Archive for category Human Rights

Malaysia’s deep divides

by John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
May 29, 2013 10:49AM UTC

National elections on May 5 haven’t cooled political and racial tensions, writes Asia Sentinel’s John Berthelsen

Any hope that May 5 national elections in Malaysia would cool the political atmosphere appears to have been misguided, leaving a country entangled in deepening racial problems and creating the risk of a real threat to the legitimacy of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s reign.

While not calling for Najib’s removal, the prime minister’s most potent critic, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, damned him with faint praise, telling Bloomberg News in an interview in Tokyo last week that the United Malays National Organization will continue to support him “because of a lack of an alternative.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Are we really independent?

P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
Mar 29, 2013

QUESTION TIME On the eve of the general election, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on how independent are we really.

What a moment it must have been when Malaysia (then Malaya) achieved independence from the British on Aug 31, 1957 and the flag of the newly independent country was raised.

At five years old, I was too young to remember what it was like then but have vague memories of my brother getting lost on a family visit to Kuala Lumpur town during the celebrations and being taken care of by policemen, before he was reunited with our parents.

It must have held so much hope for Malayans of all races and religions who put aside their differences to work for the formation of a new nation.

Tunku Abdul Rahman declared himself the happiest prime minister in the world and was proud of the fact that independence was achieved via negotiation without a single drop of blood being shed.

To be sure there were differences and in the years before independence there was much debate and agonising over how a disparate country of Chinese and Indian immigrants, many of whom had nowhere else but Malaya to call home, were to be integrated with the majority Malay community.

But there was a plan and everyone stuck to it and the country became independent. The communist threat had been beaten back although it would take until the sixties before they were more or less completely vanquished.

We were independent but how free were we? And did not independence mean freedom as well? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia uses spyware against own citizens, NYT reports

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Malaysia is among 25 countries using off-the-shelf spyware to keep tabs on citizens by secretly grabbing images off computer screens, recording video chats, turning on cameras and microphones, and logging keystrokes, US newspaper the New York Times (NYT) reported yesterday.

Besides Malaysia, researchers at Citizen Lab based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs found that the United States, Singapore, Indonesia and Britain also used the surveillance software known as FinSpy.

“Rather than catching kidnappers and drug dealers, it looks more likely that it is being used for politically motivated surveillance,” security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire was quoted by NYT as saying.

Martin J. Muench, managing director of Gamma Group — a British company that sells FinSpy — has reportedly said that Gamma Group sold its technology to governments solely to monitor criminals, and that it was most often used against “paedophiles, terrorists, organised crime, kidnapping and human trafficking”.

Marquis-Boire, however, pointed out that the software was open to abuse, saying: “If you look at the list of countries that Gamma is selling to, many do not have a robust rule of law.”

Other countries with servers running FinSpy include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Qatar, Serbia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lesson from ‘listen, listen, listen’

by Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
Jan 17, 2012

As a student of Cultural-Philosophical Studies with a passion in radical educational change framed within the context of cybernating-hypermodern societies such as Malaysia, I see the “Bawani-Zohra Affair” as emblematic of a nation gone berserk on the issue of freedom of speech and the culture of dialogue and public discourse.

We are in an ‘amuck-latah’ mood. The nation, at least in cyberspace, is furious (amuck) of what happened, and the protagonist of the propaganda machine fumbled big-time (latah) assuming that the teaching techniques of the “top-down, humiliate-first, no-apologies later” of many a Biro Tata Negara speaker can still be deployed unreservedly onto university students at the time when amateur videos can go viral, when tweets can flow like a tsunami, and when Facebook pages can be created in a fraction of seconds.

That’s the mistaken assumption – that the Frankenstein called “social media technology” will also not run amuck helping those silenced to have their poetic justice, and those humiliated to become an honourable being raised to the level of stardom, overnight.

It is said that at times, you do not need to find the revolution – for the revolution will find you. The revolution found both Bawani and Zohra in such an ‘absurd’ way, such as in many of the plots of French surrealist dramas like Eugene Ionesco’s rhinoceros running wild on the city streets, and Kafka’s character moving from desolation to awareness in “Metamorphosis”.

