MP: Asean’s failure to help Rohingya ‘deeply disappointing’

Source: FMT News

DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago laments that Asean foreign ministers caved in to Aung San Suu Kyi’s sweet talk. Pic form FMT News.

DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago laments that Asean foreign ministers caved in to Aung San Suu Kyi’s sweet talk. Pic form FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Charles Santiago says it is “deeply disappointing” that the Asean members failed to act decisively to address the ongoing Rohingya crisis, despite urgings from Malaysia.

He said this following a meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Yangon focused on the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

“That Malaysia failed to convince other Asean members of the urgent need to act is deeply disappointing. Through continued inaction, Asean risks failing the people at its centre.

“This meeting should have been an opportunity to take decisive action to protect vulnerable civilians and hold the Myanmar government and military accountable.

“Unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, it seems it was largely an act of political theatre,” said Santiago, who also serves as chairperson of Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). Read more

Putrajaya not keen on human rights so we looked elsewhere, NGOs say

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Several human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have insisted today that receiving foreign funds is legal, with clear documentation and oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.

The groups said they were forced to turn to foreign funding since the Malaysian government has allegedly not been consistent with their support of human rights, citing budget cuts for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

“We are not government entities or businesses — our policies and programmes are not dictated by investments. Civil society organisations are guided by our constitutions and objectives in our programming, framed by fundamental human rights, and only then approaching potential funders with proposals. Read more

Punishing the wrong people — Mustafa K. Anuar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dr Mustafa K. Anuar would still like to believe that the earth is flat so that all the elements of social injustice, bigotry and tyranny on this earth can be pushed off the edge. On this supposedly flat surface, he is a Fellow at the Penang Institute. Pic form the MMO.

Dr Mustafa K. Anuar is a Fellow at the Penang Institute. Pic from the MMO.

DECEMBER 21 — It is disturbing that authorities in Universiti Malaya (UM) handed down harsh sentences to its student activists who participated in the “Tangkap MO1” rally recently.

The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) administration also did the same with a student who joined the same demonstration.

Furthermore, it is appalling that the university establishment has continuously and unabashedly aped the attitude and demeanour of the powers-that-be who are inclined to rule by fiat as opposed to having intellectual engagement in the form of, say, dialogue, debate or discussion as is expected in a functioning parliamentary democracy.

It is even more alarming for a university, supposedly an academic domain that encourages intellectual discourse and the pursuit of truth and knowledge, to have acted in a manner that is ironically anti-intellectual in nature and consequently provides bad example to its students, many of whom look up to the authorities for good leadership.

After all, didn’t the Minister of Higher Education Idris Jusoh declare — i.e. if we were to take his word at face value — that this is “a free country” when he countered the accusation of “external interference” in this issue?  Read more

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded
21 December 2016pdf

We, a group of concerned civil society organisations, condemn the attempts by the Malaysian government to discredit human rights work through the vilification of international funding for civil society. We are committed in our pursuit towards creating an enabling environment for democratic participation and good governance.

We are gravely concerned by recent statements made by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, and the Malaysian police that about 15 to 20 organisations are being investigated for receiving overseas funding. The funds we receive, whether from local or international funders, are legal under Malaysian laws. There is clear documentation of the funds and multiple levels of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability, including laws in the funders’ countries of origin, scrutiny by Bank Negara, and the mandated audits of our organisational accounts. Read more

Rights of the natives — Tricia Yeoh

Source: The Sun Daily

A group of Orang Asli block a road in Kampung Sungai Peralong, Gua Musang to protest against timber logging activities in the area on Oct 29, 2016. — Bernama

A group of Orang Asli block a road in Kampung Sungai Peralong, Gua Musang to protest against timber logging activities in the area on Oct 29, 2016. — Bernama

A VIDEO went viral at the end of November on social media, portraying the Temiar Orang Asli community singing Negaraku as the blockade they had set up to protest logging at a forest reserve in Gua Musang in September was destroyed. Several orang asli villagers were also detained as a result of the incident.

This particular action was ordered by the Kelantan State Forestry Department, while a representative of the Kelantan state government stated that all logging activities in Kelantan since 1978 had complied with the law and urged all parties to comply with set regulations.

The orang asli in Malaysia despite being natives and therefore technically part of the bumiputra community have, unfortunately, not quite benefited from the country’s affirmative action policies. A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2014 report revealed that almost 34% of orang asli households live in poverty, this despite official country figures that say 0.6% of the population live below the national poverty line. Why the disenfranchised community? Has the government not paid enough attention to their woes? Read more

From porn to politics: Malaysian ISPs aid censorship by blocking 39 sites, says study

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Graphics by the Malay Mail Online.

Graphics by the Malay Mail Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Malaysian internet service providers (ISPs) facilitated censorship in the country by tampering with internet connections and blocking 39 websites, according to “The State of Internet Censorship in Malaysia” study released yesterday.

The study by local open technology initiative Sinar Project and global censorship monitor Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) found the websites blocked included not only pornography, but those on religious and political criticism, and even news sites.

“This study provides data that serves as evidence of the DNS blocking of 39 different websites in Malaysia. Since block pages were detected for all of these sites, their censorship is confirmed and undeniable.

“The blocked websites include news outlets, blogs, and a popular publishing platform (medium.com),” said the report. Read more