Transgenders meet mufti to end discrimination against them

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) met Federal Territory mufti Zulkifli Mohammad in an effort to help promote understanding and end discrimination against the transgender community.

Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Malaysia (PKKUM) said the discussion between transgender activists and the Federal Territory Mufti’s Office yesterday had strengthened ties between the transgender community and religious authorities.

The discussion came after Zulkifli expressed interest in helping them.

The founder of PKKUM, Elisha Kor Krishnan, said the meeting discussed the need to encourage interpretation of the Quran and Hadith to create greater awareness among the general populace on transgender issues.

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FT Mufti backs call to revisit edict against transgenders

Source: Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Feb 15 — Religious authorities should revisit a fatwa (edict) declaring transgenderism as un-Islamic, according to Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri who said the phenomenon is not inherently wrong.

In a meeting with Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Umum Malaysia (PKKUM) founder Elisha Kor Krishnan yesterday, Zulkifli also expressed his intention to work closely to help the group.

Citing Islamic teachings, he said there was a need to distinguish between men who impersonate as women (Mukhannath bi al-takalluf) and those who are born physically male but possess a female gender identity (Mukhannath min Kalqin).

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Why is Malaysia still practising female genital mutilation? — Sivananthi Thanenthiran & Rozana Isa

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY SIVANATHI THANENTHIRAN & ROZANA ISA

FEMALE genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) threatens about three million girls annually and at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries, according to Unicef.

However, activists believe it is practised in at least 45 countries. While FGM/C is often associated with Africa, it is more widespread in Asian countries, including Malaysia.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously passed a resolution calling it a human rights violation and urged nations to ban the practice and the ban was reaffirmed in 2014. The resolution was adopted by all UN member states, including Malaysia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines FGM as comprising all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

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Ministry says found 13 hotels banning staff from wearing ‘tudung’

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The proposed amendment to the Employment Act 1955 to address discrimination in workplaces following the issue of the ban on ‘tudung’ (hijab or headscarf) in the hotel industry is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting from March 5 to April 5.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said the ministry was pursuing a tripartite discussion involving employers, employees and the government to refine the proposed amendments.

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Gender identity not determined by genitals, civil societies insist amid Nur Sajat’s test

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — A coalition of NGOs has slammed the federal Islamic authority over a “gender test” on celebrity entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman, explaining today that one’s genitals do not determine his or her gender identity.

The groups stressed that nobody should be forced to undergo gender or medical tests to prove their gender identity, and Putrajaya should instead implement meaningful measures to increase understanding and educate government agencies and the public regarding gender identity and gender-based bullying and violence.

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Vote against bribery and corruption — KJ John

BY KJ JOHN

Source: The Malaysian Insight

ONE clear but obvious concern for most Malaysian Christians is the “agenda of backdoor Islamisation by PAS”.

Malaysia, from its inception, has been a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural society defined by a Federal Constitution which amplifies and clarifies our rules of law and due processes.

Therefore, and thereby, we were, and must only always be understood as a secular country. No particular or specific religious values can consequently be used to define public space morality.

Premised upon the secular interpretation of our foundation points within the Constitution, it is untenable that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s RUU34 can even be tabled in Parliament. Therefore, a good friend of mine and son of a former Deputy Prime Minister, Tawfik Ismail, has gone to Court over this wrong-doing.

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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.

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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.

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Sportswear retailer sacks supervisor for barring Muslims from prayer

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — JD Sports Malaysia said a Pavilion outlet supervisor acted wrongly in barring Muslim employees from prayers and has been fired.

In a message posted on Instagram, the sportswear retailer insisted that the incident was isolated and not part of a larger company guideline.

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Lawyers: Being atheist, promoting atheism protected by Constitution

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — The Federal Constitution protects the right of Malaysians to be an atheist and to promote atheism, lawyers have said.

Syahredzan Johan — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan said being an atheist is protected under the Federal Constitution, also noting that there are no constitutional provisions specifically prohibiting the spreading of atheism.

“The Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of religion under Article 11, and this includes the freedom not to believe. The statement by the Deputy Minister is completely wrong.

“The Federal Constitution also guarantees the right to life and personal liberty under Article 5. This would include the right not to believe in a religion,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

Syahredzan said it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the government to act against atheists as it will violate their constitutional rights.

“Also, the Deputy Minister should be careful as he is overstepping his jurisdictional boundaries. Islam is the purview of the States, and the Malay Rulers are the head of Islam. He is merely a Deputy Minister in the Federation, he could only comment on Islam in the Federal Territories. Even in the FT, there is no specific Shariah legislation that make it an offence to propagate atheism,” he said.

Syahredzan and two other lawyers were commenting on the Thursday remarks by deputy minister Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, who had claimed that atheism was unconstitutional as freedom of religion allegedly does not include freedom from religion. Read more