The timing was perfect, like that storm brewing right after the almost-a-million Malaysian march to take over Putrajaya; after the Deepak drama which was over-played, overdosing even the older folks; after the successes of all those Bersih rallies, and many other watersheds upon watersheds of consciousness-raising events, and ultimately, after the last hurrah circa GE13 – all these ripened the relevance of the fateful “Bawani-Zohra” rendezvous.

Hence, Malaysians saw not only an explosion of anger, but one that fuelled tremendous amounts of creative products, mainly in the realm of multimedia (music videos, Facebook and Internet posters, audio and video materials, and the production of other forms of creative artifacts inspired by the mantra “listen-listen-listen…”). Read the rest of this entry »

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KL112 rally: We gave each other courage

By Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | January 15, 2013
FMT

Last Friday night as I came back from a ceramah in Sabak Bernam, I stopped over at the Sungai Buluh Restoren Jejantas. There was an unusually large number of vehicles in the parking bays.

In the surau, there were many people sleeping and resting. How come there were so many people, I asked at this late hour (it was 2am).

When a friend asked a passerby where are these people from, he said they were from Perak and some from Penang. They have come to participate in the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (KL112) rally at Stadium Merdeka on Saturday (Jan 12).

The whole country, it seemed, was galvanised and geared to participate in the KL112 assembly.

Now, that’s all that matters as we inch closer to the 13th general election.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s time is running out.

The tens of thousands who rallied at KL112 on Saturday was proof of Umno’s end. What we achieved and celebrated at KL112 was the coming together of the various races in Malaysia, something which Umno and Barisan Nasional did not want us to achieve.
Read the rest of this entry »

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The rally proves Malaysia has civil liberties?

— Fikry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 14, 2013

JAN 14 — Now that the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat is over, the one question that begs to be answered is this: does the rally prove that civil liberties exist in Malaysia?

To the more than 100,000 who turned up at Stadium Merdeka last Saturday, maybe.

After all, the police stood by and ensured the peace. No riot police, water cannons, roadblocks, razor wire strung across roads or anything to make Malaysia look like a police state.

Maybe, it was the spirit of the times that such a rally could even take place without ending in teargas blanketing the air, water cannons drenching the crowd and everyone running helter-skelter to avoid being beaten up or arrested for assembling without a permit.

Oh, no more permit required. So, that makes Malaysia look better just months before the general election. That must be it, to give Malaysia an appearance of a modern democratic country where people can make a stand publicly and gather without the threat of being cowed by authority or violence.

See, even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak praised the police and also the opposition for respecting the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 at the rally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Myth of “UMNO is Malay; Malay, UMNO” Forever Shattered!

M. Bakri Musa

While UMNO apologists and sycophants in academia, blogosphere, and mainstream media quibbled over such minutia as the number of participants at last Saturday’s massive KL112 (January 12, 2013) rally, two facts are indisputable. First, that peaceful and largely Malay demonstration, the largest the nation had ever witnessed, forever shattered the myth that UMNO is Melayu, and Melayu, UMNO. Second, given a modicum of respect by and without provocation from the authorities, Malaysians are quite capable of partaking in peaceful rallies.

On this second point the authorities, specifically the police under its new leadership, are finally learning that water tankers, personnel with anti-riot gears or tear gas canisters, and other crude displays of power often precipitate rather than prevent violence. BERSIH 3.0 demonstrated that very clearly.

The size and orderliness of the rally, together with the bravery and determination of the participants, was reminiscent of the transformative event of over 66 years earlier, the opposition to the Malayan Union Treaty. That altered the course of our history. Insha’ Allah (God willing), last Saturday’s rally too, will.

The power imbalance between those demanding change and those in power back in 1946 was enormous. Then it was mostly illiterate and unsophisticated Malay peasants facing the much superior and more formidable colonial authorities. Yet in the end, right won over might, and justice prevailed!

