Malaysia climbs out of Tier 2 watch list in US human trafficking chart

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia joins Muslim-majority neighbours Indonesia and Brunei, which were similarly ranked as the worst freedom of thought offenders in the Southeast Asian region. — AFP pic

Malaysia has climbed out of the Tier 2 watch list in the United States annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released last night. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 ― Malaysia has slightly upgraded its position in the United States annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released last night, climbing out of the Tier 2 Watch List.

Despite that, the Southeast Asian country still remains in the Tier 2 for the third year in a row since it was promoted from the bottom tier in 2015.

“The Government of Malaysia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

“The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Malaysia was upgraded to Tier 2,” said the report.

Malaysia was upgraded from the bottom tier, Tier 3, to the Tier 2 Watch List in 2015’s TIP report, but the decision was criticised as an ostensible move to allow Malaysia to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with the US, as the latter imposes an automatic non-aid and non-trade sanction on countries at the bottom tier. Read more

Unequal treatment for non-Muslims, minorities, says US report

Source: FMT News

The annual religious freedom report notes the ways in which dissent is handled by Malaysian authorities and the restrictions on religious freedom, while offering suggestions on how the US government should handle this. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is prioritising the Malay Muslim identity, often to the disadvantage of religious and ethnic minorities, says the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2017 report.

Certain systems in place and trends in the country have tended to erode the notion of a secular state and the constitution as the supreme law in Malaysia, it says.

“The Malaysian government actively restricts freedom of expression and punishes those who criticise it, including online,” it says, adding that due to these and other restrictions and unfair actions, the USCIRF has again placed Malaysia on its Tier 2, where it has been since 2014. Read more

Study: In Malaysia, religious controls tighter than in Saudi Arabia, Brunei

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia was placed in the 'high' group on the Social Hostilities Index, which measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organisations or groups in society. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

Malaysia was placed in the ‘high’ group on the Social Hostilities Index, which measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organisations or groups in society. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Malaysia continues to strictly control religious practices, with an annual study grouping it together with other Muslim-majority countries practising “very high” restrictions, such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Turkey.

The study, published on Tuesday by US-based think tank Pew Research Centre, found that Malaysia’s religious controls worsened in 2015, scoring 8.0 out of 10 points on the Government Restriction Index (GRI) compared to 7.0 the previous year.

Topping the 2015 list was Egypt, China, Iran and Russia, followed by Uzbekistan and Malaysia which shared the same score.

A total of 198 countries were surveyed in the study.

Pew said government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015; the first time it has done so in three years.

“The increase in government restrictions was linked to a surge in government harassment and use of force against religious groups, two of the specific indicators used to measure government restrictions on religion in the analysis,” said the report, referring to the global situation. Read more

Three things about: Child marriages in Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Children are actually allowed to marry under existing Malaysian laws. The legal age to marry also depends on whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim. — Reuters pic.

Children are actually allowed to marry under existing Malaysian laws. The legal age to marry also depends on whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — For better or worse, Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya’s recent remarks in Parliament has cast a spotlight on child marriages in Malaysia.

With the country aiming for first world nationhood, should marriages of minors be allowed to continue? There have been arguments for and against this practice, with child development advocates heavily in favour of ending it.

To help you understand this issue better, Malay Mail Online has compiled a list of the facts and figures that you should know:

1. What does the law say?

Malaysians are only considered an adult by law when they turn 18, but the legal age applicable on matters like when they can have sex and get married is a different thing altogether.

The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Malaysia is 16, which makes sex with any woman below age 16 a crime, regardless whether they consented to it or not, and punishable by law. However, marital rape is not a crime in Malaysia. Read more

Amnesty: Malaysia 10th biggest executioner in the world

Source: FMT News

Amnesty International's Death Sentence and Executions Report shows nine people executed and 36 sentenced to death in the country last year. Pic from FMT News.

Amnesty International’s Death Sentence and Executions Report shows nine people executed and 36 sentenced to death in the country last year. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia was listed as the 10th biggest executioner last year out of all the countries which carried out capital punishment, Amnesty International Malaysia (AI-Malaysia) says.

AI-Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said the statistics on the number of executions was not provided by the government in 2015.

“The home ministry had confirmed nine executions in 2016. The number of executions carried out last year appears to represent a considerable increase compared with previous years,” she said during an Amnesty International media briefing on Death Sentences and Executions Report 2016, here, today.

In the report released globally today, it was noted that aside from the nine people executed, at least 36 people were sentenced to death in Malaysia.

Shamini said the home ministry had finally revealed in a Parliamentary reply in October last year that Malaysia had executed six people in 2014, one in 2015 and nine in 2016. Read more

Activist: 3 charged every week under Communications Act

Source: FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights activists say more people will likely be charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) as it is too vague and open to interpretation.

Speaking at the launch of a legal analysis on the Act today, Suaram representative Dobby Chew said about three people were charged every week.

“Some cases are very mundane,” he added.

“How can we protect these people? They can be people on the street, on the bus, writing on Facebook,” he said at the event, which was organised by Article 19, a Malaysian organisation that advocates freedom of expression and information.

Human rights lawyer Firdaus Husni added that the Act was open to interpretation.

“The law must be clear and precise. It should not be against political dissent. It will not encourage freedom of speech and expression.

