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Fakulti Ekologi Manusia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Seorang penjawat awam, telah berumahtangga dan beristeri. Menyukai respons orang ramai terhadap hasil penulisan dan berkongsi ilmu, pengetahuan dan pengalaman. Bercita-cita besar dan mempunyai tujuan hidup yang futuristik. Ingin melihat Malaysia menjadi negara maju sebelum tahun 2020 dan rakyat Malaysia tersohor di persada antarabangsa. Ingin melihat agama Islam dan umat Islam melonjak naik.


Assalamualaikum dan Salam 1Malaysia,

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


Dr. Amini Amir Abdullah
Universiti Putra Malaysia
21st December 2013

COMANGO is an illegal organization claiming to be the representative of the people of Malaysia. It lobbied internationally to force Malaysia to accept the principles of human rights which are based on secularism and liberalism. They use the platform of UNHRC and the UPR to lobby for their demands. COMANGO is also supported by 54 NGOs that most of the NGOs’ are illegal and not registered by the Registrar of Societies (ROS). COMANGO itself does not register with ROS.

COMANGO has gained sponsorship from local and foreign agencies for the purpose of lobbying at the international level, especially during the 1st UPR since 2009. In addition, they have established relationships with many human rights organizations internationally. COMANGO has sent a delegation to the UPR to fight for their demands. Among COMANGO leaders are Honey Tan Lay Ean (main spokeswoman of COMANGO), Jerald Joseph (Executive Director of Dignity International (DI)), Andrew Khoo (Chairman, Human Rights Committee, Bar Council Malaysia), Masjalizah Hamzah (Chairman, Centre for Independent Journalism) and Faisal Tehrani (Mohd. Faizal Musa) a Shiite activist but a Malaysian citizen.
The origins of COMANGO existence actually dates back where MCCBCHS has been established. MCCBCHS has pressured tha government before to review the position of religious freedom in the country since 1990s. MCCBCHS emphasizes that although religious freedom is technically protected, different faiths are treated unequally. They claimed that the non-Muslims are restricted by the Constitution from promoting their religion among Muslims including the prohibition of publishing materials containing elements of non-Islamic religious teachings. Those who have broken these restrictions have faced internment under the Internal Security Act (ISA). For example, in October 1987, two Malay Christian priests Jamaluddin Othman and Hilmy Mohamed Nor were accused of trying to mastermind the conversion of Malay Muslims. The Government claimed that their activities would disrupt the security of the country. 

According to Northcott, those Muslims who do choose to change their faith face significant restrictions and discrimination. They have to register their change of faith with a Religious Council which can apply significant pressure upon the new believer. For Christianity, such legislations have a major effect since it has a strong missionary tradition. According to Selvam and Paul Tan, the non-Muslim in Malaysia who has converted to Islam never has the freedom to convert from Islam later. They point out: “There are some people who believe that when someone chooses to embrace a specific religion, he/she loses his/her freedom to choose later another religion different from the one he/she first choose to enter. We believe that no religious belief has a right to take away from a person his/her God-given basic freedom”. Many non-Muslim protests gained the attention of the authorities. For example, the government stopped the passing of the amendment to the Federal Territories Shariah Laws in Parliament on 24th of December 1992 after the immediate protest by MCCBCHS to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Amongst the proposed amendments was the facilitating clause for the easy conversion of non-Muslims irrespective of age.

As a historical background, the first round of the UPR in 2009, Malaysia has received a total of 62 recomendations. In the second round of the UPR in 2013, Malaysia was pressured to accept Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). Malaysia received 232 recommendations from 104 countries. Among others, Canada, Germany, Croatia, France, Argentina, Chile and the Netherlands recommendations related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex and Person Queer (LGBTIQ). Malaysia has also been accused of not accepting sexual orientation and gender identity rights.
Some of the criticisms directed at Malaysia relating to freedom of religion. These critcisms include:
1. Malaysia has been accused of no freedom for Muslims of other schools as only the Sunni sect is permitted.
2. Muslim ideology threatens the ability of Muslims to practice their own religion other than religious authority.
3. The Malaysian government was accused of promoting a variety of religious discrimination.
4. Syariah Courts prohibit conversion from Islam.
5. Banning of a number of publications of different religions (The Herald, Allah Liberty and Love)
6. The Government of Malaysia refused to recognize sexual orientation and gender identity rights.
Several other countries touched upon several issues as follows:
1. Freedom of religion (interfaith and intra-faith)
2. Freedom of the press and media
3. Acceptance of all international treaties without any reservation.
They also tried to eliminate Section 377 of the Penal Code. This section provides unnatural sex, including sodomy as a punishable crime. COMANGO also urges the Malaysian government to sign and agree with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Among others, Article 18 of the ICCPR stated that the freedom of religion has no limit. It can also allow a person to apostate in Malaysia. The government of Malaysia was even insisted to sign the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Among others, ICERD provides the legal framework for adopting international obligations into domestic law. If Malaysia has to comply with ICERD, this will cause us to follow the dictates of the West and secularism. The term racism had to be followed by the definition of the West that would eventually deny the privileges of the Malays in the country and the social contract that has been long established.
Malaysia also was compelled for the recognition of the rights based on SOGI and the rights of LGBTIQ. COMANGO claims that these groups have been denied their rights. This claim is stated in paragraphs 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 of the report. In addition, there are also pressures to eliminate Section 377A of the Penal Code in relation to a crime of sodomy. In Paragraph 6.2, COMANGO claims that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution on the special rights of the Malays as racist and termed it as a political tool.
Paragraph 9 argues the Enactments of the Syariah Criminal Offences. What is noticeable is that paragraph 9.5 urging the repeal or amendment of the Syariah criminal offenses and enactments because it tending to intrude privacy. Paragraph 10 creates confusion on the issue of religious freedom in Malaysia. Among others, is the case of the use of the word Allah by the Christians which have not yet been finally determined by the highest court in Malaysia. COMANGO also questioned the prohibition of Shi'ism to be practiced and to expound their ideology in Malaysia. In addition, COMANGO also disputed the right of a Muslim father to determine their under age children. This issue is also manipulated as part of human rights issue.

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