Tamil Selvan Ramis

| July 13, 2013

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak calling for an end to the anti-homosexuality agenda in Malaysia.


Dear Prime Minister Najib,

Please reconsider your administration’s support for the anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) “activism” and start implementing anti-discriminatory policies to protect the LGBT community in Malaysia.

Let me share examples of problems with the anti-LGBT policies that are endorsed by your administration, share my experiences working with the LGBT community, and suggestions to create a more inclusive Malaysia.

On Nov 3, 2011, the police banned the 4th annual Sexuality Merdeka (a sexuality rights festival organised by a coalition of NGOs, artists, and activists).

The then Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said: “Police will take action under Section 27 A(1)(C) of the Police Act as well as 298A of the Penal Code to prevent any function relating to the programme.”

He defended himself by saying, “Police received many protests from NGOs, including Islamic and non-Islamic organisations, which feared the programme could create disharmony, enmity, and disturb public order.”

Of course, Khalid did not bother to furnish any statistics in regards to the “many protests” that would offer some legitimacy to the ban.

How would a festival celebrating human rights of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity through forums, talks, workshops, book launches, art exhibition and stage performances at the Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (a closed environment) possibly “create disharmony, enmity, and disturb public order?”

The event organisers confirmed that the festival attendance has been growing, 500 people in 2008 to 1,500 people in 2010; and there were no disruptions in the previous years.

Ironically, the 2011’s festival had the theme: Queer without Fear. Should the ban on the festival be considered a clear warning from the authorities that queer individuals are meant to live in fear in Malaysia?

Research has repeatedly shown that LGBT individuals are more vulnerable to poor mental health such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, psychotic illnesses and suicide attempts.

The government’s ban on one of the very few avenues to celebrate one’s atypical sexual orientation and gender identity would only worsen the mental health of our LGBT citizens.

The question is: Which is more hateful, a commendable festival of sexuality rights or the oppressive and damaging ban placed on it?

Guidelines to identify LGBTs

On Sept 12, 2012, Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi officiated a seminar on ‘Parenting in addressing the issue of LGBTs’ in Penang. The seminar was later found to be the 10th of its kind in the nation.

Most shockingly, guidelines to “spot” gay and lesbian individuals were distributed to about 1,500 teachers and parents who attended the seminar.

They included absurd “symptoms” such as “muscular body and a fondness for showing off their physique by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops; preference for tight and brightly coloured clothes.

It also says there’s an inclination them to be attracted to men, carry big handbags similar to the kind used by women, hanging out, sleeping and dining with women; and for lesbians, an absence of feelings for men.

Puad said: “Youths are easily influenced by websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups. This can also spread among their friends. We are worried that this happens during schooling time.”

First of all, the symptoms that are indicated on the guidelines mentioned above are based on a disturbing failure to differentiate between gender and sexual orientation.

Gender is a social label of being man or woman, and is based on the psychological features and role attributes that society assigns to the biological sexes.

Sexual orientation on the other hand is defined as a person’s emotional and erotic orientation toward members of the same or another sex.

Most importantly, it has been established in psychological literature that gender and sexual orientation are independent variables.

There is no linear relation between people’s gender and sexual orientation. There is no scientific basis for the argument that “websites and blogs relating to LGBT groups” will influence and change students’ sexual orientation.

This argument suggests that those students are making deliberate choices to be part of a sexual minority group that is stigmatised and marginalised by an intolerant society they live in.

Above all, there are strong evidences to suggest that sexual orientation has a genetic component which flies in the face of everyone who argues that homosexuality is unnatural.

However, even if homosexuality is unnatural (which is not true), it does not justify our oppressions of the sexual minorities.

Anti-LGBT musical tour

On March 28, 2013, human rights activists in Malaysia were shocked again by news in an international newspaper.

The Asmara Songsang (Abnormal Desire) musical is touring schools, universities and teacher-training colleges (with free tickets provided) with the aim of educating “youngsters and their parents on the bad things about LGBT.”

The director of the musical, Rahman Adam stated: “Nowadays in Malaysia you read so many things in newspaper articles or write-ups about LGBT because [LGBT] are going into schools and influencing the children.

“Children need to recognise that men are for women, and women are for men. They [LGBT] are all out to have homosexual and lesbian sex, and although right now it is not so serious [in Malaysia], we need to act, to do something, to say something, to say that this is bad and not to follow it.”

