Orang Asli sue Johor government over projects on ancestral land

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Picture shows the highway to Ledang district, Johor. — Google Maps screenshot, taken from MMO

Picture shows the highway to Ledang district, Johor. — Google Maps screenshot, taken from MMO

JOHOR BARU, Jan 10 — A total of 504 Orang Asli from Kampung Sungai Air Tawas and Tanah Gembur in Ledang today filed a suit against the Johor government and three others to challenge projects being carried out an area which they claimed to be their ancestral land since last November.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Joint-Chairmen of the Ledang Orang Asli Action Committee, Jengkeng Jani, 69, and Mengkek Achai, 56, filed the suit at the Civil High Court registry here through their lawyer Nur Hannan Ishak.

Besides the Johor government, the three other defendants named in the suit are project contractor Zila Maju Enterprise; Johor National Park Corporation Director and the Malaysian government. Read more

Malaysia: Australian police say they are taking part in probe on 1MDB scandal

Source: Asian Correspondent

Men walk past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund's flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Men walk past a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund’s flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

THE Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Tuesday they are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate companies associated with Malaysia’s scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund.

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six other countries, including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

Civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice allege more than US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB. The lawsuits seek to seize US$1 billion in assets allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a private jet. Read more

Activist: It’s now up to the people to bring about change

Source: FMT News

I will speak at public forums to educate and create awareness among the people of their rights, says activist Haris Ibrahim after the Court of Appeal ruled against him earlier today. Pic from FMT News.

I will speak at public forums to educate and create awareness among the people of their rights, says activist Haris Ibrahim after the Court of Appeal ruled against him earlier today. Pic from FMT News.

PUTRAJAYA: A defiant Haris Ibrahim said political reform now has to come from the people as public institutions could not be relied on to bring about change.

“Each time you rely on the institutions, it is another nail in the coffin,” the former lawyer turned activist told reporters.

Earlier, the Court of Appeal, in dismissing Haris’s appeal for more information on the on-going redelineation exercise, said the Election Commission (EC) was legally not entitled to meet the demands of voters.

Haris said he would speak at public forums to educate and create awareness among the people of their rights. Read more

Court rules EC not obliged to explain redelineation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Activist Haris Ibrahim reportedly filed for a court order in January 2015 to compel the EC to furnish the details of all constituencies in its redelineation exercise on its website, like in India. — Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 ― The Court of Appeal ruled today that voters were not entitled to receive information from the Election Commission (EC) on how it arrived at the redelineation process.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that the appellate court, in refusing activist Haris Ibrahim’s appeal to a decision by a lower court that had rejected his application to obtain information on the EC’s proposed redelineation, ruled that he had not pleaded on how the EC would be infringing on his rights.

Justice Datuk Zamani A. Rahim, who wrote the judgment, also reportedly cited the lack of federal legislation in Malaysia protecting freedom of information, compared to India and Canada.

“Based on the above, (Haris’) appeal is without merit and should be refused. It is a challenge to the constitutional duties of the EC as specified under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution,” he was quoted saying in the unanimous decision by the three-member bench. Read more

Amid Thaipusam spray-painting threat, activist explains significance of saree

Source: The Malay Mail Online

According to a report on British news outlet BBC, the traditional saree that exposes the shoulder, arms, back and lower abdomen trace back as far as at least the Maury and Sunga periods in 300BC. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

According to a report on British news outlet BBC, the traditional saree that exposes the shoulder, arms, back and lower abdomen trace back as far as at least the Maury and Sunga periods in 300BC. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — The traditional saree that some conservatives consider to be revealing is an ancient norm of the Indian civilisation, explained a women’s rights activist today.

After reported threats by a vigilante group to spray-paint women dressed “inappropriately” for Thaipusam, Sivananthi Thanenthiran, the executive director at the Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW), authored a Facebook post explaining the evolution of the saree.

In her post, Sivananthi wrote that the “appropriate” version of the traditional Indian dress, which covered most of the wearer’s upper torso, was not part of the original attire, but instead introduced to appease the sensitivities of India’s former colonial masters. Read more

Why Malaysian Muslims have ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has clarified that the NRD inserts ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ for all Muslim children, regardless of their ethnicity, for legal reasons such as determining lineage for inheritance purposes.

In Malaysia, the words 'bin' and 'binti' are commonly used for a child of Malay ethnicity, with these patronyms denoting whether someone is respectively a man’s son or daughter. — Picture by Choo Choy May

In Malaysia, the words ‘bin’ and ‘binti’ are commonly used for a child of Malay ethnicity, with these patronyms denoting whether someone is respectively a man’s son or daughter. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 ― Though many cultures have the title “bin” or “binti” inserted as part of their names, the practice is most widespread among Muslims in Malaysia, where it has caused controversy in recent years due to reports of unilateral insertion by the National Registration Department (NRD).

Amid the buzz, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed clarified to Malay Mail Online that the NRD inserts the titles for all Muslim children, regardless of their ethnicity, for legal reasons such as determining lineage for inheritance purposes.

