Malaysians step up to end deaths behind bars

Source: The Malay Mail Online

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan says it’s not true that only guilty people die in custody. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― Lawyers and activists have banded together to form EDICT, Malaysia’s first-ever group that is solely focused on stopping abuse and deaths in custody.

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan said there is currently no specific NGO set up to seek a holistic solution to deaths in custody.

“It’s a very big problem actually. I think nobody should die in custody, we are a country that prides itself in building KLCC, MRT.

“We have developed so far, we have grown as a nation and we have accomplished many things but why is it that we cannot keep people alive in prisons, in detention camps, or in lockups? Why do they die? If they can walk in, surely they can walk out, why do they need to come out on a stretcher dead?” he told Malay Mail in a recent interview. Read more

Plight of working class women remain unresolved after 100 years – Joint Statement

Dated 8 March 2017

Versi BM

Pic from Aliran.

Pic from Aliran.

Cabaran wanita kelas pekerja belum selesai sejak 100 tahun yang dulu

Kenyataan bersama NGO dan parti politik kepada Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat sempena Hari Wanita Sedunia 2017.

Walaubagaimanapun, kami amat terkilan kerana isu-isu yang telah diperjuangkan oleh kaum wanita 100 tahun yang lalu pada tahun 1917 di Russia menuntut “makanan (roti) dan keamanan” masih dialami oleh kaum wanita pada tahun 2017 ini. Perjuangan wanita Russia pada 8 Mac,1917 telah menjadi pencetus perjuangan yang telah menjatuhkan pemerintah Tsar Russia yang kejam pada ketika itu.

Perjuangan untuk keperluan asas untuk hidup masih relevan sekarang dimana majoriti wanita golongan pekerja berpendapatan rendah, ibu tunggal dan kaum ibu miskin kota menghadapi kesukaran setiap hari menampung kos hidup yang semakin meningkat.

Pada hari yang penting ini, kita mengenang perjuangan pemimpin wanita kelas pekerja dan marhaen yang telah berkorban demi memperjuangkan nasib rakyat tertindas. Read more

Local fundraising is tough, Bersih tells Azalina

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Bersih 2.0 has criticised a minister for suggesting that proposed political financing legislation be extended to civil society, amid claims that US billionaire George Soros funded local groups.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s suggestion would only hinder the civil society movement and that the introduction of another financing legislation for NGOs would add another layer of restriction.

Azalina has said that the leaked minutes purportedly from a meeting of Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) made it necessary to examine funding for groups beyond political parties.

“NGOs are different from political parties. They are the supplementary support systems where government has failed to do so. Why penalise NGOs when their agenda is about building a better Malaysia?” Chin told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The head of the polls reform group pointed out that it was only natural for NGOs to source other forms of funding from organisations like the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) due to the lack of assistance from the government. Read more

Activists may be next, group says after Sanjeevan detained under POCA

Source: Malay Mail Online

A human rights group has expressed concern over the use of the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 to arrest anti-crime activist Datuk R. Sri Sanjeevan (pictured). — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The use of the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) to arrest anti-crime activist Datuk R. Sri Sanjeevan might kick off the use of the “draconian law” against civil society, a human rights group warned today.

The Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) noted that Sanjeevan could be seen as a human rights defender as the NGO he heads, the Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force, could be said to be a civil society organisation.

“MyWatch can be said to be a civil society organisations (CSO), and Sanjeevan may be seen as Human Rights Defender.

“As such, the arrest and detention is of concern, as this may be the advent of the usage of POCA against other civil society organisations and human rights defenders, MADPET coordinator Charles Hector said in a statement today.

A magistrate’s court here granted police today a 21-day remand of Sanjeevan under POCA that will expire on July 31, after he was first arrested on June 22 for alleged criminal intimidation and extortion.

Hector said there may be a narrow interpretation of a clause in the Act that states no one shall be arrested solely for their “political belief or political activity”.

“But the worry is that this may be given a narrow interpretation to just mean political parties and politicians — but will not include civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, community organisations, people movements and human rights defenders,” Hector said. Read more