The musical portrays the lives of three LGBT friends who throw loud parties, take drugs and have casual sex. The musical ends with the depictions of the LGBT individuals who refuse to repent being killed in a lightning storm.

Again, Rahman’s statement suggests that people are just too desperate to be a point of national ostracisation.

The musical story line is capable of planting inhumane prejudices against LGBT individuals in the minds of the attendees. Also, one wonders how it would be possible for the LGBT groups to go into schools and influence children (which is an utterly silly and false claim, of course) without the schools’ authorisation.

On top of that, there is no rational reason to allege that being a LGBT individual is bad.

There is scientific evidence to show that LGBT individuals are capable of having stable, long term relationships (if anything, homosexual partners function better than their heterosexual counterparts), and children of same-sex couples show similar psychosocial adjustment as children of opposite-sex couples.

LGBT individuals are capable of having a fulfilling life like their heterosexual counterparts and the only real problem that LGBT individuals have in Malaysia is the institutionalised discrimination imposed by the intolerant authorities.

In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that the lives of LGBT individuals are more likely to be plagued by “loud parties, drugs, and casual [unsafe] sex” than their heterosexual peers.

Also, it is essential to recognise that the rising rates of illegal drug use and unsafe sex are problems that are affecting all adolescents in Malaysia rather than some crisis that are unique to LGBT individuals, in order to effectively curb the epidemic.

Insights gained from my work

As you are well aware, we Malaysians are constantly taught about the ‘evil’ of being a LGBT person in the school classrooms. As such, I grew up with an idea that being a LGBT individual is both sinful and illegal.

Thanks to the Public Service Department of Malaysia for sending me to the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada with a full scholarship for my undergraduate studies in psychology.

During the first year of my time at UBC, I realised just how misinformed we all are in regards to LGBT issues. I learnt that same-sex attraction is not a Western invention (as being taught in Malaysian classrooms), but a universal human experience.

Immediately after learning the basis of human sexual attraction, I have changed my stance on LGBT issues. Specifically, I shifted from being a neutral bystander to an active advocate for equal rights of LGBT individuals.

As a part of my passion for working with minority groups, I have been serving as a Community Service Learning student at Qmunity: British Columbia’ (BC) Queer Resource Centre from January to April 2013.

Specifically, I conducted primary and secondary research on adoption policies and procedures, particularly those pertaining to queer-identified couples or individuals in BC.

The final product of my work was a document that outlines important information for queer individuals and couples who are looking to start a family and would like more information about the process, including a list of agencies and contact information.

While working on this project, I experienced a number of critical moments which further inform my understanding about the lives of queer-identified individuals.

For instance, one father mentioned the following during a personal interview: “My three and a half-year old son asked about his birth yesterday. I was telling him how my [same-sex] partner and I embraced him the first time we had him in our hands. And, the smile on his face while I was telling him this story, that is what life all about.”

The father went on to advice future parents not to be discouraged by the adoption process, “You will get a child that you meant to have.” His words showed me how much he loves and values his child.

Honestly, I am not sure if there were any other instances in my life before that have made my heart to feel so warm (both metaphorically and literally). Like most children, I see my mother as the most loving person in the world.

And, I do not think the love the father has for his kid is any different from the love my mother has for all her children. That is, the fact that he has a same-sex partner has no bearing on his capacity to be an affectionate parent.

Sadly, most people are still failing to understand this non-difference. Consistent with the scientific findings that I made reference to earlier, there is virtually no difference between heterosexual and homosexual individuals or couples.

LGBT persons are striving for the very same things that heterosexual individuals aspire to obtain in their lives: Love and peace.

During my time at Qmunity, I also learnt that the new British Columbia Family Law recognises even same-sex couples as the legal parents. That means same-sex couples would no longer need an adoption certificate as they can have their names on a child’s birth certificate itself.

Yes, that is how progressive the province of British Columbia is! It is not quite wise to expect the Malaysian government to even legalise adoption by same-sex partners at this point.

We have a long journey to travel before reaching there. However, there are many immediate steps that we could take to at least stop the ongoing systematic oppression targeted against LGBT individuals in Malaysia.

Towards a more inclusive Malaysia

Article 8 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states, “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.”

