PM to launch National Human Rights Action Plan in March – Azalina

Source: Malaysiakini

The government is set to launch the much-awaited National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) in March this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said today.

Speaking at her annual address to the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) in Putrajaya, Azalina thanked the division for its achievements in 2017 and anticipated that the launch of the NHRAP would be another milestone.

“Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) will launch the National Human Rights Action Plan and my target is either early March or the end of February.

“The setting up of this National Human Rights Action Plan will be a success, as we know this is the PM’s legacy.

“(This is) so that the rakyat will understand that human rights issues are very important in our country,” she said as she addressed members of the 13 agencies parked under the division.

Read more

Femme & Queer: Redefining Gender Expression

Facebook event here

What does being femme mean to you? How are queer people breaking the gender binary by embracing their femininity? Whether it’s queer women taking ownership of their femininity or queer men challenging the norm of what being a man should be like, how the celebration of femininity can shape the struggle for fairness and equality? These are just some of the issues that we will be talking about in the third of our “Millennials in Malaysia: Defining Our Generation” chat series.
Joining our conversation are :
1) Thilaga, Justice for Sisters
2) Dhinesha Karthigesu, spoken word poet
3) Cat Brogan, poet, educator, and LGBT event organiser

All are welcome to be part of this conversation on sexuality, gender identity and gender expression. Share your stories and experiences of how your identities intersect with one another. Let us know what is your relationship with femininity. This chat is a safe space for everyone to come together and celebrate the universality of humanity.

Event artwork

Artwork by Lynnie Z, Olaf Hajek from Facebook event page

MoH: Custodial medical unit to eventually be extended to smaller lockups, immigration depots

Source: Malay Mail Online

View from outside a prison

The CMU will first be implemented at the Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur centralised lockup before it is extended to other lockups. — Picture by Suhakam via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — The proposed custodial medical unit (CMU) at centralised lockups will eventually be extended to smaller lockups throughout the country, Deputy Health Director-General (Medical) Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran has said.

Dr Jeyaindran, who is in charge of medical services said that as a start, resident doctors will be placed at centralised lockups round-the-clock and eventually it will be extended to smaller lockups, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lockups as well as Immigration detention centres.

Read more

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.

Read more

Bilqis appeal: There are real crimes for govt to go after, say activists

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has questioned the government’s decision to appeal the acquittal of a woman who dropped balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife in 2015.

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) executive director Eric Paulsen also questioned the need to secure a conviction for a minor incident, adding that it was a “waste of resources”.

“Surely there are real crimes for the public prosecutor to go after?

“He must not forget that he acts as a guardian for public interest. What public interest is being served by continuously appealing such a petty matter?”

Read more

Custodial deaths: Enforcement needed, not just recommendations — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today

BY P RAMASAMY

The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) might not have the “teeth” to prosecute those who have abused detainees or who caused the deaths of those in custody. However, despite its lack of prosecution powers, the EAIC has done some excellent work in recommending actions to be taken against police officials who have abused their power and those who have engaged in serious misconduct.

Whether the government will act on the recommendations to check or discipline members of the police force guilty of abusing power remains to be seen. However, if the past is any indication of what is to come, the government might have little political interest in disciplining members of the police force.

Given this situation, the setting up of an Independent Police Conduct and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) cannot be delayed any further. The EAIC needs to be complemented by an agency that has independent powers of prosecution.

Read more

Breach of conduct, power abuse by police caused detainee’s death, says group

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BREACH of conduct and power abuse by police are what caused the death of detainee S. Balamurugan last year, said the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

It was reported that EAIC chief A. Aziz A. Rahim said police had failed to heed the magistrates’ court’s order to immediately hospitalise Balamurugan.

“The commission finds that police’s failure to release the deceased after their remand order was rejected by the magistrate is a serious misconduct,” Aziz told reporters in Putrajaya.

Read more

MACC sets up units to watch for corruption, power abuse in govt agencies

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up special monitoring units to watch for misappropriation, corruption and abuse of power at high, medium and low-risk government agencies.

In a statement today, the MACC said its certified integrity officers would be replaced by administrative and diplomatic officers in integrity units of government agencies in line with the government’s decision to set up a Department of National Integrity and Good Governance.

Read more

Group: Special court for human-trafficking cases should not be merely to maintain country’s ranking

Source: Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa via Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Jan 19 — Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen lauded the government’s move to set up a special court to deal with human-trafficking cases but cautioned against using it to merely show a high number of prosecutions to reach some Key Performance Index (KPI).

Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern.

“Our concern is how genuine will the implementation of the court be especially at the prosecution side,” he told Malay Mail.

Paulsen cautioned against giving those fighting human trafficking “false hope” by setting up the court simply to raise the country’s ranking internationally.

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