Gambar ISTAC yang dijadikan gereja diturunkan

Dua pos blog yang saya tulis sebelum ini, “Gambar ISTAC dijadikan gambar gereja” dan “Siapa tukarkan gambar ISTAC menjadi gereja?“, telah mendapat sambutan hangat.

Pos-pos blog tersebut telah dibaca hampir 15,000 kali dalam dua hari sebelum ini dan telah mendapat liputan meluas dalam akhbar termasuk dalam Malaysiakini (Bahasa MalaysiaBahasa Inggeris, dan Bahasa Cina), The Malaysian Insider (Bahasa Malaysia dan Bahasa Inggeris), dan The Malay Mail Online. Isu ini juga menjadi buah mulut individu-individu di laman sosial terutamanya Facebook dan Twitter.

Pos blog yang mendakwa gambar ISTAC menunjukkan orang Islam murtad digereja telah diturunkan.

Pos blog Kedah yang mendakwa gambar ISTAC menunjukkan orang Islam murtad di gereja telah diturunkan.

Komen-komen kepada artikel-artikel akhbar tersebut dan perbualan-perbualan di laman sosial menunjukkan Continue reading

Siapa tukarkan gambar ISTAC menjadi gereja?

Semalam saya menulis satu pos blog yang menceritakan bagaimana satu gambar saya yang diambil di dewan International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) telah disebarkan di beberapa blog dan forum di Indonesia. Gambar ISTAC itu dikatakan menunjukkan orang Islam di Malaysia yang murtad dan baru sahaja dibaptiskan di gereja.

Sememangnya, saya terperanjat menbaca dakwaan-dakwaan dalam blog-blog dan forum-forum itu.

Tetapi saya hairan juga – dari mana blogger-blogger Indonesia mendapatkan gambar saya itu? Dan kenapa blogger-blogger ini begitu berminat dengan kita di Malaysia?

Jadi, saya meng-google sedikit lagi hari ini. Apa yang saya dapat tahu – nampaknya gambar itu asalnya bukan disebarkan menerusi blog di Indonesia, tetapi menerusi satu blog di Kedah. Inilah screenshot daripada blog berkenaan:

 Gambar ISTAC yang dikatakan gambar gereja nampaknya asalnya disebarkan dari blog ini.

Gambar ISTAC yang dikatakan gambar gereja nampaknya asalnya disebarkan dari blog ini.

Saya menyebut nampaknya gambar itu berasal dari blog berkenaan kerana Continue reading

Gambar ISTAC dijadikan gambar gereja

Kedua-dua gambar ini menunjukkan ISTAC, bukan gereja.

Kedua-dua gambar ini menunjukkan ISTAC, bukan gereja.

Dua tahun lepas, 29 Febuari 2012, saya bersama-sama rakan sekerja telah menghadiri satu program anjuran agensi kerajaan LPPKN untuk membincangkan Dasar Keluarga Negara. Kebanyakan hadirin terdiri daripada kakitangan kerajaan, tetapi anggota NGO seperti saya turut hadir sekali.

Program itu diadakan bertempatan di International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), di Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.

Semalam, dua tahun selepas program itu, saya diberitahu oleh seorang rakan sekolah bahawa satu dakwaan telahpun disebarkan melalui beberapa blog dan forum di Indonesia yang mengatakan bahawa ramai orang Islam di Malaysia sudahpun murtad. Dalam pos-pos blog dan forum tersebut, dipaparkan pula gambar saya dan  Continue reading


Universal values won’t help resolve issues faced by Malaysia (The Ant Daily)

My comment addressing allegations made against COMANGO, and on the compatibility and relevance of universal human rights mechanisms in Malaysia (definitely rebutting the claim highlighted in the article’s title):

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) advocacy officer Yu Ren Chung said while Isma and the Muslim groups are entitled to express their views on the matter, the use of state machinery to vilify Comango is a cause for concern.

WAO is one of the 54 endorsees of Comango’s demands and Yu said the coalition has been subjected to “outlandish comments” and “baseless allegations” – including through the official Friday prayers sermon text prepared by the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) on Oct 18.