This means that there should be no legal discrimination on the basis of who one is born or choose to love. Furthermore, the 1Malaysia national programme that you introduced is supposed to promote fairness to all Malaysian citizens.

Specifically, 1Malaysia is founded on three pillars in enhancing national unity, which are principle of acceptance, principle of national spirit and principle of social justice.

Thus, the 1Malaysia programme demands every Malaysian citizen (including political leaders) to accept different lifestyles and practices, and act in accordance with social justice principles. Alienating a whole sexual minority group is not a manifestation of acceptance or social justice.

This separation will also inhibit the minority group’s contributions in enhancing national unity in Malaysia. As such, I am confident that your administration will be motivated to hold on to the 1Malaysia concept and strive to create a more inclusive Malaysia.

First and foremost, please fully lift the ban placed on Sexuality Merdeka. As I mentioned above, there are not many avenues available for sexual and gender minorities to find social and emotional support in Malaysia.

Thus, a responsible government should praise and support the initiatives of the festival’s organisers, not threaten them with police brutality.

Secondly, please advice your cabinet, especially the Ministry of Education to learn the difference between gender and sexual orientation, and stop endorsing ridiculous guidelines in the future. The ministry is mandated for implementing policies and procedures to produce quality human capital that will drive the growth of our beautiful nation.

Endorsing guidelines that promote hatred to an already marginalised minority groups is not one of their duties.

In addition, please immediately ban the anti-LGBT musical tours that are contaminating the whole nation. The musical is delivering damaging and ill-informed messages to the public.

By right, Rahman, the musical’s director should be prosecuted for promoting hate messages and creating disharmony, enmity, and disturbing public order in the nation. In any case, a considerate government has the responsibility of protecting the public from these anti-homosexuality agendas.

In addition to ending support for the anti-discriminatory agenda in the nation, your administration should also pay special attention to the fact that LGBT individuals have much poorer mental health outcomes than their heterosexual peers.

Undeniably, those mental health challenges are caused by the conversion conspiracies, stigmatisation and marginalisation of our LGBT individuals. Thus, please advice the Ministry of Education to stop investing on counselling programmes that are aimed at converting “effeminate” boys into “macho” ones.

Instead, please urge the ministry to mobilise their resources to provide better mental health support to LGBT students at educational institutions.

Moreover, your administration has the responsibility of launching public awareness campaigns to end the hostility (which was fueled by your administration one way or the other) targeted against LGBT individuals.

Hopefully, the suggestions mentioned above would be able to create a safe and inclusive Malaysia that a LGBT individual can live in as any other Malaysian citizens.

Tamil Selvan Ramis is a fresh graduate of psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada

– See more at:

 Thursday, 04 July 2013 22:59

NO FIRE ZONE: Zahid, police shut down NGOs’ film screening

Written by Pusat KOMAS



On the evening of the 3rd of July (Wednesday night) KOMAS a human rights NGO together with the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Right Committee (KLSCAH CRC) co-organized a film screening of the moving documentary film called “No Fire Zone” directed by Callum Macrae.

At about 8.30, after 30 minutes from the time the screening started, KDN officials, Immigration officials and the police were present in mass numbers in the venue of Chinese Assembly hall and requested to enter the venue to check the film.

The organizers negotiated with them to allow the screening to continue and enter after the screening is over.

Abuse of power

However, after the screening, they insisted that all participants’ IC had to be checked before they left the venue. This is a clear abuse of power as it was not necessary for them to harass the audience who had just come to watch the movie.

Later on after the film screening, the KDN and Police team numbering about 30 officers ordered the organizers namely the 3 KOMAS representatives, Ms Anna Har (KOMAS Board of Director), Mr Arul Prakkash (Executive Director) and Ms Lena Hendry (KOMAS Programme officer).

The KDN team had requested for a copy of the film which we as the organizers willingly cooperated and downloaded the soft copy of the documentary “No Fire Zone”.

Later, we were taken to IPD Dang Wangi to have our statement recorded. We asked the officers if we were being arrested and they said no over and over again. We were only informed that we were being arrested midway through the statement taking and questioning session by the investigating officers at the Dang Wangi Police station.

They were joined by Mr Tan Jo Hann (Board of Director of KOMAS) and Lawyers Mr New Sin Yew, Ms Seira Sasha And later joined by Mr Farez Jinnah At the Dang Wangi Police station where they were were questioned for almost 3 hours by the investigating team from the KDN.

