Watchdog calls for end to state laws criminalising gender, sexual identity

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Taylor’s University had explained that it cancelled LGBT awareness event at its campus because the organisers did not obtain its approval. — AFP pic

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on Malaysia noted that attacks against trans women have become increasingly brutal. — AFP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Malaysian laws criminalising activities like cross-dressing has led to increased discrimination and violence against transgenders and those of different sexual identities and orientations, an international human rights watchdog said.

In its latest report to the United Nations committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on Malaysia released Friday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted that attacks against these peoples, especially trans women, have become increasingly brutal.

It highlighted the February murder of a trans woman named Sameera in Kuantan, Pahang whose body was also mutilated as a recent example of the growing phobia taking against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the country.

The organisation further noted the increased frequency of state-sanctioned raids, arrests and prosecution of transgenders who are subjected to rough treatment under detention, and added that these have far-reaching socio-economic repercussions. Read more

Constitution, not Umno, protects minority rights, critics tell Annuar Musa

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Minority rights that Tan Sri Annuar Musa claimed were protected and provided by Umno come instead from the Federal Constitution, said lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle.

Rebutting the Umno information chief’s remarks on Friday that the existence of Chinese schools, names and culture in Malaysia was due to Umno’s efforts and “blessings, they further said these were achieved through the joint efforts of all Malaysians rather than any single party.

PKR strategy director Sim Tze Tzin said Annuar’s remarks showed that Umno was stuck in “dinosaur politics” and outdated colonial methods of “divide-and-rule” by pitting different races against each other.

“In modern politics, political parties will be very thankful to the people for support, not asking people to be thankful to be good to them.

“It is their job to create a conducive and peaceful environment for everyone to prosper but they ask people to be thankful to them for doing their job. Read more