Today, while the UMNO Government is detested to the same degree as the old colonials, it is nowhere as sophisticated wielder of power as the British. Meanwhile, those clamoring for change are far more worldly, more committed, and in far greater numbers than their adversary, UMNO and its supporters. More importantly, unlike the colonials, today’s UMNO government is crippled with corruption and incompetence while also being crude wielders of power. All the more we should expect that right and the truth, as well as justice, will again prevail. Read the rest of this entry »

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A brief history of counting

by Goh Keat Peng
January 14, 2013

With so much counting activity going on in Malaysia these days, it sets me thinking of … NUMBERS. Of the first counting most normal human beings began with. We would have started with our fingers, one, two, three, four five, before we realised there were five more fingers on the other hand, making it ten! Then we discovered that our counting can even be extended with our toes, which took us to twenty, doubling our counting capacity! Then came the apparatus of rows of beads mounted on a stand which helped us to count way beyond our initial ten fingers and ten toes. Then much later on came the electronic calculator presenting us with any imaginable total at our finger tips. Only for us to discover when we know better that with the ancient abacus – with neither battery nor electronic circuitry – we could count to almost any number!

These days of course our nation is embroiled in a frenzied counting exercise. How many human beings can an old historic sports stadium contain?

The powers that be have their own inimitable way of crunching numbers. They saw the crowd and thought 80,000 but declared it to the world as 45,000. (Just as it used to be done when a returning citizen’s luggage was actually, physically checked by custom officers: “Berapa harga itu, pak?” And the traveller keeping as straight a face as he (or more likely she) could manage, replied, “Oh itu! Sikit sahaja, tuan. Beli di pasar murah!”)

The authorities do have a certain history about counting things their way. A sleight of hand performed on the calculator or more likely on their own inventive minds. It takes a David Copperfield to fathom what only a David Copperfield can do. Magic which defies the comprehension of ordinary minds.

Welcome to psychological counting! For which the figure could be anywhere up to 500,000 in the mind of the wistful organising committee who dream of future possibilities (in the fashion of Don Quixote) all the way down to 45,000 thousand according to wistful authorities desperate to bring the figures to a manageable, psychological size to facilitate their much-needed sleep and provide relief to their worried minds and hearts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why do we participate in rallies?

— Alfian Zohri
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 14, 2013

JAN 14 — I was too young to remember the 1998 reformasi demonstration in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. There was no Facebook or Twitter or any social media tools for live updates and the only mobile phones available were those huge solid ones, resembling a piece of brick! However, I do remember reading about the event on Utusan Malaysia. Yes, I used to read Utusan Malaysia. Anyhow, I was too callow to understand the politics and reasons behind those events.

As time has progressed, everything has changed. From September 11, 2001 to the recent Arab Spring (Arab Awakening as put by Robert Fisk) a new chapter of human struggle has been created. If in the 60s, Americans were protesting against the Vietnam War, today not just the Americans but the whole world is protesting against war, any war. We have anti ‘gitmo’ demonstration in New York or London; and we also have anti Internal Security Act (ISA) demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. Anti nuclear power in Japan for instance, also happened in Australia, France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Public rallies or street protests, civil disobedience or whatever you want to call it, are a manifestation of the rejection of an unpopular regime in a particular country. It can be a single-man protest, a hundred, one thousand or a million it doesn’t matter. When you are oppressed, you stand up and fight for your rights. As simple as that.

Not too long ago, we witnessed a classic of domino effect in the Arab world. From one country to another, each one of those ruthless regimes responsible for numerous atrocities and human rights abuses collapsed due to the people’s uprising. But does it solve the problem? No! Does it create more problems? Yes! The problem is yet to be solved and as a matter of fact the problems only get worsen. Arbitrary killings, executions, violence against women, minorities and children and in fact a humanitarian crisis ensued at a rather alarming rate. Civil conflicts become our daily feed. Still the question remains: why is discontent met with further violence? Read the rest of this entry »

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Pengiraan Detik 90 Hari PRU13 – Biar Najib buktikan keikhlasannya mahukan Malaysia memulakan langkah menjadi “demokrasi terbaik negara” dengan memastikan pengurusan yang aman dan bersejarah Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat at Stadium Merdeka 112 esok.

