Gender inequality, discrimination against minorities still rife, Comango reports

Source: The Malay Mail

(From left) Executive director of EMPOWER, Angela M. Kuga Thas, Advocacy and Capacity-building officer EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, executive director of Suaram, Sevan Doraisamy, and Migration Working Group (MWG) coordinator, Bina Ramanand, hold copies of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — In its report to the United Nations (UN) launched today, a coalition of local NGOs highlighted the continued rampancy of gender inequality and discriminations over religion, race, sexual orientation and gender identity, rights of the Orang Asli, and disabilities here.The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), specifically highlighted the country’s dismal performance at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) review earlier this year.

“The Cedaw Committee’s questions on matters that violate Muslim women’s rights were attacked by government-linked, Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (Macsa) and the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), both of which adhere to the Islamic human rights framework of the Cairo Declaration and therefore, reject gender equality.

“They and government officials claimed that female genital mutilation or cutting, whipping, polygamy, and women’s and girls’ unequal inheritance are non-issues in Malaysia,” said the report launched today. Read more

Comango: Previous administration backed attacks against human rights defenders

Source: The Malay Mail

Advocacy and Capacity-building officer of EMPOWER, Rizal Rozhan, speaks at the launch of the Comango UPR Stakeholder Report in Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Human rights defenders (HRDs) had been attacked by state-sanctioned and private groups under the previous government, a coalition of Malaysian NGOs asserted in a report to the United Nations (UN) launched today.

The report by Comango, which tracks progress in the field of human rights in Malaysia since the last UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), pointed out that the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration’s stance on some issues had resulted in violence, harassment, and hate speech against HRDs.

“The government failed to uphold the principles and values of The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and has tried to politicise the human rights situation on the ground and demonise HRDs,” it said.

“Comango’s involvement in Malaysia’s previous UPR resulted in the Home Ministry declaring Comango ‘illegal’, while Muslim-based groups in The Coalition of Muslim Organisations in the UPR Process (MuslimUPRo) organised hate and smear campaigns against Comango.” Read more

Tough year for human rights in Southeast Asia — Bridget Welsh

Source: New Mandala


Bridget Welsh charts the major challenges to civil liberties across the region in 2016.

In reflecting on developments in 2016, attention has centered on events in the West or the Middle East, Trump’s presidential victory or the brutality in Aleppo. But closer to home, Southeast Asia has experienced worrying trends that have undermined human rights and fostered division. Overall, 2016 was not a good year for the region, as trends show greater challenges for civil liberties.

Vicious political attacks on civil society activists have risen, with greater violence. Cambodian activist Kem Lay was murdered in broad daylight in July. Filipino environmental activist Gloria Capitan in Bataan Philippines was murdered in the same month, while labor activists Orlando Abangan and Edilberto Miralles were killed the same week in September. In Malaysia Sarawakian indigenous rights activist Bill Kayong was shot point blank in his truck at a road junction in June. Serious questions remain about culpability in all of these cases.

Other attacks on activists were more clear-cut, with governments ruthlessly using all of their tools at their disposal to quiet dissent. Malaysian Bersih movement chairwoman Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested using Special Offences (Special Measures) Act of SOSMA for 10 days, along with other activists, notably student leader Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof. Read more

Race to the bottom — Aye Thein

Source: New Mandala

Pic from New Mandala.

Pic from New Mandala.

The plight of the Rohingya highlights growing intolerance towards religious minorities throughout the region, Aye Thein writes.

When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke up for human rights of the “Rohingyas” in Myanmar, he won applause from his home crowd but drew opprobrium from the Myanmar government. Commentators wasted little time pointing out Najib’s action as a politically calculated move amid corruption scandals and eroding popularity.

