Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.
DECEMBER 30 ― This year has seen widespread human rights violations in Malaysia, including attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, native rights, and the right to privacy.
The government appears to be increasingly intolerant of dissent and resorted to investigating trivial matters like the posting of “insulting” photos of leaders on WhatsApp, posting a video of a press conference, and various Facebook posts and tweets.
If Malaysia is serious about achieving developed nation status by 2020, then the government must acknowledge and respect basic human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Without the space to express ideas and opinions, society cannot progress.
These are the top 8 human rights violations in the country in 2016, in no particular order: Read more →
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — Several human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have insisted today that receiving foreign funds is legal, with clear documentation and oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.
The groups said they were forced to turn to foreign funding since the Malaysian government has allegedly not been consistent with their support of human rights, citing budget cuts for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
“We are not government entities or businesses — our policies and programmes are not dictated by investments. Civil society organisations are guided by our constitutions and objectives in our programming, framed by fundamental human rights, and only then approaching potential funders with proposals. Read more →
Presiden Majlis Peguam Steven Thiru menolak tuduhan terhadap badan itu dan menegaskan sentiasa bekerjasama dengan pegawai kerajaan untuk mencapai objektifnya.
Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.
KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Peguam Malaysia menafikan sekeras-kerasnya dakwaan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pada Perhimpunan Agung Umno minggu lalu yang menuduh ia sebahagian daripada pergerakan dibiayai dana asing untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan.
“Majlis Peguam Malaysia secara mutlak menyangkal dakwaan tidak munasabah itu – menggulingkan kerajaan’ – terhadap Majlis Peguam,” kata Presiden Majlis Peguam Steven Thiru dalam satu kenyataan.
“Ia sepenuhnya tidak berasas, dan memfitnah Majlis Peguam.”
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have recorded the statement of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (pic) over links to the Open Society Institute (OSI), which is part of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by American hedge fund billionaire George Soros.
The former Bersih chairman was questioned for about an hour yesterday after she arrived at about 11am at Bukit Aman accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran.
“I only know that I was called in as the former Bersih chairman for matters relating to funding and OSI,” she said. Read more →
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be questioned by cops over foreign funding to Bersih 2.0 from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. — Picture by Choo Choy May
The ongoing investigations into foreign funding of Bersih and other NGOs under Section 124C of the Penal Code is selective and baseless.
Bersih has at all times been transparent about its funding and its accounts. We have always made it clear that Bersih received funds from Open Society Institute (OSI) in 2011 in the sum of US$25,000 and from the National Democracy Institute (NDI) in the sum of US$9,690. Both sums were used in election-related projects.
These allegations are not new. As a result of a suit filed by Bersih and other NGOs in 2012, the New Straits Times issued an apology to Bersih and other NGOs in November 2013 for their baseless allegations of a plot to destabilise the government by using funds allegedly received in the amount of RM20 million.
All the documents relating to the funds received by Bersih were filed in court in that suit.
The repeated accusation that there is a conspiracy of sorts to topple the government makes no sense when Bersih’s primary demand since its inception, has been for free and fair elections and for strong institutions.
Every activity of Bersih is geared towards these demands. Workshops and training are organised. Voters’ rights are promoted. Representations are made to the EC. Election observers are trained. Peaceful assemblies are organised. Sometimes Bersih has had to go to court.
These are all legitimate activities permissible under the law carried out by Bersih and supported by the endorsing NGOs. Read more →
Bersih 2.0’s Maria Chin Abdullah said TV3 had made the defamatory claim “every day” on its prime-time slot Buletin Utama just before her group’s Bersih 5 rally.. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 will sue broadcast station TV3 for defamation over allegations of RM3.2 billion funding by US billionaire George Soros, the group’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said today.
Maria said TV3 had run news reports on the claim without attributing the allegation to anyone.
“We have already put in a letter of demand and TV3 has refu
sed to apologise and retract, so we are proceeding with the legal case,” she told reporters here.
Maria said TV3 had made the defamatory claim “every day” on its prime-time slot Buletin Utama before her group’s Bersih 5 rally on November 19, adding that the broadcaster did not seek Bersih 2.0’s comments for the report. Read more →
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be questioned by cops over foreign funding from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 ― Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be quizzed by police in relation to funds received from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF).
Ambiga, who was accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran was investigated under the Section 124C of the Penal Code, which covers the “attempt to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.”
She was called in her capacity as the former Bersih 2.0 chairman. She held the post from November 2010 until November 2013.
“Many NGOs have been dragged in. It’s really an all-out attack on the NGOs,” she told reporters at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman after being questioned by the police for more than one hour.
Ambiga also said the foreign funding issue was not new, and added that she was unclear if she was called in as a suspect or witness.
“I think the problem is they get scared when they know the people support what the NGOs are doing, in my view that’s what this investigation is all about,” she said. Read more →
KUALA LUMPUR 30 JULY 2016. HAKAM President, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan during ASEAN Bar Association Conference for the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers and members and members of their families in the ASEAN region at Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur. NSTP/NURUL SHAFINA JEMENON
KUALA LUMPUR: Police today recorded a statement from former Bersih chairman Datuk S. Ambiga over funds received from George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI), now known as Open Society Foundations, in 2011.
Ambiga who is also Malaysia Human Rights Society (Hakam) president, arrived at the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman at 10.50am, accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran.
Ambiga was questioned for more than an hour under Section 124 (c) of the Penal Code, for attempting to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
The police are understood to be also investigating Lawyers For Liberty (LFL), activists and representatives from non-governmental organisations and the Bar Council over the issue. Ambiga was the chairperson for Bersih from November 2010 until November 2013.