Petang semalam, sewaktu dalam perjalanan ke Pontian untuk melancarkan pusat operasi PRU12 DAP Tanjong Piai, saya twit perkara berikut:

“PR to give full co-operation. Call on all Malaysians to make 112 historic day http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/218605 Police aim for ‘zero casualties’ at weekend rally Mkini”

Saya menyatakannya selepas saya membaca laporan bahawa Ketua Komunikasi Korporat PDRM, ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf telah mengisytiharkan pada taklimat media di Bukit Aman bahawa meskipun terdapat kecelakaan yang berlaku di dalam perhimpunan dan protes sebelumnya, pihak polis mensasarkan “kecelakaan sifar” pada perhimpunan esok.

Ramli menekankan bahawa keselamatan adalah keutamaan polis, polis memandang serius berkenaan keselamatan semua orang dan perkara ini turut telah dibincangkan semasa mesyuarat di antara ketua polis negara dan pihak penganjur beberapa hari lalu.

Ketika mesyuarat Selasa lepas, Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Ismail Omar memberitahu pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat bahawa beliau mahu perhimpunan 12 Januari menjadi “peristiwa bersejarah di mana mereka belajar dari peristiwa lepas” dan memberikan jaminan bahawa pihak polis akan hanya memainkan peranan menguruskan ketika perhimpunan yang dijangka berlangsung di Stadium Merdeka.

Maka amat mengejutkan apabila kemudiannya pada sebelah petang, terdapatnya laporan bahawa polis melakukan “pusingan” apabila Ketua Polis Kuala Lumpur Datuk Mohamed Salleh mengeluarkan kenyataan akhbar, menginginkan Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat diadakan di Stadium National Bukit Jalil bukannya Stadium Merdeka. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is it

— Christine SK Lai
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 13, 2013

JAN 13 — How do you describe the feeling of being part of a historic moment in time? You can’t, you just have to be there. You can ooh and ahh over all the Instantgram and Utube downloads, but nothing absolutely nothing beats being there in person, to be counted as one of the thousands upon thousands who turned up for KL 112 Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally.

By the time my gang of 3 not-so-young aunties alighted from the LRT station at Pasar Seni at about 11 plus, the streets were already packed with people of all races and ages clad mostly in yellow and green, with bright splashes of some in orange and red. To their credit, police personnel stood around unobstrusively though watchfully. Kudos also to the Unit Amal folks who managed crowd control as best they could. As we finished lunch, the crowd had swelled noticeably, all moving steadily towards Stadium Merdeka. Mercifully the sky was overcast with clouds, offering some welcome shade from the heat of the afternoon sun. It even drizzled a little but the heavens held up as people streamed into the open-air stadium.

I thought we were early but by the time we got in, the stands were already 3/4 full with a huge crowd gathered on the centre field itself. The whole thing was like some mammoth family carnival, with colourful teams waving flags, banners and placards; the atmosphere noisy with the loud intermittent blaring of vuvuzelas ….And the crowd simply grew and grew and grew. It was an amazing sight from where we were seated on the stands — a vast colourful ocean of people as far and beyond what the eye could see. Apparently there was another sea of people milling about outside the stadium grounds. Doesn’t matter what’s the final count — even that one picture on a main-line newspaper’s front-page said it all… Read the rest of this entry »

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A rally for the mind and soul

by KSD
Malaysiakini
Jan 13, 2013

I want to be completely honest. I did not expect a large crowd at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (HKR).

I wasn’t pessimistic because I thought that sentiment had changed; my worries stemmed from the fact that the police and the government had surprising agreed to let the rally proceed without obstacles.

It is the nature of people to push back when pushed and I thought that without roadblocks, physical and psychological; without the presence of policemen in riot uniforms and tear gas canisters and without the threats of the goons from Perkasa, the people who want change would stay home.

And so, because I did not want the rally organisers to face the ignominy of an empty stadium, I went to the rally.

Before I tell you about my HKR experience, let me tell you who I am so that you can understand how I felt yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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7,605 steps to freedom

— May Chee
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 13, 2013

JAN 13 — My husband wears a pedometer whenever he walks. It read 5500 when we left KLCC and 13105 when we stepped on the grass at the Stadium Merdeka. That meant he executed 7605 steps following the route taken by the Himpunan Kebankgitan Rakyat leaders leaving from KLCC.

