Where’s national human rights action plan, asks Suhakam

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail.File pic

THE Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) today asked the government what happened to the national human rights action plan after it submitted a proposal years ago.

“We gave our feedback to the proposal years ago and today, we are still waiting (for it),” commission chairman Razali Ismail told reporters at a get-together in Kuching.

Razali was in Kuching to chair the commission’s meeting.

“The last I was told only the final draft (of the plan) was ready,” Razali said.

But he said he is still waiting with no assurance when the draft would be made public.

The plan was approved by the cabinet on October 12, 2012.

It was to draw up a systematic action plan or standard operating procedure (SOP) for government enforcement agencies to protect and uphold an individual’s human rights when discharging their duties.

The draft, to have been drawn up by Legal Affairs Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, was to be “tailored for the country”. Read more

Insert unilateral conversion ban or just scrap Bill altogether, faith group insists

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7- The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) has urged Putrajaya to reinstate a unilateral conversion ban clause which was earlier revoked from the a proposed Bill today.

Its vice president Jagir Singh told Malay Mail Online that since Section 88A in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2016 has now been withdrawn, injustices will continue for a non-converting spouse whose children can then be unilaterally converted.

“Our council hopes that the newly-amended Bill which is due to be tabled tomorrow, if it does not include the requirement that both parents should consent, then it should be withdrawn altogether and brought back to the drawing board again.

“This is a big setback to the justice in such cases where the marriage is under the civil law, and one party has converted to Islam. This move will cause further injustice to the non-converting spouse,” Jagir said when contacted. Read more

SIS: Dropping unilateral conversion ban a failure to serve justice

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Sisters in Islam (SIS) today expressed its disappointment over Putrajaya’s decision to abort Section 88A, designed to ban unilateral conversion of children to Islam, from the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill.

SIS also pointed out that unilateral conversion cases often inflict extensive emotional sufferings onto parents like Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi, and this proves a critical need for amendments to the said Bill to prevent similar cases from recurring.

“SIS would like to reiterate that the current law has failed to serve justice or provide substantive legal recourse for the non-converting spouse which subsequently will cause more pain and harm towards them.

“With the long-drawn court processes in having to address jurisdictional issues, more often than not, prolongs the uncertainty and denies justice to be immediately upheld for the families concerned,” the women’s group told Malay Mail Online in a statement.

Indira, a pre-school teacher, made national headlines following her years of court battle, after her ex-husband, a Muslim convert, also converted their three children.

The group also criticised Putrajaya for having “lack of commitment” despite promising to address the matter in 2016. Read more

Without unilateral conversion ban, what reform is left? Hindu mom asks Putrajaya

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Putrajaya’s decision to has left a Hindu mother disappointed with the reform promised by the government.

M. Indira Gandhi lamented the futility of her lengthy legal battle for the custody of her child who was unilaterally converted into Islam, Prasana Diksa, that made national headlines years ago — and still does.

“What were all those years of battle for?” the mother of three asked in exasperation, when contacted by Malay Mail Online.

“So what’s the use of amending the Bill? We are fighting for that Section 88A only. Since they have dropped it, what other new things are they really going to bring in the Bill?”

Putrajaya had earlier today withdrew a Bill from Parliament that would have prohibited the religious conversion of children needing only the consent of one parent after conservative Muslims protested against it. Read more

Death threat probe on Bersih chief submitted to AGC

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have completed their probe into the death threats against Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and her sons, Bersih committee member Mandeep Singh and Malaysian Human Rights Society chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“The investigation paper was submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on April 12, 2017,” the home ministry said in a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The ministry added that the government was awaiting a report on the issue from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The ministry was replying to Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), who asked about the status of the police reports made by Maria, Ambiga and Mandeep regarding the death threats they received. Read more

Cabinet agreement on death penalty reforms welcomed — Amnesty International Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

AUGUST 7 — Amnesty International Malaysia welcomes the Cabinet’s decision to allow judges to impose other forms of punishment in place of the mandatory death penalty against those convicted of drug trafficking.

“We welcome the move as a recognition that the mandatory death penalty is egregious form of punishment. However, we remain concerned that the legislative changes are limited to the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and that executions continue to be carried out against others who have also been mandatorily sentenced to death,” Amnesty International Malaysia Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said.

Malaysia imposes the mandatory death penalty for 12 offences, including murder, drug trafficking, terrorism-related offences when these result in death, and some firearms offences. The imposition of the mandatory death penalty is prohibited under international law.

The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that ‘the automatic and mandatory imposition of the death penalty constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life […] in circumstances where the death penalty is imposed without any possibility of taking into account the defendant’s personal circumstances or the circumstances of the particular offence’. Read more

Asean MPs: Greater protection for migrants, refugees needed

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Asean lawmakers today urged regional governments to step up efforts to protect migrant workers and refugees.

Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) board member Teddy Baguilat said both sending and receiving countries needed to do their part to end abusive recruitment and employment practices for migrant workers, and promote the security and rights of refugees fleeing persecution.

Baguilat, who is a member of the Philippines House of Representatives, said Asean and member governments had a duty to ensure that all people, whether their own citizens or those from other countries, were protected.

“This should include strengthening domestic and regional legal frameworks to provide security and enable people to pursue recourse and justice,” he said.

APHR undertook a fact-finding mission just over a month after the start of an ongoing crackdown on undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia, which it said already resulted in thousands of arrests. Read more

Kabinet setuju pinda hukuman mati pengedar dadah

Sumber: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Kabinet sebulat suara bersetuju untuk membenarkan para hakim mengenakan hukuman yang sesuai ke atas pengedar dadah dan bukan hukuman mati melalui satu pindaan kepada Seksyen 39B Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said berkata kementerian dan agensi berwajib akan menyediakan satu memorandum untuk persetujuan jemaah menteri.

Beliau berkata kajian ke atas isu itu dijalankan melalui Pusat Pengajian Hukum dan Perundangan Antarabangsa (I-CeLLS) dan dibentangkan ke jemaah menteri pada 1 Mac.

“Kabinet sebulat suara bersetuju untuk meminda Seksyen 39B Akta Dadah Berbahaya,” katanya. Read more

Over 10,000 Sabah natives get titles to customary land

Source: FMT News

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has issued 72 communal grants totalling 48,212ha of land in 213 villages benefiting 10,462 people since the introduction of the land ownership system for landless natives in 2012.

Of the number, 13 communal grants covering 34,426ha in 90 villages benefiting 3,993 people have been developed through joint ventures between the beneficiaries and state agencies or private companies.

Sabah chief minister Musa Aman disclosed this in replying to Wilfred Bumburing (PCS (-Tamparuli) in the state assembly today.

Communal grants are issued to protect the rights of Sabah natives to customary land. The land cannot be sold. Read more

Death threat probe on Bersih chief submitted to AGC

Source: FMT News

However, second death threat against Maria Chin and her sons last November is still under police investigation. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have completed their probe into the death threats against Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and her sons, Bersih committee member Mandeep Singh and Malaysian Human Rights Society chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“The investigation paper was submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on April 12, 2017,” the home ministry said in a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The ministry added that the government was awaiting a report on the issue from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Read more