Political parties urged to endorse recently launched Women’s Manifesto

Source: The Star Online

Launching of the Women’s Manifesto on International Women’s Day by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) with support of non-governmental organisations under the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG). Pic from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: Political parties and candidates are urged to endorse the recently launched Women’s Manifesto to champion women’s rights in Malaysia.

The Women’s Manifesto was launched on International Women’s Day by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) with support of non-governmental organisations under the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

“We hope to see political parties endorsing our Manifesto over the next few weeks, in time for the 14th General Election,” said Empower executive director Angela Kuga Thas at the launch in Gerakbudaya on Thursday.

Angela said that 40 civil society organisations have already endorsed the Women’s Manifesto, and hopes to see more political parties and organisations being added to the list.

The three objectives of the Women’s Manifesto is to have election candidates champion women’s agenda, inform Malaysians on the state of women’s rights, and to demand for change from the government to create a better environment for women’s rights. Read more

Launch of Women’s Manifesto

Empower poster

Women’s Manifesto is a document of women’s demands in Malaysia. These demands are researched and coordinated by Empower, in collaboration with women’s rights movements in Malaysia such as JAG (Joint Action Group for Gender Equality) and G-Blog. All the demands are divided to 10 themes. The Manifesto is:
– An opportunity for election candidates to champion women’s agenda
– To inform Malaysians on the state of women’s rights and gender at present
– Demand for change from the government for a better environment for women’s rights.

The launch of the Manifesto will be on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018, 8pm, at Gerakbudaya. Everyone is welcome.

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Manifesto Wanita ialah sebuah dokumen yang menyenaraikan tuntutan wanita Malaysia. Tuntutan in dikaji dan diselaraskan oleh Empower, dengan sokongan dan input oleh pergerakan hak asasi wanita di Malaysia seperti JAG (Joint Action Group for Gender Equality) dan G-Blog. Semua tuntutan ini dibahagikan kepada 10 tema. Manifesto ini berperanan:
– Sebagai sebuah peluang untuk calon pilihanraya, ahli dan parti politik untuk memperjuangkan agenda wanita
– Memaklumkan rakyat Malaysia tentang keadaan hak asasi wanita dan gender pada masa kini
– Menuntut perubahan daripada kerajaan untuk hak asasi wanita yang lebih baik daripada masa sebelumnya

Pelancaran Manifesto Wanita akan diadakan pada Hari Wanita Sedunia, 8 Mac 2018, 8pm, di Gerakbudaya. Semua dijemput hadir.

LGBT pride march in Taylor’s University cancelled after Islamist pressure

Source: The Malay Mail Online

AThere has been no public statement so far from the student organisers, who called themselves ‘Pride Not Prejudice’, besides the deletion of the event’s Facebook page. Pic from AFP by Dibyangshu SARKAR.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — A three-day lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) public awareness campaign that included a pride march that was scheduled for next month in Taylor’s University was cancelled last night.

The event, called “Courage in the Face of Adversity” and organised by its students, was cancelled following protests since Tuesday by pro-Islamists blogs that were incensed it would be held during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“The Pride event in Taylor’s University has been cancelled and will not happen. Please be informed,” the Campaign for Equality and Human Rights Initiative, or Pelangi, said in a brief Facebook status last night. Read more

Women’s group: A life of rape for victims who marry rapists

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Women’s rights groups are outraged bythe reported suggestion that rapists be allowed to marry their child victims. — Pic from Reuters.

Women’s rights groups are outraged bythe reported suggestion that rapists be allowed to marry their child victims. — Pic from Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Letting a rapist marry his child victim would effectively allow the child to be raped throughout marriage and force her to relive the horrors repeatedly, said a women’s rights group.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan called the Tasek Gelugor MP’s reported suggestion that rapists be allowed to marry their child victims “deplorable”, saying one of the worst abuses a child could endure is rape.

“Forcing a raped child to marry her rapist is an atrocious violation. She will spend the rest of her life being re-traumatised and denied all rights as a child.

“It will mean Malaysia allows the predator paedophile to not just evade punishment for this heinous crime, but to continue raping the child throughout the marriage,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

“Our children should be safe and protected from harm. Not handed to predators on a silver platter that permits statutory rape,” she added.

