Muslim couples, single parents seek to intervene in ‘Abdullah’ appeal

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Twenty couples and two single parents have filed an intervener application to be made parties in a Federal Court appeal that will decide whether a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock can take his or her father’s surname instead of “Abdullah”.

The applicants, who are from Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Perlis and Pahang, filed their legal papers on Dec 14 but their identities could not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Lawyer Lokman Hakim, who is appearing for the applicants, said they wanted to participate in the case as the court’s outcome would have an effect on their children.

He said a 2003 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Committee that an illegitimate child (“anak tak sah taraf”) should not be given the surname (“tidak boleh dinasabkan”) of the father or the person claiming to be the father was invalid.

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In Selangor, another stateless child awaits citizenship to attend school

Source: Written by A. Ruban for Malay Mail Online

Thevasegamani speaking at press conference

Thevasegamani (centre) speaking during a press conference in Klang, January 15, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa from Malay Mail Online

KLANG, Jan 15 — A father is at his wit’s end after the Selangor Education Department purportedly informed him that his 13-year-old daughter will not be able to attend school until she sorts out her citizenship status.

The girl’s estranged mother is an Indonesian citizen and the father, P. Thevasegamani had apparently registered her as a non-Malaysian citizen when she was born.

Thevasegamani claimed the National Registration Department (NRD) had also told him the same thing as the state education department.

But his daughter had attended public school until standard six despite having a non-Malaysian birth certificate.

“I am not sure what seems to be the problem now. My daughter was born in Klang in 2005 but because her mother is not a Malaysian citizen, we were told to register my girl as a non-Malaysian citizen.

“I paid a levy of RM120 to enrol her at a Tamil school here, but now the (state) education department is telling me get a passport for my daughter in order to go to a secondary school,” he told Malay Mail.

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School defied minister’s instructions, says child welfare society

Suriana Welfare Society says only education ministry can allow children to attend school without citizenship.

picture of young girl

PETALING JAYA: A children’s welfare organisation has criticised the actions of a school in Negeri Sembilan which prevented a Year One child from attending class as she did not possess a passport. Pic drawn from Free Malaysia Today

The Suriana Welfare Society, which comprises charitable and welfare organisations, said the school had defied the recent instructions given by the education minister to allow children without citizenship to attend school.

“If the minister’s instructions were taken into account and taken seriously, these children would not be in this current situation,” said the organisation’s leader, Scott J Wong.

On Jan 6, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said children without citizenship could attend school even though their citizenship applications were still being processed.

However, in the first week of school, a seven-year-old girl in Seremban was barred from attending based on a new policy by the Immigration Department, as she did not have a passport.

Her family had adopted her legally and was awaiting approval for the citizenship application.

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Adopted girl can’t go to school

Source: The Star Online

Picture of Darshana

No entry: Darshana standing outside the school opposite her home. Pic taken from The Star Online.

SEREMBAN: While many children started their classes last week, Darshana could only watch them from the school fence.

This is as far as she could go because under a new policy by the Immigration Department, she cannot attend school.

Darshana’s parents, who adopted her when she was just a few days old, are now in limbo.

B. Ganesan said his daughter was classified as a non-citizen and due to this, could not be enrolled in any school. Read more

Free minors held under security law, say parents, groups

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Sevan Doraisamy, Suaram, The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, December 1, 2017.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Sevan Doraisamy says the Prevention of Crime Act is clearly a tool for the police to arrest a person without conducting a proper investigation. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, December 1, 2017.

WHILE most 16-year-olds are going to school and enjoying life with family and friends, Ang Kian Kok spends his days lying down in his room or watching TV at home.

Ang never sets foot outside his home for two reasons: shame and fear. He is ashamed of the electronic monitoring device (EMD) he wears on his ankle which brands him as a detainee, and he is afraid of of getting arrested again if he should stray out of the 10km radius he is confined within.

The teenager was caught breaking into cars and in possession of stolen items.

