the west coast state of Rakhine in Burma, who are considered stateless by the government. They are oppressed, tortured and killed to the point of ethnic cleansing.

To escape persecution at home, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled their country over the years. In Malaysia alone, official records from the Foreign Ministry show that there are about 56,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.

But here’s the thing. Malaysia doesn’t recognise them as refugees because the country is not a signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Basically, all the 56,000 Rohingya in Malaysia are just recognised as illegal immigrants.

Hence why it is funny that Umno, whose members form the Malaysian government, organised the pro-Rohingya protest. Read more

Pengalaman ngeri diculik sindiket sasar pekerja Bangladesh di Malaysia

Source: FMT News

Gambar dipetik dari FMT News

Gambar dipetik dari FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Seorang pekerja Bangladesh menceritakan bagaimana beliau diculik oleh sekumpulan lelaki dan diseksa sebelum diabaikan 5 hari di sebuah hutan di Kuantan, Pahang.

Ahkbar Dhaka Tribune berkata ia merupakan satu taktik penjenayah yang berpakat dengan kumpulan di Bangladesh, dengan menculik rakyat negara itu di Malaysia bagi tujuan mendapatkan wang tebusan daripada keluarganya di tanah air.

“Saya sedang tidur di bilik saya pada malam itu,” Mahbubul Alam, yang bekerja sebagai tukang bersih selama 9 tahun di Malaysia, memberitahu wartawan di Dhaka, beberapa jam selepas pulang.

Menurutnya, beliau didatangi 2 lelaki yang mendakwa pegawai polis yang menyuruhnya ke balai polis.

“Sebaik sahaja keluar, mereka menutup mata saya dan memaksa saya ke dalam sebuah kereta,” katanya. Read more

Address discrimination back home before championing Rohingya rights, Putrajaya told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — A United Nations (UN) representative today lauded Malaysia’s efforts to fight for the marginalised Rohingya community, but said that the country should also address human rights issues back home.

“I am really happy to see Malaysian government take up Rohingya issues. That is a great thing to do, but it should also take up issues in own countries.

“Have the same concern for discrimination in Malaysia. For election reforms in Malaysia,” the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai said today.

“But we should also ask them to have the same amount of concern for issues domestic and international. Not just about Rohingyas. We want Rohingyas to exercise their right, but we also want Malaysians to exercise their right,” he added. Read more

Wrong to criminalise groups for receiving foreign funding, UN rep says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Putrajaya should not criminalise civil society groups for receiving foreign funding when even governments around the world do so as well, a United Nations (UN) representative said today.

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai pointed out that there should only be one international standard to regulate the foreign funding.

“So why is it a problem when NGO gets foreign fundings and not businesses or government?

“If everybody in the world gets foreign funding, why do they pick on one and says its wrong but another one is okay?” Kiai said at a special lecture session titled ‘Freedom of Assembly: Trends and Challenges in International Human Rights’ at the Malaysian Integrity Institute here.

Kiai stressed that no one should be criminalised simply for receiving funds from organisations like the Open Society Foundation (OSF), which is owned by billionaire George Soros. Read more