Transgenders meet mufti to end discrimination against them

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) met Federal Territory mufti Zulkifli Mohammad in an effort to help promote understanding and end discrimination against the transgender community.

Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Malaysia (PKKUM) said the discussion between transgender activists and the Federal Territory Mufti’s Office yesterday had strengthened ties between the transgender community and religious authorities.

The discussion came after Zulkifli expressed interest in helping them.

The founder of PKKUM, Elisha Kor Krishnan, said the meeting discussed the need to encourage interpretation of the Quran and Hadith to create greater awareness among the general populace on transgender issues.

Read more

Enough with ‘pondan’ and other media distortions of transgenders — Eric Paulsen

Source: Free Malaysia Today

BY ERIC PAULSEN

In the latest twist to the ongoing Nur Sajat saga, the well-known cosmetic entrepreneur bemoaned the preoccupation of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the public over her gender identity.

“This gender issue… is like the country’s biggest issue,” she wrote in Malay on her Facebook page. She continued: “Should Nur Sajat’s issues really be the topic of conversation in this country? Think about it!”

Despite the public embarrassment, however, Nur Sajat’s story represents an opportunity to start a conversation that has been put off for far too long. Transgender persons in Malaysia are often vilified by means of misrepresentation in the news media.

Read more

Putrajaya to outlaw ‘any’ form of workplace discrimination

Source: Malay Mail Online

Women working in an office

Female employees are seen working in an office in Putrajaya. — Reuters pic via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The proposed amendment to the Employment Act 1955 prohibits all forms of discrimination at work, the Human Resources Ministry said.

Under the proposed amendment, the Labour director-general may inquire into an employee’s complaint of facing discriminatory treatment from his or her employer in relation to the terms and conditions of employment and issue the employer directives to resolve the matter.

Read more

Struggling without basic necessities

Source: The Star Online

Collecting water

Barely getting by: Gunasegaran collecting water for his daily use from a neighbour in Kampung Manis, Prai. Besides water Gunasegaran also has to tap power from electric cables attached to his neighbour’s house. Image via The Star Online

BUTTERWORTH: Despite being surrounded by development, poverty remains a problem for residents of Kampung Manis in Prai.

The 70-year-old village, previously known as Kampung Selut, is ringed by a sugar mill, a railway station and a port.

Located between Taman Inderawasih and the Prai River, its 1,000 residents live in dilapidated homes without proper sanitation or basic necessities.

Grass cutter R. Gunasegaran, 50, said his house turns into an “island” during downpours.

Gunasegaran also gets his electricity from cables connected to his neighbour’s house.

Read more

Planting seeds of hope for elderly, homeless transgenders

Source: Written by Low Han Shaun for The Malaysian Insight

People at The Seed Transgender Home for the elderly

The Seed Transgender Home for the elderly, the first of its kind in Malaysia, can house a maximum of 10 people. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, January 15, 2018.

FROM the time she discovered she was “different” at the age of 17, transgender Alice (not her real name) was prepared for a life alone, and was intent on ensuring she would be financially independent.

However, after working as a chef for 30 years, Alice finds herself today penniless, riddled with sickness and homeless at 50, after she was thrown out of her family home last year.

“I am 50 years old now, I have hepatitis C, heart problems and kidney problems from an accident that I had in 1996,” she said.

“My mother died last year, and my father died when I was 15,” she said, adding that after her mother’s death, her brother sold the family home, forcing her to become homeless.

Alice slept on the streets of Kuala Lumpur for a year before she found out about Seed Transgender Home for the elderly, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

Read more

Set up Equal Opportunities Commission to take Malaysia forward, urges G25

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ready for a law to address inequality in both the private and public sectors, the group of influential Malays known as the G25 said.

In a report entitled Invigorating Economic Confidence in Malaysia, it said an anti-discrimination law would help streamline non-discrimination in employment in all government departments and the private sector.

It also proposed the establishment of an Equal Opportunities Commission, as recommended by the New Economic Modal. This is “to ensure fairness and address undue discrimination when deceptive abuses by any dominant group are encountered.”