“This is as verification that those children are the biological children (legitimate children) of those who have been attributed Bin/Binti,” he said when contacted yesterday. Read more

Tough year for human rights in Southeast Asia — Bridget Welsh

Source: New Mandala

BY BRIDGET WELSH

Bridget Welsh charts the major challenges to civil liberties across the region in 2016.

In reflecting on developments in 2016, attention has centered on events in the West or the Middle East, Trump’s presidential victory or the brutality in Aleppo. But closer to home, Southeast Asia has experienced worrying trends that have undermined human rights and fostered division. Overall, 2016 was not a good year for the region, as trends show greater challenges for civil liberties.

Vicious political attacks on civil society activists have risen, with greater violence. Cambodian activist Kem Lay was murdered in broad daylight in July. Filipino environmental activist Gloria Capitan in Bataan Philippines was murdered in the same month, while labor activists Orlando Abangan and Edilberto Miralles were killed the same week in September. In Malaysia Sarawakian indigenous rights activist Bill Kayong was shot point blank in his truck at a road junction in June. Serious questions remain about culpability in all of these cases.

Other attacks on activists were more clear-cut, with governments ruthlessly using all of their tools at their disposal to quiet dissent. Malaysian Bersih movement chairwoman Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested using Special Offences (Special Measures) Act of SOSMA for 10 days, along with other activists, notably student leader Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof. Read more

22,000 Rohingya larikan diri dalam seminggu

Sumber: AFP | FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

Setakat 5 Januari, dianggarkan 65,000 orang mendiami kem pelarian di selatan Bangladesh.

Yangon: Sekurang-kurangnya 65,000 Rohingya melarikan diri dari Myanmar ke Bangladesh, satu pertiga daripadanya minggu lalu, sejak tentera melancarkan kekerasan di utara negeri Rakhine, kata Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu.

Angka tersebut menandakan kemelaratan dalam jumlah mereka yang melarikan diri daripada kempen ketenteraan yang menurut kumpulan hak asasi manusia dicemari pencabulan berupa jenayah kemanusiaan.

Pelarian tiba pada hari wakil hak asasi manusia PBB di Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, memulakan lawatan 12 hari ke kawasan kawalan tentera untuk menyiasat keganasan di daerah sempadan negara itu.

“Pada minggu lepas, 22,000 pelarian baharu dilaporkan menyeberangi sempadan dari negeri Rakhine,” kata agensi bantuan PBB dalam laporan mingguannya.

Setakat 5 Januari, dianggarkan 65,000 orang mendiami kem berdaftar, penempatan sementara dan masyarakat tuan rumah di Cox Bazaar di selatan Bangladesh, kata Jabatan Penyelaras Hal Ehwal Kemanusiaan. Read more

PIBG alu-alukan kanak-kanak tiada kerakyatan, tapi mahu pelarian dididik cara lain

Sumber: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) Kebangsaan membantah idea membuka sekolah kebangsaan untuk kanak-kanak pelarian, dan berkata perbezaan budaya akan menimbulkan banyak masalah.

Bagaimanapun, ia mengalu-alukan pendaftaran kanak-kanak tanpa kerakyatan di sekolah kebangsaan. Definisi kanak-kanak tanpa kerakyatan sebagai salah seorang ibu bapanya rakyat Malaysia tetapi anak itu tidak memiliki dokumen kewarganegaraan.

Pengerusinya, Prof Madya Mohamad Ali Hassan mencadangkan supaya kerajaan menghantar guru mengajar kanak-kanak berkenaan di kem pelarian.

“Mereka datang daripada pelbagai budaya berbeza. Lebih baik jika kerajaan ambil guru terlatih untuk mengajar di penempatan pelarian,” katanya. Read more

Lawyer: It is taxpayers who pay for civil servants’ negligence

Source: FMT News

This death is lamentable and regrettable as it could have been avoided, says judge Nantha Balan after awarding RM357,000 in damages to the family of P Chandran, who died in police custody after being denied medical attention. Pic taken from FMT News

This death is lamentable and regrettable as it could have been avoided, says judge Nantha Balan after awarding RM357,000 in damages to the family of P Chandran, who died in police custody after being denied medical attention. Pic taken from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The government has to pay damages when policemen are found liable for civil wrongdoings as it has to take responsibility over the actions of civil servants, said a lawyer.

Ramesh Sivakumar said under the law, the government was also liable as it had supervisory powers over public servants.

He was responding to the heated debate on social media that taxpayers money was being wasted on court awarded damages to relatives of victims because of the negligence shown by civil servants.

Yesterday, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur found the police liable for the death of lorry driver P Chandran in the Dang Wangi lock-up after his medical needs were not attended to.

Judge S Nantha Balan awarded a total of RM357,000 in damages to Chandran’s widow, N Selvi, and daughter, C Rita, for negligence and abuse of public office.

Another RM50,000 was awarded as costs.

From the amount, Nantha awarded RM200,000 in exemplary damages as the police had deprived Chandran of life and liberty.

Nantha said there was negligence on the failure of the policemen to send Chandran for treatment. Read more