Archive for October 18th, 2007

ASEAN Charter – why sign it in Singapore Summit if it will be instantly discredited by Myanmar?

United Nations special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari has asked ASEAN nations “to turn rhetoric into real action”.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday after a two-day visit to Malaysia, which had included “substantive discussions” with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Gambari said:

“We appreciate the strong statement coming out of ASEAN but now is the time to work together for concrete results.”

The next one month must see concrete results from both Gambari and the ASEAN Summit in Singapore to get the political dialogue for national reconciliation and democratization in Burma off the ground or ASEAN and UN would again be led up by the garden path by Myanmese military junta to aid and abet the repressive and corrupt military rule in the narco-state.

Although Gambari said that the United Nations will not compel ASEAN to suspend Myanmar as a member but instead encourage it to remain engaged with the junta government to restore the democratic process and respect for human rights in the country, the suspension and expulsion of Myanmar from the regional organization must remain an option of the ASEAN governments and peoples if the Myanmese military junta remain totally impervious after two decades to calls for a tripartite dialogue among the generals, pro-democracy activists led by Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic nationalities to start the process of national reconciliation and democratization. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s worst-ever ranking in RSF worldwide press freedom index – could be even worse!

In the latest worldwide press freedom index released by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Malaysia scored two “worsts” — the sharpest plunge of 32 spots from 92 to 124 placing, which is also Malaysia’s worst ranking in the RSF annual worldwide press freedom ranking since it was started in 2002.

In the past six years, Malaysia had been ranked poorly in RSF’s annual worldwide press freedom index —

RSF Worldwide Press Freedom Index (Malaysia)

2002 – 110 (out of 139 countries)
2003 – 104 (166)
2004 – 122 (167)
2005 – 113 (167)
2006 – 92 (168)
2007 – 124 (169)

Last year, when Malaysia jumped 21 spots to 92nd ranking from the previous year’s 113rd position, the New Straits Times crowed:

“This is the best ranking that the country has achieved since the global media watchdog first introduced the Index in 2002, when we came in 110th. In fact, this is the first time the country has scored higher than all the other Asean countries. Last year, we were fourth, and the year before were fifth.”

The New Straits Times today did not report the 2007 RSF worldwide press freedom index released yesterday and Malaysia’s worst ever ranking and plunge. Read the rest of this entry »