G25 said: “Malaysia has reached a mature economic status to put in place the anti-discrimination law (outlawing discrimination on basis of race, gender, religion) to give the legal basis underlying the proposed Equal Opportunities Commission. Read more

Hadi’s Bill opens doors for disproportionate punishments, constitutional expert says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi speaks at the forum 'Sejauh mana anda memahami hudud' at the PAUM Club House in Kuala Lumpur February 12, 2017. — Picture by Boo Su-Lyn

Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi speaks at the forum ‘Sejauh mana anda memahami hudud’ at the PAUM Club House in Kuala Lumpur February 12, 2017. — Picture by Boo Su-Lyn

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — A private member’s Bill to enhance Shariah punishments will enable excessive sentences for religious offences that mostly victimless and non-violent, Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said today.

The constitutional expert said the Bill by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang will also allow penalties for Shariah offences that are harsher than even punishments for heavier crimes in the civil system.

“Punishment must be proportionate to the offence committed,” the University of Malaya’s emeritus professor of law said in a forum on understanding the Islamic penal code of hudud organised by Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

“You’re going to have penalties of 100 lashes, RM100,000 fine, or 30 years’ jail for offences that are in some cases are purely victimless crimes. Some of Shariah crimes are victimless crimes — a person drinks, doesn’t pray, doesn’t fast — there is no clear harm to public order and national security.

“In Criminal Procedure Code, Penal Code, the offences are much lesser for much bigger offences,” Shad said. Read more

An honest look in the mirror for Malay(sian) Muslims — Nadia Jalil

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY NADIA JALIL

opinion-clipart-k12118272FEBRUARY 11 — “Malaysian Muslims should struggle against anything in Malaysian culture which does not protect dignity and equality of human being.” — Tariq Ramadan, Kuala Lumpur, January 2015

Looking at developments in the US, I think there are few Muslims who would be unmoved by the large-scale protests against the #MuslimBan there. I wonder, though, how many of us Malay Muslims who have felt touched and inspired by the sight of non-Muslims in a “non-Muslim country” defending Muslims against oppression, felt a twinge of guilt at the fact that we have been complicit in, if not active participants of, oppression in our own country.

Quite apart from the “special position” of Islam in Malaysia, which has been used to exert a kind of dominion over members of other faiths—from the major, such as the illegal expropriation of Orang Asli lands in Kelantan and elsewhere, to regular microaggressions like calls to boycott businesses owned by non-Muslims—it has now become very obvious that we have a very sick society.

Malay culture has become one of judgement over mercy. We have abandoned the precepts of hikmah in da’wah and adab when we indulge in amar ma’ruf nahi munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil). Indeed, more often than not, we relish in public undertakings of nahi munkar and barely enjoin good at all. Social media may not be a perfect yardstick, but given that Malaysians are one of the most active users of social media in the world, it’s a pretty reliable measure of social attitudes. Observe, for instance, the public shaming that occurs when a Malay(sian) Muslim is judged to have strayed from accepted mores, particularly in cases where women do not follow conventions in terms of dress.  Read more

The current state of human rights in Malaysia – Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari

Source: Malaysiakini

BY KUTHUBUL ZAMAN BUKHARI

The federal constitution of Malaysia provides guarantees and safeguards of the various fundamental rights and liberties of its citizens and people. These fundamental rights and liberties can be found in Articles 5 to 13 of the federal constitution. Though these rights are clearly enshrined in our constitution, of late, there has been a total breakdown in the rule of law and these rights have openly been trampled by those in power.

In a year where a major corruption scandal came to light and the persecution of opposition leaders and activists, 2015 saw a steep plummet in the Malaysian government’s respect for human rights. In an effort to hush up any criticisms, the powers that be have intensified their crackdown on the freedoms of the Malaysian people.

Article 8 (1) of the federal constitution provides that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to its equal protection. However, are the laws applied equally to everyone in Malaysia?? It comes to no surprise that the answer to that question is a resounding “No”. Read more

Adenan says he will change law for women to be on par with men

Source: The Star Online

KUCHING: A week to International Women’s Day, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has made known again his support and commitment to gender equality.

Addressing a Wanita Barisan Nasional dinner here on Monday, he urged them to give him examples of gender inequality.

“And I will have the law changed. Women should be on par with men,” he said to applause.

“Women must speak up for their rights because most men aren’t going to do it. Men and women are obviously not the same but everyone deserves equal treatment,” he said. Read more