“In fact, it will bring about selective prosecution,” she said.

Meanwhile, Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights representative Edmond Bon said the government should publish guidelines so that the Act was not open to abuse.

Such guidelines should state when and how the provisions in the Act were applicable, he said.

Also present at the event, held at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, was rights activist Khalid Ismath who is facing 11 charges under the CMA. Read more

Article 19 Legal Analysis of Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Act

Source: Article 19

In February 2017, ARTICLE 19 analysed the Communications and Multimedia Act of Malaysia (the Act) for its compliance with international human rights standards, in particular the right to freedom of expression.

The Act has an expansive scope, ranging from spectrum allocation and consumer protection to content regulation and investigatory powers. The main subjects of regulation under the Act are applications services and network services. The Act further pertains to content applications services, which appear to include online intermediaries. The governmental actors involved in the administration of the Act are “the Minister charged with responsibility for communications and media” and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which is established under the Act.

Launching Of Article

In the analysis, ARTICLE 19 concludes that the Act creates a number of overly broad content-related offences. In addition, the licensing scheme for network and applications services lacks adequate safeguards against censorship. Finally, the Act introduces far-reaching investigatory powers which are at odds with the protection of journalistic sources and the right to anonymity.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Malaysian Government to urgently review the Act, introduce necessary amendments and ensure it fully complies with the international freedom of expression standards. Read more

Rogol dalam perkahwinan itu jenayah, kata WAO

Sumber: FMT News

Pertubuhan Pertolongan Wanita (WAO) mendesak kerajaan meminda Akta Imigresen kerana undang-undang sedia ada menyebabkan isteri warga asing kepada rakyat Malaysia terdedah kepada keganasan rumah tangga. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News

Pertubuhan Pertolongan Wanita (WAO) mendesak kerajaan meminda Akta Imigresen kerana undang-undang sedia ada menyebabkan isteri warga asing kepada rakyat Malaysia terdedah kepada keganasan rumah tangga. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Pertubuhan Pertolongan Wanita (WAO) mengulangi gesaannya supaya rogol dalam perkahwinan dianggap sebagai jenayah, sempena wanita di seluruh dunia meraikan Hari Wanita Antarabangsa hari ini.

Dalam laporan kajian kesnya bertajuk “Perspektif terhadap Keganasan Rumah Tangga” yang dikeluarkan hari ini, NGO itu berkata rogol – sama ada ia berlaku dalam perkahwinan atau tidak – adalah jenayah di bawah standard antarabangsa.

Tetapi di Malaysia, Seksyen 375 Kanun Keseksaan menyatakan hubungan seks tanpa rela tidak dianggap sebagai jenayah apabila ia berlaku antara pasangan berkahwin.

“Rogol dalam perkahwinan dikenali dalam Konvensyen Mengenai Penyingkiran Semua Bentuk Diskriminasi Terhadap Wanita (Cedaw) Jawatankuasa Cadangan Umum 19, yang menyatakan ‘Dalam kalangan hubungan keluarga, wanita semua peringkat umur tertakluk kepada semua bentuk keganasan, termasuk pukul, rogol dan serangan seksual lain’.”

Laporan itu menyatakan jawatankuasa PBB Cedaw meminta Putrajaya menjadikan rogol dalam perkahwinan sebagai jenayah sejak 2006.

“Kami mendesak kerajaan dengan segera meminda bahasa dalam Seksyen 375 Kanun Keseksaan dan berhenti membenarkan amalan rogol dalam perkahwinan,” menurut laporan itu. Read more

Plight of working class women remain unresolved after 100 years – Joint Statement

Dated 8 March 2017

Versi BM

Pic from Aliran.

Pic from Aliran.

Cabaran wanita kelas pekerja belum selesai sejak 100 tahun yang dulu

Kenyataan bersama NGO dan parti politik kepada Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat sempena Hari Wanita Sedunia 2017.

Walaubagaimanapun, kami amat terkilan kerana isu-isu yang telah diperjuangkan oleh kaum wanita 100 tahun yang lalu pada tahun 1917 di Russia menuntut “makanan (roti) dan keamanan” masih dialami oleh kaum wanita pada tahun 2017 ini. Perjuangan wanita Russia pada 8 Mac,1917 telah menjadi pencetus perjuangan yang telah menjatuhkan pemerintah Tsar Russia yang kejam pada ketika itu.

Perjuangan untuk keperluan asas untuk hidup masih relevan sekarang dimana majoriti wanita golongan pekerja berpendapatan rendah, ibu tunggal dan kaum ibu miskin kota menghadapi kesukaran setiap hari menampung kos hidup yang semakin meningkat.

Pada hari yang penting ini, kita mengenang perjuangan pemimpin wanita kelas pekerja dan marhaen yang telah berkorban demi memperjuangkan nasib rakyat tertindas. Read more

ARTICLE 19 launches Global Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy

Source: Article 19

PRESS RELEASE

7 March 2017, Geneva: Today, at a side event to the 34thsession of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), ARTICLE 19 launches The Global Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy, a ground-breaking document which provides a comprehensive, updated framework on the mutually reinforcing nature of these two rights in the digital world.

The Principles – developed in cooperation with high-level experts from around the world – aim to guide policy makers, legislators, the judiciary and civil society on how to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and privacy are protected and where the balance should lie when they are in conflict, both online and offline. Read more