What doesn’t kill makes you stronger — The other side of Farouk Musa

Source: FMT News

Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)’s Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa — Pic drawn from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The year 2017 was eventful for Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), an organisation he formed eight years ago with the aim of empowering Muslims intellectually.

But it was a path full of thorns, especially when not many, especially within Malaysia’s Islamic bureaucracy, share his ideas on Islam.

His arguments in favour of liberal democracy, secularism, and human rights offer a completely refreshing view from what many have been accustomed to. Farouk believes that challenging long-held views thought as “Islamic” is most effective, and credible, by approaching it from the Islamic scholarly tradition.

That did not stop the government from taking action on him amid accusations that he was promoting “liberal Islam”. Read more

Courts fail voters in EC redelineation challenges, says Sri Ram

Source: FMT News

Retired Federal Court judge and lawyer Gopal Sri Ram in an October 30, 2014 picture by Najjua Zulkefli

PETALING JAYA: The year saw superior courts – the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court – delivering numerous judgments that touched on the basic constitutional rights of citizens.

The most significant were legal challenges mounted by voters and the PKR-led state government in Selangor against the Election Commission (EC) for its alleged failure to follow procedures and demarcate election boundaries as required under the Federal Constitution. Read more

Malaysian transgender conversion plan sparks alarm

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 ― A Malaysian state plans to run a conversion therapy course aimed at transgender women, officials said today, sparking alarm among LGBT activists in the conservative Muslim-majority country.

The course would run over several days next year after authorities had completed a survey of the transgender population, a Terengganu state official said.

Participation in the course would be voluntary, Ghazali said, adding that the programme would include medical, psychological and religious experts, as well as transgender women who have “returned to normal lives”. Read more

False news can destroy lives, threatens nation, MCMC COO says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BUKIT GANTANG, Dec 30 —  Dissemination of false news on the Internet can ruin a person’s life, as well as threatens national stability, said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chief operating officer Datuk Mazlan Ismail.

He said the spread of false news not only occurred in Malaysia, but also in developed countries such as France, Germany and Britain.

“Checking the legitimacy and source of news is very important before spreading it,” he said in his speech at the Bukit  Gantang SEBENARNYA.MY Carnival in Changkat Jering. Read more

Learn about us first, transgender activist tells Terengganu over proposed rehab course

Source: The Malay Mail Online

LGBT activist Nisha Ayub — Pic taken from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — A transgender activist has lashed at Terengganu state executive committee member Ghazali Taib for proposing an “awareness course” aimed at bringing the community “back to the right path”.

Nisha Ayub from Justice for Sisters said today that state authorities should first educate themselves on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and the history of the community here, before even trying to organise any outreach programme.

“Stop assuming that you can change a person into the mould of your own beliefs or understanding. This is not about a puppet but about a human being,” Nisha said in a statement on her Facebook page. Read more

Coroner: Cops careless, diabetic man in lockup could live if treated

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Police lock up – file pic taken from The Star

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The police had acted negligently and had failed to ensure immediate medical treatment that could have saved a diabetic man from dying in 2015 after just around three days in the Dang Wangi lockup, a coroner ruled today.

Coroner Mohd Zulbahrin Zainuddin noted that R. Thangaraja’s family had testified that he had suffered from diabetes since the age of 21 and had required insulin injections twice a day to avoid feeling dizzy, and that he had in the past been brought to the hospital over his condition.

“Although the cause of death is associated with heart attack and diabetes, it is this court’s finding that the deceased’s life could have been saved if early treatment was given to him while he was in detention, even more so when there were signs of him being ill.

“The failure to give early treatment to the deceased is linked to the carelessness of the lockup management that failed to provide the attention and consideration due to the deceased who was proven to have suffered from health problems since he was first detained in the Dang Wangi lockup,” said Mohd Zulbahrin, who is also a Sessions Court judge. Read more

Tenaganita: Loan sharks now ‘helping’ migrants at hospitals

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita is aware that some loan sharks loaf around hospitals to take advantage of migrants who are in need of money for medical treatment.

Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das — pic from FMT News.

Speaking to FMT, Tenaganita director Glorene Das said they had heard of loan sharks waiting at the hospital and offering loans to immigrants for their medical treatment.

The matter first came to FMT’s attention when an Indonesian immigrant with permanent resident status in Malaysia tipped off the portal.

He said when his friend took his pregnant wife to a government hospital, “agents” approached his friend, saying they were willing to help if he did not have any money to pay for the pregnancy care.

Foreign residents have to pay a larger deposit when seeking treatment at government hospitals. In a move to reduce the medical subsidy for non-citizens, the health ministry in April announced new rates for admission to wards and surgery. Read more

Protecting the innocent

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysian Parliament — MMO file pic

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia made some milestone decisions in law this year in protecting the rights of children and ensuring innocent people are not sent to the gallows.

Parliament enacted a new law to protect children from being subjected to sexual abuses physically and online.

The Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 comprehensively covers all aspects including corroboration of evidence for child victims and setting up a special court for child sexual offences nationwide.

The law received wide support of lawmakers from both political divides, civil societies, human rights activists and the public. Read more

Ex-judge says court failed to use its additional powers in EC case

Source: FMT News

Paragraph 1 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 gives judges the additional power to remedy a wrong, especially on fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, says Sri Ram. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The courts have additional powers to check on illegality and correct any injustice with regard to complaints against the Election Commission (EC) in carrying out the redelineation exercise, a retired judge said.

Gopal Sri Ram said judges could then issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law.

“The law is that if the EC acts contrary to the Federal Constitution in the exercise of its powers, then the court can examine the legality of the conduct.

“If there is either illegality in the way in which the power is exercised or any injustice has resulted because of the exercise of its powers, the court can issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law,” he told FMT. Read more

DAP: New army camp being built in Hisham’s constituency

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong today accused Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein of lying when he denied that an army camp was being built in his Sembrong constituency in Johor.

Liew said the camp was under construction in Paloh, a state seat within the Sembrong constituency.

“He is clearly lying because there is an army camp being built in his constituency,” he said in response to Hishammuddin’s denial that army camps were being built for political purposes.

Hishammuddin, who is also an Umno vice-president, was quoted yesterday as saying that if the allegation was true, he would have ordered an army camp to be built in Sembrong.

“As the defence minister, I would do a camp in my area first,” he told reporters at the opening of the refurbished Kompleks Mutiara Armada navy camp.  Read more