Malaysia on target to meet UN goal of reducing poverty

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is on target to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda as set out by the United Nations, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan

Speaking at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York yesterday, Rahman presented the voluntary national review on the country, saying that Malaysia was very much in compliance of the goal related to this year’s theme – “Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World”.

“Malaysia has achieved the biggest reduction in the percentage of population under the poverty line among all countries in Southeast Asia, according to the Asian Development Bank,” Rahman told those in attendance at the HLPF. Read more

Caning students is ‘derogatory punishment’ under UN convention

Source: FMT News

Uncat committee willing to work with the government to do away with corporal punishment. Pic drawn from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Caning in schools falls under degrading treatment under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as Uncat).

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said if Malaysia chooses to sign the Uncat treaty, it would be a positive step in accepting changes in corporal punishment.

Suhakam commissioner Lok Yim Pheng said the government had taken a step in the right direction by not allowing public caning in schools. Consent is still given to cane students in private. Read more

Address discrimination back home before championing Rohingya rights, Putrajaya told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai (left), UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — A United Nations (UN) representative today lauded Malaysia’s efforts to fight for the marginalised Rohingya community, but said that the country should also address human rights issues back home.

“I am really happy to see Malaysian government take up Rohingya issues. That is a great thing to do, but it should also take up issues in own countries.

“Have the same concern for discrimination in Malaysia. For election reforms in Malaysia,” the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai said today.

“But we should also ask them to have the same amount of concern for issues domestic and international. Not just about Rohingyas. We want Rohingyas to exercise their right, but we also want Malaysians to exercise their right,” he added. Read more

Wrong to criminalise groups for receiving foreign funding, UN rep says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly, speaking at Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) in Kuala Lumpur, December 5, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Putrajaya should not criminalise civil society groups for receiving foreign funding when even governments around the world do so as well, a United Nations (UN) representative said today.

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai pointed out that there should only be one international standard to regulate the foreign funding.

“So why is it a problem when NGO gets foreign fundings and not businesses or government?

“If everybody in the world gets foreign funding, why do they pick on one and says its wrong but another one is okay?” Kiai said at a special lecture session titled ‘Freedom of Assembly: Trends and Challenges in International Human Rights’ at the Malaysian Integrity Institute here.

Kiai stressed that no one should be criminalised simply for receiving funds from organisations like the Open Society Foundation (OSF), which is owned by billionaire George Soros. Read more

The lack of human rights at the WHO — Hafidz Baharom

Source: FMT News

BY HAFIDZ BAHAROM

It is obvious that the World Health Organisation, though under the United Nations, does not abide by the articles on human rights promoted by its parent body., says Hafidz Baharom. Image taken from FMT News.

It is obvious that the World Health Organisation, though under the United Nations, does not abide by the articles on human rights promoted by its parent body, says Hafidz Baharom. Image taken from FMT News.

There is plenty done by organisations affiliated to the United Nations that raise so many questions.

From the recent “Leading by Example” snafu with Permata, to perhaps the appointment of Saudi Arabia to the Human Rights Council Panel, these international bodies have seen themselves in an ironic situation of having to stomach the very people they are supposed to be standing against.

But on top of these examples, it should be highlighted that only one of its multitude of agencies has barred the public from speaking, the media from observing, and even banned the authorities involved in their cause from participating in their talks.

That particular, dictatorial crown goes to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and how they have handled their Conference of Parties (COP) on tobacco control.

During the last COP held in 2014 in Moscow, the public was banned on the first day, and the media was ejected on the second day. This isn’t the first time the WHO and nations taking part in the conference have banned the freedom of expression. Read more

Forced migration still a big problem in Asia — Puteri Nor Ariane Yasmin

Source: NST Online

BY PUTERI NOR ARIANE YASMIN

This week, there are two significant global meetings that aim to address forced migration — the first-ever United Nations Summit or High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants starting yesterday, and Leaders’ Summit on Refugees today. These events underscore the fact that forced migration has transitioned from a recognised but overlooked global challenge to one that demands urgent action.