We believe the manner in which our arrests were made is also against police procedures which require the police to inform a person if he/she is being arrested. We were very shocked and amazed at the officials for carrying out this action without proper basis, proper warrants or notice being issued.

At About 2am in the morning they were finally released on police bail. The charge was according to the Seksyen 6 of Film Censorship Act which says no one should screen any film or related publicity materials which is not approved by the board.

In fact earlier on on July 1st 2013, KOMAS staff, Ms. Lena Hendry had received a call from the Censorship Board, Ministry of Home Affairs who had asked us as the organizers to stop the screening because the film had not gone under censorship. We answered them that the screening is a private screening and invitation was by invitation only.

Furthermore, there were also strong attempts by the Sri Lankan embassy to stop the screening. They had faxed a letter to the KLSCAH to state their intention, and also we were informed that the embassy representatives had also appeared in person at the KLSCAH in an attempt to meet with the organizers and persuade them to stop the film screening. They were told to return at 6.30 pm to meet the organizers but they never showed up.


Malaysia has always taken an interest in issues affecting people around the world, for example the Palestinians, Rohingyas and many other issues. This particular documentary film provides a very effective platform for discussing the urgent concerns which are prevailing in Sri Lanka today. KOMAS merely provided the platform and opportunity for the Malaysian people to become aware of these issues.

In any democratic nation, differing views and even dissent are resolved through debates and discussions. However it is truly sad to see that in Malaysia who claims to be a democratic and modern nation, the authorities had used an iron fist to clamp down on this basic right of freedom of expression. It has used strong arm tactics to curb free discussion and debates even-though it has been guaranteed under article 10 of the Malaysian constitution.

We urge the Sri Lankan government through its Malaysian Embassy to in fact boldly hold a dialogue session with the Malaysian people so that it can also express its views and have meaningful dialogue with the Malaysian people. We also urge them to not hide behind the Malaysian government using undemocratic and crude repressive tactics to repress freedom of expression and free speech.

We also would like to ask the Malaysian government especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, who is actually in charge of our country? The Sri Lankan government?

As citizens of this country, we have every right to have our freedom to express and dialog on issues that is the threat to humanity. Sri Lankan war crimes was a clear threat to humanity and the number of lives that were lost deserves the voice of the world to speak that. And as a responsible government, they should allow this discussion and not clamp it down using the enforcement agencies.

Pusat Komas

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NGOs condemn disruption of movie screening

Alfian ZM Tahir


 | July 4, 2013

They claim violation of rights by KDN and police who tried to stop the showing of a documentary on the Sri Lanka civil war.


KUALA LUMPUR: Several human rights groups have condemned the Home Ministry (KDN) and the police for disrupting a private screening of a documentary film at the Chinese Assembly Hall last night and harassing the organisers and audience.

Representatives of the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Right Committee (KLSCH CRC), Komas and Suaram told a press conference today that KDN officials and police barged into the screening room about 30 minutes after the start of the documentary, a British production about the Sri Lanka civil war entitled “No Fire Zone”.

“They came in and told us to stop the screening,” said Komas director Arul Prakash. “We didn’t stop. However, after the show, they insisted on checking the identity cards of all the participants. Why was there a need to ask the audience to produce ICs? It was ridiculous and an intimidation.”

The organisers said the enforcement team, numbering about 30, ordered them to go the Dang Wangi police station and they obeyed, thinking they merely had to get their statements recorded. However, to their surprise, they were informed that they were under arrest, they added.

“We asked the officers if we were being arrested, but at first they said ‘No,’” Prakash said. “We were informed we were under arrest only midway through the interrogation.

KLSCH Civil Committee chairman Liau Kok Fah said his organisation had earlier received a letter from the Sri Lankan embassy asking it not to screen the documentary.

“We received a fax from the embassy and we were accused of supporting terrorism,” Liau said. “They wanted us to stop the show, but why are they interfering in Malaysian NGO matters?

“We invited them to attend the show so we could get their side of story. But they never came.”

Prakash said Komas had told the Sri Lankan government through its embassy to hold a dialogue with the Malaysian public instead of hiding behind the government in Putrajaya in trying to repress free speech.


– See more at:



Censorship in the No Fire Zone

 “By investigating war crimes in Sri Lanka I am acting no differently, than when I made films investigating allegations of war crimes by British and American forces in Iraq.”

