Archive for April 20th, 2007

Subashini, Revathi, Marimuthu cases – Tunku will be most distressed if he is still alive

Subashini, Revathi, Marimuthu cases - Tunku will be most distressed if he is still alive

I have today sent an urgent fax to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asking for a meeting with DAP MPs and leaders on pressing sensitive issues of national unity, religion, family and human rights highlighted by recent heart-rending controversies like the Subashini, Revathi and Marimuthu cases.

There are great and increasing concerns in our plural society about inter-religious tolerance and harmony as illustrated by the recent week-long prayers by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Taoists to seek divine intervention to spread awareness of the importance of upholding the fundamental provisions of the Malaysian Constitution with regard to Article 11 on freedom of religion and Article 4 on the Constitution as the supreme law of Malaysia.

In a written reply to the DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran on Wednesday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz said that the Prime Minister had an open attitude and discussed matters of religion with religious-based non-governmental bodies. It is in this spirit that we are asking for this meeting with the Prime Minister.

Ever since the founding of the nation, Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, set the example of an open, tolerant and accommodative attitude on religious rights and sensitivities which had spared the multi-religious country from religious conflict, discord and even misunderstanding in the best part of half-a-century of nationhood.

If Tunku Abdul Rahman is still alive, I am sure he will be the first to be very distressed by the spate of heart-rending cases affecting religion which split up families — in the Marimutu case, the couple had been married for 21 years with seven children – apart from causing inter-religious strain and national disunity as well as giving Malaysia a bad name internationally. Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah must work trebly hard in next few months to have credibility to talk about Mission 2057

Yesterday’s New Straits Times front-page was completely taken up by two quotes of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s speech on the National Mission for the next 50 years, viz:

“I have not forgotten about Vision 2020. It is a target for us to achieve. But why can’t we think beyond that? We are well placed to envision a century of success… ”

“All those rumours that I’m resigning in July, who is saying this? Some have said I am a one-term prime minister. We will see about that… “

I had three immediate questions when I saw the NST front-page yesterday.

Question 1: This was a speech which Abdullah had delivered as Umno President in a meeting with the “Umno political machinery and Umno psychological warfare unit” (Bernama 19.4.06) at the Putra World Trade Centre last Friday.

Why was such a speech and message delivered to the Umno propaganda and psychological warfare unit aired on RTM1? Is this an open and blatant admission that RTM is nothing more than the propaganda and psychological warfare unit of Umno?

Is this further proof of Malaysia going further down the slippery slope where important distinctions among the three separate entities of government, political party and personal interests have been completely blurred and eradicated among those vested with public trust, whether government power or charge of public funds — when the strict maintenance of such distinctions are the fundamental prerequsities to foster a culture of national integrity and to carry out a successful campaign against corruption?

The Machap by-election and the current Ijok by-election have seen such blurring and eradication of distinctions among the three entities of government, political party and personal interests reaching an unprecedented level in the past 50 years. Read the rest of this entry »


Democratisation in Burma – sanctions mechanism in new ASEAN Charter

Democratisation in Burma - sanctions mechanism in new ASEAN Charter

At the end of March, a delegation of Members of Parliament from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore including MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and MP for Permatang Pauh Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah went to the Thai-Burma border to visit Mae La refugee camp and meet with some of those who have been forced to flee the abuses and the ravages of civil war in Burma.

For more than fifty years, civil war has cast its dark shadow on this beautiful country. In the course of the past ten years, about 3,000 villages have been destroyed in eastern parts of the country and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee. Burma is now the third largest producer of refugees in the world, after Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thailand has received the largest number of refugees and migrants from Burma. But an increasing number of Burmese are also coming to Malaysia. At the end of March, a seven year old girl, Dally, went missing in Cheras on the eve of the day she and her family were to leave for resettlement in the U.S.

Malaysia and other governments in ASEAN must take responsibility for the protection of refugees from Burma. They share in the blame for having allowed the situation to drag on for so many decades.

The Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar calls on the Malaysian government to ensure that the authorities act promptly in the murder of Dally and to adopt policies and practices that will ensure that future crimes, not only of this nature, towards unprotected refugee children do not recur.

However, we all know that the root causes of the refugee and migration problems from Burma lies with the Burmese regime. If the junta does not stop its abuses, end the civil war and solves the country’s political and economic problems, refugees will continue to flee the country.

If we are to provide lasting protection to the people of Burma, this tragedy cannot be allowed to continue. We call on the Malaysian government to plan an active role in order for ASEAN to take strong steps at a regional and international level to stop the abuses that are forcing people to flee their homes and that are splitting up families. Read the rest of this entry »