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Charles Santiago

Posted by : Admin Direktori Blog | Rabu, 9 November 2011 | Published in

sumber :-

Charles Santiago


Minority and Vulnerable LGBTIQ Community Has Rights Too

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 10:45 PM PST

By banning Seksualiti Merdeka, the government and police have shown the world they are callous, intolerant and homophobic. Furthermore the ban is yet to be justified.

By Charles Santiago

The rule is that you don’t put all your years of accrued chips at the center of the table, where the wheel spins into a void. The Malaysian police, unfortunately, does not share this sentiment.

By banning Seksualiti Merdeka, the government and police have shown the world they are callous, intolerant and homophobic. Furthermore the ban is yet to be justified.

Following the ban, the organizers and other individuals have received threats, lewd and violent messages. Instead of protecting the rights of the minority LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Intersex, queer) the government has shamelessly endorsed the ongoing persecution and discrimination against the community.

Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual sexuality rights festival which focuses on the human rights of people who come from diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.

Malaysia signed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and United Nations Charter before becoming a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, vowing to respect sexual rights as universal rights based on the inherent freedom, equality and dignity of all human beings.

In sharp contrast, organizers of the festival and Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was scheduled to officiate the festival, have come under police questioning. Ruling government-owned media organizations have ignorantly branded the festival as one that advocates free sex.

If this is not enough some individuals and organizations have gone berserk in the name of religion and called for further persecution against the LGBTIQ community and Ambiga. It is difficult to get angry with the foolishness displayed by these groups but it is sad to note they would stoop so low as to use religion to spread fear.

If we could all take a step back and stop labeling peoples’ sexuality, we would be able to see the importance of human relations. We would clearly see the need to respect the rights of all people irrespective of their sexual orientation and identity as it is an integral part of every one of us.

The government, instead of fanning hatred and inciting anger, could move to oppose all forms of stereotyping against the LGBTIQ community. It should condemn the bullying and name calling the community has had to endure and ensure they have equal access to education and employment opportunities including enjoyment of basic rights of equality and freedom of expression and association.

The members of the community are targets of verbal abuse, physical and sexual violence, harassed at the work-place, ostracized by their families and face hate crime–related sexual assault.

They occupy the lowest positions in the job market, face discrimination in schools and are unable to access public housing because of their sexual orientation.

In fact, they experience the worst forms of discrimination.

They need compassion and state support. Not further discrimination.

But, driven by the need to stay in power, the government has fashioned the controversy surrounding the festival for its own political mileage. Clearly the ban demonstrates the ongoing persecution against Ambiga who spearheaded the call for electoral reforms in the country.

The government is playing a dangerous game as it has carelessly pitted different communities against each other, while prime minister Najib Tun Razak trumpets his 1Malaysia policy, which aims at national integration.

If the government is serious about its commitment to human rights as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it must allow for a democratic space for vulnerable communities to engage in peaceful gatherings and revoke the ban on Seksualiti Merdeka.


Majlis Rumah Terbuka Sambutan Hari Deepavali

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 08:11 PM PST


Europe’s Crisis Worsens Due to Economic Mismanagement, Especially by ECB

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 07:47 PM PST

By Mark Weisbrot


This article was published in The Guardian (UK) on November 9, 2011. If anyone wants to reprint it, please include a link to the original.


Some of us have been warning for months about the crisis scenario that is accelerating today in Europe. In particular I have noted that the European authorities were pushing Italy down a dangerous path, similarly to what they did to Greece. The formula is deadly: force budget tightening on an economy that is already shrinking or on the edge of recession.  This shrinks the economy further, causing government revenue to fall and making further tightening necessary to meet the target budget deficit. The government's borrowing costs rise because markets see where this is going.  This makes it even more difficult to meet the targets, and the whole mess can spiral out of control.

Today financial markets reacted violently to this process in Italy, with yields on both 10-year and 2-year Italian government bonds soaring past 7 percent. Let's do the math.

