Indira Gandhi dedicates International Women of Courage recognition to all single parents in Malaysia

Source: The Star Online

M. Indira Gandhi sharing a moment with Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir. Pic from The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: M. Indira Gandhi had dedicated her International Women of Courage (IWOC) plaque honouring her courage in the nine-year battle against the unilateral conversion of her three children to Islam to all the single parents in Malaysia.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” said Indira, while accepting the plaque from US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir at a reception in her residence.

“This (the plaque) not only represents me, but all the single parents like me,” she said.

Indira is the US Embassy in Malaysia’s nominee for the US State Department’s IWOC award this year.

The IWOC Award recognises women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Read more

Parliament passes controversial re-delineation report

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Dewan Rakyat has accepted the motion to redraw the electoral boundaries, which the opposition has repeatedly called a gerrymandering exercise to boost the ruling Barisan Nasional government’s chances in the coming general election.

The bill was passed after a bloc vote was called, with the final vote in favour of the current Barisan Nasional government.

BN used its majority and ensured the motion was carried with 129 votes for and 80 votes against. Read more

Citizen group wants local council election to be restored

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — A group of individuals representing various civil societies has called for the government to reinstate local council elections, arguing that it is critical for community leaders to be beholden to taxpayers.

During a discussion organised by the Civil Society Caucus for Policy Reform on March 23, the group said that historically Malaysia had conducted local elections since before independence but that right was suspended in 1965 when Indonesia launched its ‘Konfrontasi’ against the nation.

“The current appointment system of local councillors lacks accountability because they do not need to face discontent from community, there is no check and balance by the residents if any councillor fail to perform. Read more

Special Anti-Trafficking in Persons court proof of govt’s commitment to combat human trafficking, says CJ

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif ― Malay Mail pic

KLANG, March 28 — The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Sessions Court established today is proof of the government’s commitment to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants into the country, said Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif.

“The Malaysian judiciary is committed to ensuring that trials and the time frame to settle human trafficking cases are expedited. Klang was chosen as the location for the pilot project of the ATIP court in view of Selangor recording the highest number of human trafficking cases in the country,” he said.

By the end of this year, ATIP courts would also be set up in five other locations in stages namely in  Ipoh, Melaka, Muar, Kota Kinabalu and Balik Pulau, he told a media conference after opening the first ATIP court at the Klang Court Complex here today. Read more

Malaysia launches special court for human trafficking

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The first special court for human trafficking is in the Sessions Court complex in Klang. It is set up to spare trafficking victims the ordeal of a lengthy legal process.– The Malaysian Insight pic, March 28, 2018.

MALAYSIA launched its first special court for human trafficking in the Klang Sessions Court complex today.

Chief Justice Raus Sharif said five more will be set up within the year in Ipoh, Penang, Malacca, Muar, and Kota Kinabalu, in that order.

“We selected Klang to be the location for this pioneer project because statistics wise, Selangor has the highest concentration of human trafficking cases registered among all the other states in Malaysia,” said Raus in his speech.

Judge Unaizah Mohd will preside over 12 cases registered in this new court in Klang.

Only senior sessions court judges with at least 25 years of experience in the judicial and legal service are qualified to preside in the special court on human trafficking, he said.

“Previously human trafficking cases were assigned as normal cases to judges. With this specialised court, the judges can concentrate on these cases only. That’s why we’re confident the cases can be disposed of within nine months,” Raus told reporters after the launch. Read more

Anti-redelineation protesters march to Parliament against police orders

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) speaks during the Bersih 2.0 protest against the Election Commission’s electoral redelineation report in Kuala Lumpur March 28, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 ― A few hundred people marched through a police barrier in front of Parliament to protest against the tabling of the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report today.

The protesters led by several Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders, including PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, were stopped by another police barricade made up of Light Strike Force officers near the Parliament building bridge.

A group of 10 representatives were then allowed entry into Parliament for the memorandum submission, while the remainder held a sit-in protest outside the bridge around 11.40am. Read more

Sabah excluded from EC’s redelineation report despite state amendment to increase seats

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The 14th general election is due in four months and the EC’s current redelineation proposal is largely expected to be gazetted and be used in time for the national polls. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 ― The Election Commission (EC)’s redelineation report tabled today in Parliament did not include any recommendations for electoral boundary changes in Sabah.

This is despite the Sabah state government amending the state constitution in August 2016 to increase the amount of state assembly seats there from 60 seats to 73 seats, around the same time the EC started their redelineation study nationwide. Read more

Born and bred in Malaysia: Stateless persons — Jamie Chai Yun Liew

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAMIE CHAI YUN LIEW

MARCH 28 — Malaysia has a statelessness problem but not in the way that many expect. Stateless persons in Malaysia are not foreigners, migrants or even “illegals”. They are born and bred in Malaysia.

Between January and April 2018, I conducted research in Malaysia interviewing stateless persons, lawyers, paralegals, NGOs, and academics. Over the course of examining legal cases, reading news articles, and talking to Malaysian experts working in the field, I discovered there are six categories of stateless persons in Malaysia. These six categories include: (1) persons who were citizens before Malaysian independence (including those persons who came to work in plantations); (2) persons who have lost important documentation such as birth certificates or marriage licenses; (3) abandoned children (foundlings) and adopted children born in Malaysia; (4) children of mixed marriages or children born before a marriage was registered; (5) Indigenous persons; (6) some refugees and migrants. Read more