While Najib’s talk of human rights reeks of hypocrisy (see Human Rights Watch’s report on Malaysia’s human rights records) and selectivity (Najib’s line that he attended the rally in “the name of the Ummah” suggests he was advocating for only the human rights of Muslims), it also raises the broader question of minority rights in ASEAN. With regard to respect and tolerance for minorities, Buddhist Myanmar has more than a few parallels with Islamic Malaysia and Indonesia. For instance, Muslims have been called fast breeding animals in Myanmar just as the Chinese have been called pigs in Malaysia. For all the excesses of Ma Ba Ta (the Association for Protection of Race and Religion) going after a few inappropriately dressed folks, Myanmar is yet to have Buddhist police to rival Malaysia’s “religious officers”, who enforce Sharia law. The notion and practice of bumiputera – Malaysia’s affirmative action favouring ethnic Malay Muslims – is not without its counterpart among Myanmar’s Buddhist chauvinists insisting that Buddhists are rightful owners of the Burmese nation and non-Buddhists, Muslims in particular, are mere guests. Read more

Conservatively speaking freely — Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz

Source: The Malay Mail Online


opinion-clipart-k12118272DECEMBER 9 — Young Malaysians know the world is getting more competitive than ever, that companies and entire sectors can rise and fall dramatically, and that an event in a place they never heard of can somehow affect their lives in Malaysia.

Even though some things might seem inevitable, like transformative technological improvements, not everyone will be able to access, or indeed desire, the fruit of these changes. Combined with the volatility of oil prices, the state of our currency or even the challenge of finding a job, a great many are uncertain about the future.

The root causes of much of this uncertainty lie in geopolitics. Read more

Remembrance as Resistance Human Rights Art Exhibition


In conjunction with the 7th anniversary of the passing of Teoh Beng Hock, Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy with the support of Kampung Tunku State Assemblyman Lau Weng San and Bukit Gasing State Assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, will organise commemoration events of the 7th anniversary of the passing of Teoh Beng Hock themed ‘Remembering Beng Hock, Defending Human Rights’.

“Remembrance as Resistance : Human Rights Art Exhibition” is one of the main events of the 7th Anniversary of the Passing of Teoh Beng Hock. Twenty five artists have participated in the exhibition to present their art works in different forms in remembrance of the late Teoh Beng Hock and other victims of custodial death. The objective is to create awareness on human rights violations in Malaysia, as well as to educate member of public regarding their rights under custody.




The Art Exhibition will be held as follows :
Date : 22 – 24 July 2016 (Friday to Sunday)
Time : 10am – 10pm
Venue : Level G2, Boulevard, PUBLIKA, Solaris Dutamas

The launch will be on 23 July, Saturday, 11am at the exhibition venue.

On the other hand, the replicate copy of the drawings will also be exhibited at a few cafés or restaurants located at Klang Valley from early July to end of July, the details of the cooperating partners are set out below.


日期:2016年7月22日至24日(星期五 至 星期日)
时间:早上10时 至 晚上10时
地点:PUBLIKA底层走廊, Solaris Dutamas



<Kuala Lumpur>
1) Aku Cafe & Gallery – No.8, 1st Floor, Jalan Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur. tel: 03-2857 6887 Exhibition Period: 12/7-24/7

2) New Black Coffee Lab – Plaza Crystalville @ Setapak. B-2A-1, Jalan Danau Kota, 53300 Kuala Lumpur. tel: 03-41310182 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7

3) Await Cafe – No.9-1-5, Jalan 3/109F, Taman Danau Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-79710978 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7

<Petaling Jaya>
4) The Augmented – No.149, Jalan SS 2/6, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. tel: 03-78650728 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7

5) Gerakbudaya Coffee Corner – No. 2, Jalan Bukit 11/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-79578342 Exhibition Period: 16/7-30/7

<Shah Alam>
6) Dotz Cafe – No.3-1, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla 31/93, Shah Alam. Tel: 03-51100472 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7

7) Seraph Awaken – No.28, Jalan Stesen 1, Klang. Tel: 012-2906860 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7

8) CAFFEine : G-09-1,Level 1, Block G, SetiaWalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, Selangor. Tel: 03-58798862 Exhibition Period: 9/7-24/7