One year ago, Italy could borrow at 4 percent for 10-year bonds.  Today these yields went as high as 7.7 percent.  Multiply this difference, 3.7 percent, times the 356 billion euros ($491 billion) that Italy has to refinance over the next year.  That's 13.2 billion euros ($18.2 billion) in additional borrowing costs, or about 1 percent of Italy's GDP.

Italy has agreed to deficit reduction of 3.9 percent of GDP by 2013, with about 1.7 percent of it coming over the next year.  Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has just announced he will resign, in part because of the political difficulty of making these changes in a weak economy.  Now add another 1 percent of GDP to make the same target – and that the target will move because the economy will likely shrink further — and you can imagine that Italy is not going to make these targets.  Which is what the bond markets are imagining right now.

In fact, the bond traders can be more imaginative than that.  They have noticed that when Portugal and Ireland's bond yields went above 7 percent, they quickly soared into the double digits. These governments were then forced to borrow from the IMF and the European authorities instead of relying on financial markets.

The European authorities are not prepared to deal with such a situation. Italy is the world's eighth largest economy, and its $2.6 trillion debt is much more than that of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and even Spain combined.  Clearing houses in Europe have recently begun to require more collateral for Italian debt, which has also unnerved markets.  A lot of Italy's debt is held by European banks, and the fall in Italy's bond prices also causes problems for their balance sheets, increasing the risk of a worsening financial crisis that is already slowing the world economy.

What can be done about this? The European Central Bank (ECB) reportedly intervened heavily in the Italian bond market, and its purchases are probably what brought Italy's bond yields down somewhat from their peaks.  But this is not nearly enough to resolve the crisis.

The ECB is the main problem. It is run by people who hold extremist views about the responsibility of central banks and governments in situations of crisis and recession.  Even as facts contradict them on a daily basis, they cling stubbornly to the view that further budget tightening will restore the confidence of financial markets and resolve the crisis.

Governments must take "radical measures to consolidate public finances," said ECB Executive Board member Jurgen Stark yesterday.

But of course these measures will only pour more fuel on the fire, by pushing Europe further towards recession and exacerbating the debt and budget problems of the weaker eurozone economies.

And the new head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, just a week ago dismissed the idea of the central bank playing the role of lender of last resort – a traditional role for central banks.

ECB authorities think they have already done too much by buying $252 billion of eurozone bonds over the past year and a half.  But compare this to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has created more than $2 trillion since 2008 in efforts to keep the U.S. economy from sinking back into recession.

The ECB could put an end to this crisis by intervening in the way the U.S. Federal Reserve has done in the United States. But they continue to insist that this is not their role.  That is the heart of the problem, and until this policy is reversed it is likely that the European economy will continue to worsen.


Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.

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Minority and Vulnerable LGBTIQ Community Has Rights Too.

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 04:04 PM PST

The rule is that you don’t put all your years of accrued chips at the center of the table, where the wheel spins into a void. The Malaysian police, unfortunately, does not share this sentiment.

By banning Seksualiti Merdeka, the government and police have shown the world they are callous, intolerant and homophobic. Furthermore the ban is yet to be justified.

Following the ban, the organizers and other individuals have received threats, lewd and violent messages. Instead of protecting the rights of the minority LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Intersex, queer) the government has shamelessly endorsed the ongoing persecution and discrimination against the community.

Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual sexuality rights festival which focuses on the human rights of people who come from diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.

Malaysia signed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and United Nations Charter before becoming a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, vowing to respect sexual rights as universal rights based on the inherent freedom, equality and dignity of all human beings.

In sharp contrast, organizers of the festival and Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was scheduled to officiate the festival, have come under police questioning. Ruling government-owned media organizations have ignorantly branded the festival as one that advocates free sex.

