Dignity for Meera — Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Tragic end: Sameera was found dead with a gunshot wound and her body mutilated in Jalan Pasar, Kuantan. Pic taken from The Star Online.

FEBRUARY 27 —This past week, we have been sickened by the case of Sameera Krishnan. A worker at a florist, she was attacked by masked individuals who repeatedly shot and slashed her with an edged weapon resulting in severe wounds to her head, arms and legs. She did not survive the attack. Her body was found in the wee hours of the morning.

The reasons behind such brutality and her murder can only be speculated at this point. The degree of cruelty and savagery needed to inflict such harm on another human being is often unable to be understood or seen unless you work in criminology or law enforcement.

But for many who work who work in the area of human rights, particularly dealing with sexuality, acts of abuse and violence can be an altogether familiar story.

While this incident has been considered by police to not be a hate crime, I want to take this opportunity to once again to highlight the incidences of harassment, discrimination and abuse experienced by the transgender community.

The Federal Constitution guarantees the protection of minorities against the tyranny of the majority. It provides for all Malaysians the same fundamental rights and protections. That all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection. A person shouldn’t and cannot be singled out or criminalised for simply being who and what they are.

I hope that there will be justice for Meera and that the authorities will do all that they can to find, capture and bring the perpetrators to court. But it can be a daunting task for members of this community to look for justice when they themselves are often victims of persecution. Read more

Abolish the death penalty in Malaysia — Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

capital punishmentFEBRUARY 24 — It has been reported a moment ago, that the appeal by brothers Rames and Suthar Batumalai, 44 and 39 respectively, for a stay of execution pending their application for a royal pardon, has been granted.

They have been granted a temporary reprieve.

Convicted in April 2010 and sentenced to death for a murder committed in 2006, their clemency application was submitted to the Negri Sembilan Pardons Board yesterday.

It was just this past Wednesday, that the family of Rames, 44, and Suthar, 39, were informed that they should visit the brothers for the last time.

It was likely that their execution was scheduled for today.

It is a known practice for executions to be carried out in the wee hours of Friday mornings, following last family visitations.

Their fate now lies in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan Negri Sembilan.

The death penalty really has no place in the 21st century. Capital punishment, a government sanctioned practice whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime, is based on an archaic concept of “an eye for an eye”. Read more

The police are not thugs — Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

opinion-clipart-k12118272SEPTEMBER 21 — The news that a former journalist, his wife and children had been threatened and intimidated at their home by plainclothes police officers in the late hours of the night shocked many of us who heard about it.

Their general conduct during this episode as described by Sidek Kamiso’s wife, Norlin, begs the question whether those involved were acting as law enforcement officials or thugs.

Surely it cannot possibly be the latter. But then, how else can one explain the behaviour of unknown individuals who were not in uniform, not clearly showing official police identification, not having a warrant, banging on the front door demanding entry?

Would you open the door? To persons who come in the dead of night claiming to be police but show no visible sign of being one?

There are many creative and innovative criminals today who could take advantage of our often blind obedience to people claiming to be with authority, speaking in loud and rude voices, and pushing themselves around. We could be robbed instead.

Citizens should be protected from unlawful entry and search of their private homes. Which is why a warrant is necessary. Read more

Policing women’s bodies in Malaysia — Fifa Rahman & Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY FIFA RAHMAN & AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

SEPTEMBER 5 — Of late, it seems like everyone has been giving their opinion as to whether or not a woman should cover up and to what degree. Some have even gone to the extent of legislating a ban on a specific type of clothing, believing that to wear the latter would be representative of support for terrorism and violent extremism.

We have seen burly armed members of the French police surround a woman on a Nice beach forcing her to take off her burkini, an outfit apparently not “respecting good morals and secularism”. The resulting controversy and outcry against such discriminatory behaviour by a state institution continues to reverberate throughout Europe.

Not since the invention of the bikini has a female garment caused such consternation, distress and public debate.

On this side of the world, those from the religious quarter or those who consider themselves better Muslims and self-anointed “defenders of the faith”, are busy slut-shaming those who decide to not cover up and are also determining for women what is acceptable clothing to wear in public. Therein is marked hypocrisy.

Most of the debates in Malaysia seem to centre around the hijab, skirt length and what constitutes acceptable female attire. Moral policing of women, in particular, seems to be a favourite pastime. Read more

Navigating sedition — Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN

MAY 10 — If you have not watched the movie Redha yet, you should. It is a good film with a good storyline, different from typical Malay films today.

I was invited by Puteri Umno to join their charity screening recently. This is part of their campaign to raise awareness during Autism Month in April. The campaign culminatde last Saturday 30 April 2016, with a public event at KL Sentral station. Our team from IDEAS Autism Centre was there too, and I congratulate Puteri Umno for the event. Read more

I belong here too – Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

DECEMBER 30 ― As we go about celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is sobering to be reminded of at least 12,000 people in Malaysia who have yet to be recognised as citizens of a country.

Despite more than half a decade since Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia, thousands of people, from infants to adults, have been and continue to be left out of their right to Malaysian citizenship.

For the past week, DHRRA (Development of Rural Resources in Rural Areas) Malaysia and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have held a photo exhibition at Publika White Box highlighting the issue of statelessness in Malaysia and around the world.

Ending today, the exhibition presents a powerful narrative of lost childhoods, missed opportunities, discrimination, endless frustration and a lifetime of despair.  Read more