STATEMENT: HAKAM calls for the Elimination of Child Marriages once and for all

STATEMENT DATED 1 Jul 2018pdf

HAKAM CALLS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF CHILD MARRIAGES IN MALAYSIA ONCE AND FOR ALL

Pic from an Amnesty International event to denounce child marriage on October 27, 2016 in Rome. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

 

HAKAM is calling the Minister for Women, Family & Community Development to push for new laws to ban and criminalise child marriages in Malaysia.

It is not sufficient that laws allowing child marriages be repealed, there must be laws put in place to eliminate and  prohibit child marriage as such early marriages are a violation of human rights and the Convention on the Rights of a Child especially when Malaysia is a party to the convention.

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HAKAM’s 27th Annual General Meeting

NOTICE OF 27TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

TO BE HELD AT HAKAM’S OFFICE at B-01, Ground Floor, Block B, Kompleks Pejabat Damansara Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, ON SAT 30 JUNE 2018 at 8.30 a.m.

 

AGENDA

  1. Welcome Address;
  2. Confirmation of Minutes of the 26th Adjourned Annual General Meeting dated 17 June 2017;
  3. Matters Arising;
  4. President’s Report for 2017/2018;
  5. Treasurer’s Financial Report for the Financial Year of 2017;
  6. Election of Office Bearers (President, Deputy President, Secretary General, Treasurer) & Executive Committee and 2 Honorary Auditors;
  7. Any Other Business.

Dated 30 May 2018

 

Secretary General,

Robyn Choi

 

If No Quorum is reached at 9:30am 30 June 2018

+ If a quorum is not present an hour after the time appointed for the 27th Annual General Meeting, the meeting shall be postponed to 9.45 am 30 June 2018 (same day at the same venue); and if a quorum is not present an hour after the time appointed for the postponed meeting, the members present shall have power to proceed with the business of the day but they shall not have power to alter the Constitution or to make decisions affecting the whole membership.

  • Any member who wishes to propose any resolution may do so through the Executive Committee by email: sec-gen@hakam.org.my or by post to reach the Secretariat on or before 15 June 2018.
  • Kindly contact the Treasurer, Ms Tan Boon Dian by email tanboondiam@gmail.com or telephone 603-228 228 11 to check on the status of your membership subscription.

HAKAM to hold 27th Annual General Meeting on 30 June 2018

NOTICE OF 27TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

TO BE HELD AT HAKAM’S OFFICE at B-01, Ground Floor, Block B, Kompleks Pejabat Damansara Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, ON SAT 30 JUNE 2018 at 8.30 a.m.

 

AGENDA

  1. Welcome Address;
  2. Confirmation of Minutes of the 26th Adjourned Annual General Meeting dated 17 June 2017;
  3. Matters Arising;
  4. President’s Report for 2017/2018;
  5. Treasurer’s Financial Report for the Financial Year of 2017;
  6. Election of Office Bearers (President, Deputy President, Secretary General, Treasurer) & Executive Committee and 2 Honorary Auditors;
  7. Any Other Business.

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Ambiga, Shad Saleem members of newly-formed Institutional Reforms Committee

Source: The Malay Mail

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is one of the committee members of the Institutional Reforms Committee comprising legal experts as well as retired judges. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 ― The Council of Eminent Persons advising the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government today announced the formation of an Institutional Reforms Committee comprising legal experts as well as retired judges.

The committee members are National Human Rights Society president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Emeritus Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi, retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk KC Vohrah, National Patriots Association president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji and former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai who is also a member of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.

“Economics reform on its own cannot bring the desired change unless accompanied by institutional reforms. Towards this end, a committee on Institutional Reforms has been formed..” the council said a statement.

The findings and recommendations of the new committee will be presented to the council before it is then shown to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

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Government forms Committee on Institutional Reforms

Source: The Sundaily

From left: Datuk K.C. Vohrah, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, and Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi. Image from The Sun Daily.

PETALING JAYA: The Council of Eminent Persons has announced the formation of the Committee on Institutional Reforms aimed to assist the newly-formed Pakatan Harapan government on economic and financial matters.