If this is not enough some individuals and organizations have gone berserk in the name of religion and called for further persecution against the LGBTIQ community and Ambiga. It is difficult to get angry with the foolishness displayed by these groups but it is sad to note they would stoop so low as to use religion to spread fear.

If we could all take a step back and stop labeling peoples’ sexuality, we would be able to see the importance of human relations. We would clearly see the need to respect the rights of all people irrespective of their sexual orientation and identity as it is an integral part of every one of us.

The government, instead of fanning hatred and inciting anger, could move to oppose all forms of stereotyping against the LGBTIQ community. It should condemn the bullying and name calling the community has had to endure and ensure they have equal access to education and employment opportunities including enjoyment of basic rights of equality and freedom of expression and association.

 

The members of the community are targets of verbal abuse, physical and sexual violence, harassed at the work-place, ostracized by their families and face hate crime–related sexual assault.

They occupy the lowest positions in the job market, face discrimination in schools and are unable to access public housing because of their sexual orientation.

In fact, they experience the worst forms of discrimination.

They need compassion and state support. Not further discrimination.

But, driven by the need to stay in power, the government has fashioned the controversy surrounding the festival for its own political mileage. Clearly the ban demonstrates the ongoing persecution against Ambiga who spearheaded the call for electoral reforms in the country.

The government is playing a dangerous game as it has carelessly pitted different communities against each other, while prime minister Najib Tun Razak trumpets his 1Malaysia policy, which aims at national integration.

If the government is serious about its commitment to human rights as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it must allow for a democratic space for vulnerable communities to engage in peaceful gatherings and revoke the ban on Seksualiti Merdeka.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang


Why so secretive about TPP trade talks?

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 01:33 AM PST

Source: Free Malaysia Today

G Vinod | November 9, 2011

MPs demand public disclosure of details about Malaysia's stand in the negotiations.

PETALING JAYA: Opposition politicians today asked Putrajaya to lift the veil of secrecy on the position that Malaysia is taking in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations.

DAP's Charles Santiago, the MP for Klang, called for a parliamentary select committee to consider the issue.

"All my questions pertaining to TPP have gone unanswered in the Parliament," he said. "The issue must be debated as it involves public interest."

The question of whether Malaysia will join TPP is expected to come up at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting next week. Reports have said that the negotiations are at an advanced stage and Malaysia is close to joining the pact.

TPP is a multilateral free trade agreement aimed at liberalising the economies of countries in the Asia Pacific region. It is an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which Brunei, Singapore, New Zealand and Chile signed in 2005. The countries negotiating to join TPP include Australia, Peru, Vietnam and the United States.

Santiago said some clauses in the agreement could undermine Malaysia's sovereignty.

He picked out a clause on "state-investor dispute mechanism" and said this allowed investors to drag Malaysia into international arbitration should the country enact a law unfavourable to them.

He noted that the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Phillippines were never shy about disclosing to their publics what they discussed in their free trade negotiations.

"But the Malaysian government seems to be keeping everything close to its chest and even MPs are oblivious about what stage of the negotiations we are in now," he said. "We seem to be caving in to the pressures by the developed nations."

Pact is bad

Parti Sosialis Malaysia's treasurer, A Sivarajan, called on the government to abort its plan to join TPP.

"Our stand is the pact is bad for Malaysians," he said. "Even without it, we can continue doing business with the Americans and the Europeans," said Sivarajan.

He said TPP would benefit only the rich nations; the absence of import duties, for example, would encourage them to overwhelm the Malaysian market with their agricultural products.

"With better financial backing, the foreigners could offer competitive prices for their products. That will kill off our local farmers and cause unemployment."

Sivarajan said International Trade and Industries Minister Mustapa Mohamed should be responsible enough to educate the public on the disadvantages of the agreement.

"Officials from developed nations are required to inform their respective august houses on the progress of the TPP talks for public scrutiny," he said.

"However, our government doesn't hold such sessions. Even a public consult was not done prior to participating in the talks."

 


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