As usual, we enjoyed the camaraderie prevalent in such rallies. People we met in the washroom in KLCC remembered us during the march to the stadium. They were from Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, etc, from every nook and cranny of Malaysia. Just fantastic! Though the crowd was made up mostly of our Malay brothers and sisters, I believe there was more than adequate representation from the whole of Malaysia.

Clearly, from the banter we had all along the way, was this clarion call for Change. Ubahlah, Kali inilah, Undur BN, Undur Isa Samad and all accompanying chants pointedly showed Malaysians need and yearn for Change. As Ambiga rightfully reiterated, “This is it”, Change must come now.

BN has been given the mandate for more than 55 years to govern the peninsula and almost 50 years, Sabah and Sarawak. The land flowing with milk and honey they promised has since been inhabited solely by themselves and their ilk, leaving many others living in subhuman conditions. This is unacceptable. We were a blessed nation with vast resources. There’s no reason why some of us are expected to be resigned to a fate so cruel and not one of our own making but that of our corrupted and greedy leaders.

The exploitation, oppression and political repression by our modern-day overseers, mouthing reforms just smack of plain hypocrisy on their part. They behave as if they are an alien authority, flogging the common rakyat for more and more. Their greed knows no bounds. Stupidity, too, if they think they can continue in their avaricious ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tweets on #KL112 #HKR

Tweets on 112 Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat at Stadium Merdeka

1. Najib, ensure peaceful rally to prove ‘best democracy’ – Lim Kit Siang (Mkini) http://goo.gl/ySV1X 20m

2. Let all Msians be proud of today. We can differ but we respect each other’s right 2peacefully assemble n express our concerns #KL112 #HKR 11m

3. Day 4all Msians 2stand up 4democracy/justice. Everyone’s responsibility 2ensure #KL112 #HKR peaceful – PR, BN, police, civil society n all 6m

4. World watching. Ensure no provocations. Let #KL112 #HKR be harbinger Msia can aim 2b “world’s best democracy” w successful peaceful assembly 1m

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90-Day Countdown to 13GE – Let Najib prove sincerity in wanting Malaysia to begin journey to be “world’s best democracy” by ensuring peaceful and historic holding of 112 Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat at Stadium Merdeka tomorrow

Yesterday evening, while on the way to Pontian to launch the DAP Tanjong Piai 13GE operations centre, I tweeted the following:

“PR to give full co-operation. Call on all Malaysians to make 112 historic day http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/218605 Police aim for ‘zero casualties’ at weekend rally Mkini”

This was after I read the report that the Police corporate communication chief, Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf had declared at a media briefing at Bukit Aman that despite casualties which happened during previous rallies and protests, the police aimed to have “zero casualties” at tomorrow’s rally.

Ramli stressed that security is the police’s utmost priority, that the police are serious about the security and safety of everyone and that this matter was also discussed at the meeting between the inspector-general of police and organisers few days ago.

At the meeting concerned last Tuesday, the IGP, Tan Sri Ismail Omar told Pakatan Rakyat leaders that he wants the Jan 12 rally to be “a historic moment where the police can learn from their past weaknesses” and gave a guarantee that the police will merely take on a facilitatory role during the planned rally at Stadium Merdeka.

It therefore came as a shock and surprise that later in the evening, there were reports that the police did an “about-turn” when the Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohamed Salleh issued a press release, wanting the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat to be held in Stadium National Bukit Jalil instead of in Stadium Merdeka.

This was clearly the result of unacceptable political interference with the police by the political leadership, in view of the demands by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is also UMNO Information Chief that the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat should be held in Stadium National Bukit Jalil and not Stadium Merdeka.

I am glad that good sense has finally prevailed and that the rally tomorrow will be held at Stadium Merdeka as had been agreed with the police authorities. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pengiraan Detik 98 Hari ke PRU13 – Malaysia berhak mendapat kedudukan lebih tinggi berbanding tempat ke 36 di dalam indeks “Negara terbaik untuk dilahirkan” EIU

Pada Pengiraan Detik 98 Hari ke Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13, Malaysia diingatkan bahawa negara ini berhak mendapat yang lebih baik untuk semua aspek kehidupan di dalam negara ini baik politik, ekonomi, pendidikan, sosial, budaya dan persekitaran.