 – Callum Macrea, director of ‘No Fire Zone’


COMMENT Certain news items get lost in the shuffle. We begin to expect certain reactions from the current regime when it comes to the censorship of certain “sensitive matters”. However, when the security apparatus of the state is used on the behest of others or the perception of this is created, that really sticks in my craw.

By now, some readers may have become aware of the commotion at the screening of Callum Macrea’s ‘No Fire Zone’ at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) on Wednesday.

Macrea, who with his series of Channel 4 documentaries on the alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan security forces during the final phases of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, gained international acclaim not to mention caused international outrage against the Sri Lankan government.

The Sri Lankan government has attempted to portray Macrea as a paid LTTE propagandist but as Macrea (left) reminded everyone in an interview withCeylon Today, “Can I remind you what my films have said, over and over again: The LTTE is guilty of war crimes. They are guilty of using terror tactics, of forcibly conscripting child soldiers and using suicide bombers. In the latest film ‘No Fire Zone’, I ran horrifying footage of LTTE suicide attacks in areas full of innocent civilians.”

So all this talk of being a paid sympathiser for the LTTE is bunkum, which surprisingly enough is the kind of tactics employed by certain governments against journalists like Robert Fisk and Eric Margolis.


Embassy calls the shot


At an arranged meeting with Macrea by a young former journalist turned DAP activist before the screening of his documentary together with a prominent social scientist of a leading national university, we discussed his work amongst other issues and the ineffectiveness of the United Nations in Sri Lanka and other parts of world.

Then I went for the screening of the documentary. Ten minutes into the screening, the state security apparatus showed up wanting entry into the venue. Now, the Sri Lankan government had already made it clear that they did not want this documentary to be screened.

I asked KLSCAH representative Tang Ah Chai about themanoeuvres madeby the Sri Lankan authorities with regard to the screening of this film.

He said: “On July 2, the personal assistant of Sri Lanka High Commission (SLHC) Dilrukshi Seneviratne called me and said that they wanted to meet with our (KLSCAH) president on July 3. But there was no mention of any matter to be discussed.

“My president was not available at the suggested time, so Mr Liau Kok Fah (chairperson of Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH) followed up with SLHC. On July 3, around 8.30pm, I received a fax from SLHC.”

Of interest to readers is the content of the fax, which states: “I would like to inform you that it has been brought to our notice that a group of sympathisers of proscribed LTTE terrorist organisation has been making arrangements to screen a documentary film titled ‘No Fire Zone’ that is based on false distorted facts of events during the fight against the LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka.

“I have also been informed that the Censorship Board of the government of Malaysia has not granted them permission for them to screen such a film. I am of the view that screening such a documentary would affect the harmony and peaceful coexistence of different sections of the people in Sri Lanka and also Malaysia in the long run.

“Our mission has already requested the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Malaysia and Censorship Board of the government of Malaysia to ensure that no such film is screened in this country against the people and government of Sri Lanka and to ensure smooth and peaceful coexistence of the peace loving and for the enhancement of warm and cordial bilateral relations between our two peoples.”

Kula defends organisers

DAP’s M Kulasegaran (left), who is Ipoh Barat MP, responded to the organisers’ call for lawyers when it became apparent that the “security personnel wanted admittance into the hall”. This is what Kulasegaran had to say. Consider this a firsthand account of a participant who was in the centre of the commotion.

 “The screening started at about 7.30pm. The organisers barged in asking if any lawyers can come out of the theatre area to speak to some ‘government agencies’ which wanted to stop the screening.

“I was asked and I went out to meet the ‘raiders’. I introduced myself and asked under what authority the officers have come. To my shock there were from, KDN (Home Ministry) filming department, the police, Immigration and some suspicious-looking characters.

“The presence of over 70 personnel shocked me. Why their interest and three departments for a major international movie. What great sin is being screened to warrant this raid?

“The officer immediately said he was from the KDN and had received a complaint that we were screening a movie that infringes the Film and Censorship Act. I immediately asked, could he produce the necessary documents for him to conduct the raid, but he said this was not necessary under the act.

“I asked who had filed the complaint, he said this could not be divulged. I retorted it was in the public domain that Sri Lanka and its local connections were the ones. He just smiled and refused to say any further.