Ang is one of 142 juveniles who have been arrested under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca). He was earlier this year detained for 60 days, after which he was placed under Restricted Residence, which requires him to wear the EMD for two years. Read more

Why treat children like hardcore criminals, asks lawyer

Source: FMT News

There must be a better way for the authorities to handle children who commit criminal offences, says Paulsen. Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen has asked why the home ministry is treating children like hardcore criminals by detaining them under the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

He explained that these two laws are too harsh for children and are supposed to be used against serious offenders like terrorists or hardcore criminals.

“This is shocking. Surely there must be a better way for the authorities to handle these children who commit criminal offences. You can charge them under ordinary laws.

“Poca has detention without trial, which means somebody can be locked up for two years and another two years without evidence. It is similar to the Internal Security Act (ISA).

“As for Sosma, even though there is a trial, pending the trial, the child is not able to get bail. This can go on for many years,” he told FMT. Read more

On World Day Against Child Labour, UN urges protection for children in conflicts and disasters

Source: Malaysia Sun

Photo from Malaysia Sun.

12 June 2017 — Children in areas affected by conflict and disasters are among the most vulnerable, the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) in warning on the World Day Against Child Labour, making a strong call for an end to the scourge, especially as children trapped in crisis risk falling prey to trafficking or being forced into hazardous work. “All children have the right to be protected from child labour,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement on the World Day. “Yet, around the world, there are still 168 million children in child labour. Eighty-five million of them are engaged in hazardous work.”

A significant portion these children find themselves undertaking dangerous work, living in areas affected by conflict and disaster and they are the focus of the 2017 commemoration of the World Day, marked annually on 12 June.

As the world strives to achieve the elimination of child labour by 2025, the UN underlined that conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people’s lives. They kill, maim, injure and force people to flee their homes; destroy livelihoods, push people into poverty and starvation, and trap many in situations without basic safeguard for their rights. Read more

Human rights for all — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MAY 16 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has been following the developments on the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (RUU 355) with deep concern.

As an independent statutory body empowered to safeguard human rights and obliged to enlighten the public as primary stakeholders in the promotion and protection of human rights, Suhakam has the following observations to make:

(a) Caning and/or lashing in any setting violates the absolute prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment under international law. Suhakam also emphasises that all forms of torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment are absolutely prohibited by customary international law and international treaties that Malaysia has acceded to, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Read more

Malaysians call for corporal punishment to be banned in ALL schools

A petition to the Malaysian Government – The Cabinet
(Click here to sign this petition)

Malaysians call for corporal punishment to be banned in ALL schools

The death of 11-year-old schoolboy Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi , who was allegedly abused by his school warden has painfully showed us that corporal punishment has no place in schools. His prayers and pleas as he endured suffering from being beaten on his legs are a stark testimony that no child must ever again experience such abuse and humiliation or death. His pleas to his parents to rescue him are testimony to his suffering in a place that has been his second home.

We, the citizens of Malaysia echo SUHAKAM‘s (National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) call to reform laws to introduce a clear ban on corporal punishment in all educational institutions as a matter of policy. Read more

Corporal punishment must stop, Suhakam tells govt after schoolboy dies

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Razali insisted on mandatory background checks for all school hires and expressed disbelief that there are no legal procedures for schools to check on potential staff before they are allowed to work with children. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

Razali insisted on mandatory background checks for all school hires and expressed disbelief that there are no legal procedures for schools to check on potential staff before they are allowed to work with children. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Outraged by the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi yesterday, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants the government to abolish corporal punishment in schools.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail reminded the government that corporal punishments violate the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) because the violent measures damage a child physically, mentally and emotionally.

“This tragic case is a horrendous reminder to the Government that corporal punishment in schools must be eliminated because any form of physical violence against a child negatively impacts on the enjoyment of the child’s many other rights and aspects of the child’s development including his/her psychological, health, education and social status,” he said in a statement today.

Malaysia ratified the CRC in 1995.

Razali noted that prior to his death, the student of the private Islamic boarding school in Kota Tinggi, Johor was allegedly repeatedly physically punished, including a beating with a rubber hose by the dormitory assistant warden who was a former convict. Read more