Indeed, a survey by the World Economic Forum released in January notes that large-scale forced migration is one of the top risks facing the global economy. The number of people forcibly displaced has hit a post-World War 2 high at 65.3 million, of which 21.3 million are refugees (over half of whom are below 18) and 10 million are stateless. Approximately 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day, largely due to conflict and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. Read more

Malaysia to ratify global climate change pact this year

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― Malaysia will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before December, a minister said.

Local daily The Star quoted Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar saying that he would be attending a United Nations (UN) programme in New York tomorrow, to renew Malaysia’s pledge to combat climate change.

“Malaysia is saying that when we ratify, we are going to give some kind of assurance to the UN that we can perform it.

“But we are now in position to ratify the Paris agreement. I believe we will be one of the 55 countries. Not this trip, but the Prime Minister has already agreed and we can commit before December 2016,” Wan Junaidi reportedly told the daily.

Malaysia is one of the 195 countries that adopted The Paris Agreement, an international legally binding treaty for post-2020 climate action. Read more

Malaysia joins international community in adopting New York Declaration

Source: NST Online

NEW YORK: Malaysia has joined the international community in adopting the New York Declaration that will pave the way for greater efforts to assist 65 million displaced people around the world.

In assuring its continued commitment towards providing assistance to bona fide refugees and addressing conflict-induced migration, Malaysia gave its support for the declaration in the ongoing 71st United Nations General Assembly.

In the declaration during the High Level Meeting on Large Movement of Refugees and Migrants, member countries agreed to share responsibilities on the need for coordinated and complementary action on population movements and displacements.

In his speech during the summit, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the initiative by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon was commendable.

Ban mooted the idea last year for the summit to discuss, for the first time, with the 193 member states of the UN on what can be done with over 65 million displaced people around the world.

“I strongly give my assurance that Malaysia would not neglect its international obligations and commitments in addressing conflict-induced migration caused by war, natural calamities, political unrest and armed conflicts,” he stressed.

Zahid told the floor that a reflection of the country’s devotion to the evolving issue was the arrival of 79 Syrian migrants in two batches in May, and 421 more before the end of the year.

This was part of the Malaysian pledge by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – in the 70th United Nations General Assembly last year – to receive 3,000 Syrian migrants over three years due to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Read more

World Humanitarian Day message — Ban Ki-moon

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY BAN KI-MOON

AUGUST 18 — A record 130 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. Grouped together, these people in need would comprise the tenth most populous nation on Earth.

These figures are truly staggering, yet they tell only a fraction of the story. Hidden behind the statistics are individuals, families and communities whose lives have been devastated. People no different to you and me: Children, women and men who face impossible choices every day.

They are parents who must choose between buying food or medicine for their children; children who must choose between school or working to support their families; families who must risk bombing at home or a perilous escape by sea.

The solutions to the crises that have plunged these people into such desperate hardship are neither simple nor quick. But there are things we can all do — today, and every day. We can show compassion, we can raise our voices against injustice, and we can work for change.

World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk. Read more

New security law debuts as PM fights critics

Source: Gulf Digital News Online

Kuala Lumpur (AFP): Tough new security legislation came into force Monday in Malaysia, with critics saying the “draconian” law threatens democracy and could be used against opponents of the scandal-tainted premier.

The National Security Council Act was pushed through parliament in December by the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has faced calls to resign for more than a year over an huge alleged corruption scandal.

The legislation gives the government power to declare virtual martial law in areas deemed to be under “security threat”.

Critics accused Najib and his government of enacting the law, and other tough recent legislation, to ward off political and legal challenges.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan - The Star Online file pic

Wan Saiful Wan Jan – The Star Online file pic

“The law will definitly put fear in people planning to participate in street protests,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, a Malaysian think tank.

“The public perception in terms of the timing of the draconian law is that Najib wants the law in order to stay in office.”

The legislation allows a National Security Council headed by the prime minister to essentially suspend civil liberties in designated “security areas”, giving security forces sweeping powers of search, seizure and arrest. Read more