Malaysia tentu sekali berhak mendapat kedudukan lebih tinggi berbanding tempat No.36 daripada 80 negara di dalam indeks “Negara terbaik untuk dilahirkan pada 2013” dalam usaha Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) mengukur negara mana yang memberikan peluang terbaik untuk kehidupan yang sihat, selamat dan makmur. Read the rest of this entry »

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98-Day Countdown to 13GE – Malaysia deserves higher ranking than No. 36 placing in the EIU “Best country to be born” index

On the 98-Day Countdown to the 13th General Elections, Malaysians are reminded that the nation deserves better on all fronts of national life, whether political, economic, educational, social, cultural or environmental.

Malaysia definitely deserves higher ranking than No. 36 out of 80 nations in the “Best country to born in 2013” index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) attempting to measure which country provides the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life.

The 10 top-ranking nations in the EIU “Best country to be born in 2013” index are:

1. Switzerland
2. Australia
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Denmark
6. Singapore
7. New Zealand
8. Netherlands
9. Canada
10. Hong Kong

Malaysia is outranked by Taiwan (No. 14), United States (No. 16), UAE (No. 18), South Korea (No. 19), Kuwait (No. 22), Japan (No. 25) and Britain (No. 27). Read the rest of this entry »

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Asean Human Rights Declaration

— Proham
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 20, 2012

NOV 20 — Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham) congratulates PM for his support on Human Rights at the Asean Meeting and calls him to lead in human rights

Proham recognises that an Asean Human Rights Declaration is an important document and a major step forward in fostering a human rights culture within the region. We recognise the role Malaysia has played and emphasis the necessity for Malaysia to enhance our role and position as a promoter and defender of human rights within Asean and the globe. Indeed we call on the PM and Malaysia to take on a strong leadership role in Asean .

However Proham also acknowledges that this the Asean Human Rights Declaration is not a satisfactory document as it does not reach the status of the UDHR and other international human rights instruments. Nonetheless we note that this Asean HR Declaration is welcome as a step forward, in anticipation of the Asean community to be set up by January 1, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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The truth shall set us free

– May Chee
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 13, 2012

NOV 13 – This is 2012. We live in Malaysia, purportedly progressive, modern and the best democracy in the world. We want to trail the Guinness World Records in everything we do, even weddings. Yet, we are deemed unable to think for ourselves and when some of us can, we are threatened with legal action from the powers-that-be. We have been a people for almost half a century; we are not primitive nomads threatened with destruction in a pagan environment. How can anyone, living in today’s reality, think that by wiping out dissent or an alternative way of thinking can protect one’s faith or interests?

How can those of us who write, whether we are supporters or detractors of causes or personalities, commenting on current affairs or for that matter, anything at all, be threatened with such absurdity? How can we continue to flourish as the best democracy in the world if we have to live in a climate of fear? How do we progress as a people if we do not have freedom of thought and speech, among others?

Are the powers-that-be in touch with reality or not? I thought someone said that he would listen to his people. If he did, he would know that the responsibility of thinking and deciding for oneself cannot be entrusted to another, what’s more in progressive, modern and democratic Malaysia. As a liberated people, we cannot be fearful of taking initiatives, especially those that are for the larger good. As liberated people, we cannot expect everything from civic or religious authorities. That could cause us to sink as a people or suffer political tyranny for is it not a dictator who would uses propaganda to convince his people that he is indispensable? Read the rest of this entry »

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In cleaning out Bersih and Suaram, Putrajaya soils itself

— Jaleel Hameed
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 07, 2012

NOV 7 — It is a government that has ruled since Merdeka, but it sure looks like the Alliance and its offspring Barisan Nasional (BN) has to learn some lessons early.

Take Bersih for example, kind sirs in Putrajaya.

What did the government achieve by demonising Bersih every step of the way, from its financing to its office-bearers to declaring it illegal and yet offering to work with the electorai reforms movement?

The answer is nothing, sir. Read the rest of this entry »

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