“Thereafter, I reminded the officer if he was aware the film was screened in Parliament House earlier and he nodded his head. I asked, ‘Why you chaps did not raid Parliament’, he replied, how can they raid Parliament?

“I further retorted that the documentary was already available online. He declined to say anything. As the argument was proceeding, we invited the ‘raiders’ to go to the adjoining office to discuss this further. He agreed.

“At the adjoining office, a deal was struck. The screening could proceed uninterrupted and at the end, they would enter the theatre and take the soft copy of the video, etc. They would also check the identities of those present.

“I realise they had felt many foreigners, especially Sri Lankan Tamils, could be there, and if so, arrest them and deport them, thus satisfying the Sri Lankan authorities who think Sri Lankans were behind all this.”

Screening in Parliament

I asked Kulasegaran of the screening in Parliament, to which he replied, “The screening of the film ‘No Fire Zone’ has been a topic of discussion among NGOs for the last two plus week. We were fortunate that the Caucus for the Displaced People of Sri Lanka of the Malaysian Parliament went ahead and screened the video in Parliament House during the lunchtime.

“Over 15 MPs of all races attended and saw for themselves the atrocities of war crimes. The organisers were initially worried if the screening would be stopped. I told them in Parliament, they wouldn’t dare.”

Kulasegaran has been consistent on his stand on the issue of Sri Lanka and has been raising the issue in Parliament.

He said: “Last year, many MPs raised the failure of the government to vote in favour of the resolution to support UN on the violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, which noted with concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka did not adequately address ‘serious allegation’ of violations of international law.

“Malaysia’s failure to support the motion is unacceptable. We know the real reason is its business links with the Sri Lankan interest.”

After the screening, one young woman related, “The lights were switched on and we were told by the organisers that KDN and Immigration officers wanted to see our ICs. There was some uproar and people demanded to know why.

“The organisers asked us to cooperate and show them our ICs. Several people tried to question the officers, asking, ‘Why do we have to show you our ICs?’ No response. They would not tell us. Initially the officers wanted to take down details, like our full names and IC numbers, but we refused and in the end, we just flashed our ICs in front of them.”

Let me be very clear. I have no problem with the Sri Lankan government wanting to “censor” this film, even if for the ridiculous reason of ” good bilateral relations”, however what I object to is the fact that our security or public institutions that are supposed to safeguard our interest are being used as proxies (possibly) for foreign interest.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

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  • Nalini Elumalai, Suaram
  • 2:32PM Sep 22, 2012

Memorandum to Suhakam on the concerted harassment against Suaram by the government and its agencies

The ongoing harassment on Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd (Suaram) by the government and its agencies is getting out of hand. Suaram has since July 2012 been publicly persecuted by the government and its agencies. The chronology of events is set out in the following:-

  • On July 20, 2012, in compliance with the notices of inspection dated July 13, 2012, Suaram produced all documents and information to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM)
  • On August 30, 2012, in compliance to a notice dated 3rd August 2012 from the Social Security Organisation (“22 September 2012”), Suaram produced all requested documents and information to the Perkeso office.
  • On September 5, 2012, 2 officers from CCM served notices pursuant to ss 7C and 7D(1) of the Companies Act 1965 (CA 1965) to Suaram’s company secretary and auditors. The S7C notices require the secretary and auditors to produce a list of documents to the CCM for investigation while S7D(1) notices require the secretary and auditors to appear at CCM on 10th September 2012 for investigation.
  • On September 7, 2012, 2 officers from CCM served notices pursuant to s7D(1) CA 1965 to Suaram’s finance manager, Danapakiam Savari, refugee coordinator, Sarah Vanitha Devaraj, directors, Kua Kia Soong and Yeoh Seng Guan and executive director, Enalini Elumalai.
  • On September 10 and 11, 2012, Suaram’s company secretary and auditors were investigated by CCM. On September 13, 2012, Danapakiam Savari and Sarah Vanitha Devaraj were investigated by the CCM. CCM’s investigation on Danapakiam Savari resumed on the September 18, 2012.
  • On September 11, 2012, a meeting between the CCM, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Central Bank (Bank Negara), Registrar of Societies (RoS), PDRM and Home Ministry was held to determine the jurisdictions of respective agencies and actions to be taken against Suaram.
  • On September 13, 2012, Suaram chairman, Arumugam Kalimuthu received a notice pursuant to S7D(1) CA 1965 by way of registered mail and was summoned to appear at CCM  on September 19, 2012 for investigation.
  • On September 19, 2012, the RoS and PDRM visited Suaram’s office for an intended inspection on Suaram. However, the team led by one Ganesh of RoS had to return empty handed upon being notified that Suaram is a registered private limited company and is not a society under the purview of the RoS.
  • On the same day, Danapakiam Savari was again summoned to appear at the CCM on September 20, 2012 for further investigation vide a notice pursuant to S7D(1) CA 1965. The said notice was served at her residence at or about 9:15PM.

