Malaysia’s indigenous hit hard by deforestation – Al Jazeera

Logging and deforestation in Malaysia's forests is threatening the way of life of the indigenous populations and causing environmental catastrophes [Jarni Blakkarly/Al Jazeera]

Logging and deforestation in Malaysia’s forests is threatening the way of life of the indigenous populations and causing environmental catastrophes [Jarni Blakkarly/Al Jazeera]

Kuala Wok, Malaysia – High up in the remote mountain jungles of Malaysia’s eastern state of Kelantan, massive deforestation and the country’s worst flood in decades have left indigenous tribes reeling.

In the village of Kuala Wok, the Temiar people’s Sewang ceremony is held to worship and seek guidance from the spirits and nature, and forms an important part of their religion and culture.

Full article – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/03/malaysia-indigenous-hit-hard-deforestation-150329101349832.html

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Interview: Anwar Ibrahim – The Diplomat

Image Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Image Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

The Diplomat’s Jarni Blakkarly spoke recently with Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim about the likelihood that he will return to jail, political oppression in Malaysia, and the upcoming visit to Malaysia by U.S. President Barack Obama.

You’ve recently had your prior acquittal on sodomy charges overturned by the courts and been sentenced to five years in jail. As this case has been going back and forth for many years now, how likely do you think it is that you will find yourself behind bars again?

Full article – http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/interview-anwar-ibrahim/

Here Comes Omar Musa – Peril

Peril Magazine – Snehargho Ghosh

Peril Magazine – Snehargho Ghosh

There’s a little section later in the book where this disembodied voice tells us a kind of hallucinatory story about a bunch of feral dogs that are taught by a space-man to dig up the bones of massacred black-fellas and bring them to the doors of the town Councillors and the Mayor.

“The Mayor and the Councillors keep burying the bones and the dogs keep bringing them back, again and again. I sort of see myself and other artist like me like those dogs, who are bringing up the past and putting it in front of people’s faces.”

From rapper to spoken word poet and now to novelist, Omar Musa continues to defy expectations. When asked if he is trying to avoid being pinned down by genre, he tells Peril Magazine, “Yeah, a moving target is harder to hit. Also it’s just the arts are so diverse that it’s really exciting for me to experiment with form.”

His debut novel Here Comes The Dogs was published by Penguin and has received rave reviews and been reprinted after only a month. He talks gratefully about the privilege of a having a novel published and the pressures of sitting down to write it.

Full article – http://peril.com.au/featured/here-comes-omar-musa/

Malaysian trans rights activists fight back against the state – Archer

Photo of Thilaga, taken by Jarni Blakkarly.

Photo of Thilaga, taken by Jarni Blakkarly.

On Friday 7 November last year after a long legal battle, three Malaysian trans women secured a historic victory as a Federal Appeals court ruled that a state Islamic law criminalising trans-women is unconstitutional.

Malaysia has a two-track legal system with separate Islamic laws on civil matters only decided by the conservative religious ministry which apply only to the Muslim population.

The Federal Appeals court ruled that the Islamic law in the southern state of Negri Sembilan under which ‘a man dressing as woman’ could be punishable by up to three years imprisonment, breached the constitution. Despite many discriminatory laws still in place across the country and with the government set to launch its own challenge to ruling, activists have celebrated the ruling as a legal precedent.

Archer caught up with Thilaga, who wanted to only go by one name, from the grassroots trans-rights organisation Justice for Sisters who organised the case.

Full Article – http://archermagazine.com.au/2015/04/malaysian-trans-rights-activists-fight-back-against-the-state/