Two women activists probed over ‘Bebas Maria’ walk

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Ivy Josiah and Ho Yock Lin were questioned by the police today for organising a protest demanding the release of Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah from her Security Offences (Special Measures) detention last year.

Ivy, who is the former executive director of the Women’s Aid Organisation and Ho, the former president of the All Women’s Action Society, had their statements recorded at the Dang Wangi police station.

“They asked us around 18 questions related to the walk. We maintained that we were just exercising our freedom of speech and assembly according to the Federal Constitution,” Ivy told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

More than 500 women, led by individuals from various civil society organisations took part in the 2016 protest march from Jalan Merbok to Parliament to demand the release of Maria from Sosma, which allows for detentions without trial for up to 28 days.

She was arrested on November 18, a day before the Bersih 5 rally, and was kept in solitary confinement for 11 days, and let go on November 28.

 

Protest is not new to civil society in Malaysia — Ivy Josiah

Source: The Star2

BY IVY JOSIAH
(HAKAM EXCO Member)

Led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, women and men from various non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to protest against the sexist remarks made by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof against Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan. They called for the suspension of both MPs and demanded they apologise for offending all women. The protestors include those from Parti Sosialis Malaysia, representatives from the womens wing of MCA, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Womens Aid Organisation, Sisters In Islam and Women Development Collective. Photo: The Star

Led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, women and men from various non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to protest against the sexist remarks made by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof against Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan. They called for the suspension of both MPs and demanded they apologise for offending all women. The protestors include those from Parti Sosialis Malaysia, representatives from the womens wing of MCA, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Womens Aid Organisation, Sisters In Islam and Women Development Collective. Photo: The Star

It was Malcom X who said “So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”

Last week, women did just that to mark International Women’s Day (IWD), a Global Women’s Strike in 46 countries; ranging from stopping work or housework to withdrawing sex to organising demonstrations, pickets and marches.

The Global Women’s Strike was organised by the International Women’s Strike (IWS), a grassroots movement established in late 2016 by women from different parts of the world as a response to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by women at various levels. One in three women experience physical or sexual violence; we should not accept this statistic as the inevitable.

In the words of the Australia Women on Strike, “As aware citizens, we, the women, know the world is going through a crisis phase, but we don’t accept being victims of it. Take care, governing powers in our countries: be mature and address the problems of the world in direct, peaceful ways, with no harm to us.”

It is no coincidence that the herstory of IWD itself is rooted in a march by women workers in New York who took to the streets in 1908 demanding voting rights and protesting against dangerous working conditions, child labour and low wages.

So, what has been the Malaysian women’s experience with protest?

Feminist historians pay homage to the women participating in Malaya’s anti-colonial movement in the 1940s. Women in the Angkatan Wanita Sedar (Conscious Women’s Front) and Kaum Ibu Umno stood with men making fiery speeches during demonstrations against colonial rule. Protest is not new to civil society in Malaysia.

Activists resort to protest when other advocacy strategies fail, or to further throw light on an issue. Read more

Probe ‘torture’ of anti-terror law detainees, Suhakam urged

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) today urged the human rights commission (Suhakam) to investigate allegations of physical and mental torture endured by those detained under anti-terror laws.

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said most of the detainees complained of not just mental torture, but also physical torture.

“All of these appeared in the Suhakam’s annual report last year. That is why we want Suhakam to initiate the inquiry to look into the allegations,” Maria said.

Earlier, Maria and Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy handed a memorandum to Suhakam at its office, urging the commission to investigate claims of human rights abuses in the use of anti-terror laws. Read more

Hundreds of women march to Parliament demanding Maria’s release

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hundreds of women walk from Padang Merbok to Parliament to demand Maria Chin Abdullah's release, November 23, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Hundreds of women walk from Padang Merbok to Parliament to demand Maria Chin Abdullah’s release, November 23, 2016. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― More than 500 women marched to Parliament today demanding the immediate release of Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah from her Security Offences (Special Measures) detention.

The women, led by individuals from various civil society organisations marched from Padang Merbok to the Parliament gates, while also calling for Sosma to be abolished.

Maria, 60, has spent the last five days in solitary confinement after she was arrested on November 18, on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally.

43 female activists signed a memorandum with the group’s demands, which includes the return of items confiscated from Bersih’s office by police during a raid on November 18.

MORE TO COME

Bersih 5: Maria Chin should be praised, not imprisoned — Emma Richards

Source: Asian Correspondent

Maria Chin Abdullah, center, chairwoman of the Bersih movement - a coalition for clean and fair elections. Pic: AP.

Maria Chin Abdullah, center, chairwoman of the Bersih movement – a coalition for clean and fair elections. Pic: AP.

AS TENS of thousands of Malaysians took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest for free and fair elections, the organiser of the event sat in a windowless prison cell contemplating an uncertain future.

Bersih 5, the mass protest that took place in Kuala Lumpur, went off without a hitch.

The movement had clear and defined objectives; clean elections, a clean government, strengthening parliamentary democracy, the right to dissent, and the empowering of Sabah and Sarawak. They also had an explicit desire to ensure that the demonstrations were peaceful; a request that was adhered to by supporters on the day.

One day prior to the march, Maria Chin Abdullah, leader of the Bersih 2.0 movement and organiser of the event, was arrested under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) for an offence under Section 124C of the Penal Code that prohibits the attempt to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy. Read more

Almost 40,000 sign online petition demanding Maria’s release

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maria Chin Abdullah's family submitted a habeas corpus application to the High Court here asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Maria Chin Abdullah’s family submitted a habeas corpus application to the High Court here asking it to compel the police to release her from a 28-day detention order. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― An online petition condemning the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 against Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and demanding her immediate release is steadily gaining traction, getting over 37,000 signatures since it kicked off on Monday.

The “#MansuhSOSMA and #BebasMaria” petition on ipetitions.com has secured 37,804 signatures so far, under 3,000 signatures shy of its intended 40,000 target.

“When tabling the bill in Parliament in 2011, the government assured and promised Malaysians repeatedly that Sosma will not be used on the basis of differences in political ideology, but it is evident today that the administration led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is reneging on its promise.

“In our view, this is a clear abuse of legislative and executive powers,” the petition read.

It has since been shared on Facebook 7,200 times. Read more