Read the rest of this entry »

September 09, 2012

SEPT 9 — What are the characteristics of a civilised nation? Is Malaysia a civilised nation? These two questions remained with me well after I left a two-hour public forum at the Bar Council yesterday at which I heard Maina Kiai, the United Nations Rapporteur for the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, and several others speak about freedom of association and assembly.

Maina, a Kenyan with degrees from Nairobi and Harvard, used the words “civilised” and “civilisation” often during his 30-minute address. He applauded the economic progress of Malaysia, emphasising his sense of awe after a visit to the Petronas Twin Towers.

If the measure of progress in civilisation is the magnificence of our finest building, then we are doing very well. But is that an adequate measure of civilisation?

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by CM Lim Guan Eng on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 5:49pm

ISA: 50 Years of Oppression

Chief Minister of Penang and DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng was the first to be arrested during the infamous Operation Lalang clampdown, and he was the last of the 1987 batch to be released. Here, he shares his experiences under the draconian ISA.

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By EDITH M. LEDERER (AP) – 11 hours ago

UNITED NATIONS — Seven countries accused of human rights violations, including Libya, Angola and Malaysia, won seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council in an uncontested election Thursday.

The U.N. General Assembly approved all 14 candidates for the 14 seats on the 47-member council by wide margins despite campaigns by human rights groups to deny countries with poor rights records the minimum number of votes needed.

All 14 countries easily topped the 97 votes required from the 192-member world body. Libya, which currently holds the presidency of the General Assembly, received the lowest number of votes — 155 — while Angola got 170 and Malaysia 179.

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When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak visits the United States this week, US government officials should press him to end Malaysia’s institutionalised system of discrimination against non-ethnic Malays.

As a first step, Malaysia should agree to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a UN treaty already ratified by 173 countries.

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John Liu
Mar 1, 10

While the ongoing new process of selecting members of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) marks a seemingly relative improvement in the commission’s compliance with international standards, Suaram expresses its concerns and disappointment over the current application of the new process.

Although the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) has given Suhakam an ‘A’ status in November 2009 after considering the amendments made to the enabling law of Suhakam in July 2009, the international body will nonetheless once again review Suhakam’s status in November 2010, in particular to assess whether the new selection process is applied in accordance with international standards.

In relation to this, Suaram regrets that the application of the new selection process has thus far been flawed since the beginning, with little or no regard paid to the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness.

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Tuesday, 02 February 2010 Super Admin

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The last time Anwar Ibrahim was put on trial, I was tortured and forced to ‘confess’ to sodomy

My detention by the Malaysian Special Branch taught me how it feels to be forcibly separated from one’s wife and children. How it feels to be searched and seized, disallowed to make phone calls, handcuffed, blindfolded, stripped naked, driven in an animal cage, shaven bald, endlessly interrogated, humiliated, drugged, deprived of sleep, physically abused.

By MUNAWAR A. ANEES, Wall Street Journal

Nearly 12 years ago, I was languishing in a local hospital as a prisoner of conscience. This loss of freedom was due solely to my long-standing personal and professional association with Anwar Ibrahim, then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia. We were falsely implicated in a fabricated case of having committed a mutual act of sodomy.

Such an internment, when driven by ulterior motives, brings a brutal deprivation upon the victim. It acts like a double-edged sword. While one’s freedom of movement is taken away by tormentors, one’s conscience suffocates in a dungeon. A poignant grief sets in once there is awareness that both the body and the conscience have fallen victim to the act of tyranny. That is what distinguishes incarceration out of an actual crime from that emanating from the acts of those who prosecute and persecute innocent others. The tormented memory never fades.

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A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.

By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor
Published: 4:30PM GMT 25 Jan 2010

The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.

According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant.

The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life.

“I want justice,” she said.

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