She called for the federal government to pass a clearly-worded law to ban child marriages in Malaysia. Read more

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded
21 December 2016

We, a group of concerned civil society organisations, condemn the attempts by the Malaysian government to discredit human rights work through the vilification of international funding for civil society. We are committed in our pursuit towards creating an enabling environment for democratic participation and good governance.

We are gravely concerned by recent statements made by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, and the Malaysian police that about 15 to 20 organisations are being investigated for receiving overseas funding. The funds we receive, whether from local or international funders, are legal under Malaysian laws. There is clear documentation of the funds and multiple levels of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability, including laws in the funders’ countries of origin, scrutiny by Bank Negara, and the mandated audits of our organisational accounts. Read more

Putrajaya not keen on human rights so we looked elsewhere, NGOs say

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded
21 December 2016pdf

We, a group of concerned civil society organisations, condemn the attempts by the Malaysian government to discredit human rights work through the vilification of international funding for civil society. We are committed in our pursuit towards creating an enabling environment for democratic participation and good governance.

We are gravely concerned by recent statements made by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, and the Malaysian police that about 15 to 20 organisations are being investigated for receiving overseas funding. The funds we receive, whether from local or international funders, are legal under Malaysian laws. There is clear documentation of the funds and multiple levels of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability, including laws in the funders’ countries of origin, scrutiny by Bank Negara, and the mandated audits of our organisational accounts. Read more

We are not ‘traitors’, NGOs tell Putrajaya

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Over 40 civil society groups submitted a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the Malay Mail Online

Over 40 civil society groups submitted a memorandum to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 ― Over 40 civil society groups urged Putrajaya today to cease harassing them over foreign funding, saying they had the same right as businesses and governments to receive such monies.

The 44 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) submitted a memorandum today to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, who is in charge of governance, integrity, and human rights, and to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

“We wish to state categorically that as members of civil society, which may from time to time voice our concerns about public affairs, we are not ‘traitors’ to the nation,” the NGOs said in the memorandum.

“Dissenters ought not be treated as enemies of the state. For a true parliamentary democracy to exist, we must be free to voice our concerns.

“As civil society groups which advocate for transparency and accountability, we remind the government that our accounts are made available through the filing of yearly returns,” they added. Read more

Cartoons not a threat, protesters not terrorists, says NGO

Source: FMT News

ARTICLE 19 says international law allows civil society organisations to seek, receive and use financial resources, regardless of the country of origin. Pic from FMT News.

ARTICLE 19 says international law allows civil society organisations to seek, receive and use financial resources, regardless of the country of origin. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: ARTICLE 19, an international NGO, says cartoons are not a threat to society and that those who protest against governments are not terrorists.

It also said women’s rights organisations were not “detrimental to democracy”, referring to the recent police raid on the group Empower.

ARTICLE 19 said the criminal investigations into Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and activists and politicians who were arrested before and following the Bersih 5 rally, cartoonist Zunar, and any staff of Empower, must cease.

Additionally, it said in a statement today, the nine pending Sedition charges against political cartoonist Zunar, must be dropped without condition. Read more

NGO slams Putrajaya’s ‘empty’ Sosma assurances

Source: FMT News

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam fears the raid on its office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders.

KUALA LUMPUR: Assurances by the government on the proper use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, or Sosma, are empty promises, said EMPOWER president, Janarthani Arumugam.

“We fear the raid on our office will not be the last time Sosma is used against human rights defenders,” she added in a statement.

EMPOWER stands for Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor.

Sosma was supposed to be used for terrorist-related offences.

The NGO condemned the police raid on its premises, “and the interrogation of staff, without legal representation”, and “the attempts to tarnish its work”.

“There’s no law that forbids civil society organisations from receiving funds, whether local or foreign,” said Janarthani. “All funds received are based on objectives and activities under our Constitution.”

In fact, she said, her NGO had submitted annually all documents required by the Registrar of Societies, in reporting on yearly activities. “This includes audited financial reports.”

Janarthani said that EMPOWER’s efforts were out there for the world to see. “We are about securing equality and democracy for all, especially for women and marginalised communities.” Read more