In a statement, the council also stated that it had appointed five prominent figures, including former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, to sit in the reform committee.

“Economic reform on its own cannot bring the desired change unless accompanied by institutional reforms,” the statement read.

The five persons appointed into the committee were:
1. Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah
2. Retired Court of Appeal judge and Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai
3. Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji
4. National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
5. Universiti Malaya Law professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

Members of the committee would present its findings and recommendations on institutional reforms to the council, the statement read. Read more

Renewed calls for IPCMC after failure to stop custodial deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Civil society groups have renewed calls for the government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), calling the current Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) an organisation without “bite”.

In a public forum organised by the Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC today and in collaboration with several other human rights groups at the Bar Council’s new headquarters near Dataran Merdeka, they insisted that the EAIC had failed to stop deaths in custody.

Other participants included representatives from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), National Human Rights Society (Hakam), the Promotion of Human Rights Malaysia (Proham), and Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT). Read more

HAKAM Talks: A Conversation with Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy

Ronald McCoy speaks to reporters during an interview in Petaling Jaya on October 11, 2017. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

Join us for a conversation with Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy, founding member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ICAN was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

This event is open to HAKAM members only or strictly by invitation only.

Date: Thursday 1 March 2018 @ 5pm
Location: Perdana Room 1 & 2, Royal Lake Club, KL
Please RSVP by emailing us at info@hakam.org.my by 24 February 2018.

****

More about Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy and ICAN
Source: The Malay Mail Online, 12 Oct 2017

PETALING JAYA, Oct 12 — Shortly after the failed 2005 review of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Datuk Dr Ronald McCoy, who is the former co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), emailed his colleagues in the global federation his idea to build a grassroots movement to advocate a ban on nuclear weapons.

That movement was inspired by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines that eventually led to the 1997 anti-landmine Ottawa treaty.

“We can call it an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, with the acronym ICAN. Let’s startworking on this right now,” the Malaysian obstetrician had written in his open letter.

Ten years after ICAN’s 2007 launch, the UN adopted last July 7 a new treaty that imposed a total ban on nuclear arms called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, hailed as a significant milestone in the seven decades’ effort to prevent a nuclear war since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II.

None of the nine states with nuclear bombs — including the US, United Kingdom, China and Russia — had participated in the negotiations.

Last Friday, ICAN unexpectedly won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, with the Norwegian Nobel Committee reportedly saying that the risk of nuclear weapons being used now was greater than it has been for a long time.

“We’re all very elated at this recognition of years of work, although ICAN has only been in existence for 10 years. There’s still a long way to go, obviously,” Dr McCoy told Malay Mail Online in an interview at his home yesterday.

According to Dr McCoy, ICAN comprises 468 non-governmental organisations from about 100 countries. The campaign began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna, Austria.

Dr McCoy said ICAN had the support of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which allowed the campaign to highlight the humanitarian consequences of nuclear detonations so that disarmament was not seen as purely a security issue.

“It’s going to take a lot more work and a lot more time obviously.”

When pointed out that all nine nuclear powers — China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the UK and the US — had boycotted negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Dr McCoy said it was up to residents in those countries to highlight that their governments were in possession of “illegal” nuclear weapons.

“So we now have that political and moral pressure to rid the world of nuclear weapons,” said the 87-year-old.

The treaty bans nuclear weapons use, threat to use, development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, transfer, and stationing in another country. For countries that own nuclear weapons who want to sign, the agreement details a process for the destruction of the arms “as soon as possible” in a “legally binding time-bound plan.”

The 1968 NPT, on the other hand, merely states that countries “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”

Most nuclear-armed countries, however, have reportedly been modernising their arsenals instead of pursuing disarmament.

Dr McCoy, who quit his practice in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 to devote himself fully to campaigning against nuclear weapons, rubbished proponents’ stand that it was necessary to possess nuclear arms to deter others from using those same weapons.

“During the Cold War, deterrence almost failed on several occasions. And you know we came so close to a nuclear holocaust more than once during the Cold War,” he said.