“It is our responsibility to respond to Isma because what they have said are factually untrue. Isma is claiming to speak on behalf of the larger Muslim community when that is not necessarily true either,” said Yu, in pointing out that matters of religion should be personal to every individual.

He also maintained the overall concept behind championing for adoption of universal human rights standards is so that every individual will be able to live their chosen life with dignity.

This, he said, is due to the fact that a UN member country will receive technical assistance to implement the resolutions which it has ratified for the betterment of the people.

Read the full article published in The Ant Daily on 23 November 2013. 


Comango: Muslim NGOs missing forest for the trees (The Malay Mail Online)

My comment on the perceived notion that human rights, including international mechanisms like the Universal Periodic Review, are foreign ideas and at odds with religion.

“There’s a misconception that human rights is something from the West … If one looks at the history of the human rights, it has global support,” said Yu Ren Chung from Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).

According to Yu, two of the five authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) were P.C. Chang who was from China, and Charles Malik who was from Lebanon.

The UDHR was subsequently adopted by UN members in 1948, with 48 countries in favour and eight abstained ― mostly from the Soviet bloc.

The representatives also rubbished claims by Muslim NGOs that by ratifying international human rights protocol, Malaysia will open the floodgates to practices that “would threaten the position of Islam” such as same-sex marriages and apostasy.

“Realistically and practically speaking, it seems a far-flung idea, used simply to scare people into taking a position in line with (them) … They choose the most polemic of all topics, we’re not even at that stage yet,” said Suriani.

“By signing (the protocols), it sends a signal that we would like to meet these standards, basic global human rights standards, and one can work progressively to achieve that,” explained Yu.

Yu has also stressed that there are many Muslim countries that have ratified the global protocols, without any sudden spike in same-sex marriages and apostasy.

*Correction: I noted that there were eight or nine drafters of the UDHR, not five.

Read the full article published in The Malay Mail Online on 24 October 2013. 


Reviewing Human Rights in Malaysia (BFM 89.9)

Suri Kempe from Sisters In Islam (SIS) and I shared our thoughts on Malaysia’s human rights situation, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and COMANGO, with Lee Chwi Lynn on BFM’s The Bigger Picture.

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Prelude by BFM:

All member states of the United Nations are subjected to a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) every four and a half years by the Human Rights Council to gauge the extent to which the state under review is fulfilling its obligations to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of people who live in that country. Malaysia was first reviewed in 2009, and was reviewed again on 24th October for the second time.

As part of the review process, the UN would take into account the report submitted by the Malaysian government, various reports compiled by UN agencies, as well as a third report summarizing various stakeholders’ positions. One of those stakeholders is the coalition of Malaysian NGOs, or COMANGO, who is advocating for a more progressive agenda with an emphasis on equality. Another stakeholder is the coalition of Muslim NGOs, or MuslimUPro, who champions a more conservative agenda, which stress upon Malaysia’s unique circumstance as a multi-ethnic and multi-faith country.

Here to articulate COMANGO’s stance is Yu Ren Chung, advocacy officer of Women’s Aid Organization (WAO), and Suri Kempe, programme manager of Sisters in Islam (SIS).

Interview aired on BFM 89.9 on 25 October 2013.


As peer review nears, NGOs hopeful Putrajaya will meet rights pledges (The Malay Mail Online)

My comment on Malaysian human rights NGOs hopes for the Malaysian government’s review under the Universal Periodic Review process:

Two Comango members who stayed back in Malaysia told The Malay Mail Online in an interview this week that an important issue addressed in the report is the politicisation of religion.

“The reason why this is such a big issue, is it affects many issues. It affects women’s rights, children’s rights, freedom of religion, minority rights, et cetera,” said Yu Ren Chung, advocacy officer for Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO).

“If anything, we’re challenging the stranglehold the government has on religion,” Yu added, refuting claims from some Muslim NGOs ― which have banded under the name MuslimUPRo ― that Comango is trying to challenge the position of Islam in the nation.

Read the full article published in The Malay Mail Online on 24 October 2013.