The US, UK and France said in a joint statement issued on July 7 that they did not intend to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, claiming that the policy of nuclear deterrence “has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.”

“This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear programme, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary,” they said.

After North Korea’s recent nuclear and missiles tests, US president Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly last month that if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies, it would “have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Dr McCoy, however, said North Korea was merely reacting to the US’ threat of using nuclear weapons against it.

“They’re not the bad guys. The bad guys are the United States of America and the other nuclear weapon states,” he said.

“The United States is not a democracy, good heavens. The United States has been wielding its nuclear weapons to protect its unfettered capitalist system.”

Dr McCoy stressed that nuclear arms are not weapons of war, but weapons that would wreak “total global destruction”, claiming that should India and Pakistan engage in a nuclear war, the impact would not be limited to South Asia.

“There will be a swift destruction and the black soot from these explosions will go into the atmosphere, block out the sun and we would have what is called a nuclear winter. All the crops will perish and we will die of starvation,” he said.

More than 50 countries have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, including Malaysia. The Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation, however, reportedly said last May that Malaysia may have its own nuclear power plant by 2030.

Dr McCoy cautioned the government against developing nuclear energy and said Malaysia should focus on renewable energy instead as an alternative to fossil fuels.

“How can it be clean if you have radioactive waste for generations?” he said. “To say it is not expensive and [that it is] safe is nonsense.”

Dr McCoy was among the University of Malaya’s first batch of students when the varsity was founded in Singapore in 1949. Dr McCoy said he was born in Seremban but has lived in Kuala Lumpur all his life.

“I’m 200 per cent Malaysian,” Dr McCoy proudly declared.

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on December 10 in Oslo, Norway.

Parents, Here’s What You Can Do If Someone Sexual Harasses Your Child At A Theme Park

Source: Malaysian Digest

“Victims must find courage to speak up, lodge complaints and make police reports when sexual harassment occurs. Witnesses especially need to call out, speak out and act when we see harassment taking place. Taking pictures or video of the unacceptable behaviour is one way. Communities need to be more caring and less tolerant when it comes to harassment. Harassment is unacceptable and children, especially need to be protected. We can look out for each other. We can start with not victim-blaming and understanding that it takes courage to call out sexual harassment. With movements like #StopStreetHarrassment, #HandsOff, #MeToo and #TimesUp, I hope that the awareness will give courage for victims to call out the harassment and lodge the necessary report to the authorities.”– Robyn Choi, HAKAM Secretary-General, in advocating for every Malaysian to act together as a community to curb such incidents from recurring, instead of solely depending on the authorities to act on such matters.

Image taken from Malaysian Digest

Malaysian theme parks came under the spotlight recently after Filipino celebrity Ruffa Gutierrez posted an unfortunate account of sexual harassment her two daughters had faced at a local theme park during their holiday here.

Not only was the Gutierrez-family experience embarrassing for our country as the group of men acted like hooligans at a family-friendly establishment, but when the incident became viral, it also captured international headlines that questioned ‘Are Malaysian theme parks safe?’

While the theme park in question have assured the safety of its guests is of utmost priority and relayed they take the matter seriously, the incident has also served as an eye-opener for other parents to keep watch over their children, despite being in a family-friendly environment. Read more

Less government intervention, more resources for schools to tackle bullying

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — Educators insist it is unnecessary for the government to directly tackle bullying, and that schools should instead be provided the necessary resources to address the matter.

In a report on school bullying by the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), education experts and NGOs fear this could result in government overreach.

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Verbal, social bullying more common in Malaysia… with lasting effects

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — Verbal and social bullying has become more common than physical bullying in Malaysia, with greater long-term damage to victims, according to a recent report by the National Human Rights Society (Hakam).

In the Hakam report on Malaysian school bullying released last month, contributing expert and HELP University psychologist on bullying Goh Chee Leong said that statistics by the Education Ministry have shown that over 14,000 school bullying cases occurred between 2012 and 2015.

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