Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Black Sunday, Human Rights, Malaysian-Style

( Picture from Mob's Crib : Under Siege: Our Rights )

Welcome to Malaysia. The picture is apt. The peaceful dove lying dead on the ground with gore. As for who "killed" it? It is not hard to guess. Ask Pak Lah and his government ....

This is the originally planned schedule to commemorate Human Rights Festival, an annual celebration. 2007's was supposed to be held on Sunday, 9th December. Note the word "supposed" was used . The venue was subsequently changed and unfortunately cancelled later.

Here is the outcome ( taken from Malaysiakini ):
1) Human rights festival: 9 charged . Eight people, including five lawyers, were charged today with participating in an illegal assembly yesterday. They also faced a further charge of disobeying the police order to disperse. ( P.S. Why is it illegal? That is because police did not grant them a permit. Why didn't police grant them a permit? I am not sure. Get the police to explain .. why ? )

2) Gov't marked human rights day with arrests . A letter by Alina Rastam .

3) Surely the marchers could be given 15 mins . A letter by Jonson Chong. Great, isn't it? I mean, the status of human rights in Malaysia.

Other major happenings on days around the "Human Rights Festival":
3) Vexed MPs stage walkout . Sixteen opposition MPs staged a walkout from the Dewan Rakyat in protest of the arrests of 24 BERSIH petitioners this morning. BERSIH is campaigning for electoral reforms which is good for the nation. Nothing racist, anti-religion, whatsoever.

4) Siege of Parliament - 'the ultimate shame' . Opposition MPs have roundly condemned the police for blocking access to Parliament House this morning, to stop polls reform group Bersih from submitting its protest memorandum.

5) Gov't begins crackdown against dissent . The authorities marked the day by clamping down on dissent, rolling out three separate legal actions against organisers of protests that have rocked the country in recent weeks.

and many more.......

What I have retrieved are only a few examples. Perhaps there is no point of saying too much about the Black Sunday. This letter taken from Malaysiakini describes it all :


I walked with Bar Council for two years by Vizla Kumaresan

I had taken part in the Bar Council’s Festival of Rights march for the last two years. On both occasions, it was a peaceful and colourful march with participants singing songs and chanting human rights slogans. Sadly, the tradition could not continue this year. Worse still, the lawyers and activists who came together on Sunday to commemorate International Human Rights Day were arrested and may face charges.

What we see happening is a tremendous denial of civil liberties, not only of the nine arrested but the liberties of all Malaysians. The people of Malaysia have been denied the right to assemble and to express themselves freely. Those who marched on Sunday were exercising their rights as guaranteed in our Federal Constitution and were also making fellow Malaysians aware of their rights.

It is deplorable that Malaysia, as a member of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, has chosen to act in this way against its citizens. As a member of the council, the government should act in a way that is respectful of human rights. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The government instead chose to crack down on peaceful gatherings. The authorities’ heavy-handed action is an indication that an informed public is something to be feared. It is my hope that the government will re-think its stand on freedom of assembly and act in a fair and just manner to all Malaysians wanting to express their views and opinions.

In my opinion, Pak Lah is not a weak man. We cannot "cabar" him. Do not judge a book by its cover. It is not hard to guess why.

Wait a minute. I remembered people saying the Human Rights Day is an annual celebration. Nothing to do with protests whatsoever. If there is no protest, then there should be no one challenging / "cabar" anyone. If there is no protest and meant to be peaceful, I mean it is like celebrating Hari Raya Haji or Christmas annually, why are they not allowed to gather? Strange isn't it? How can public safety be compromised by a commemorative peaceful celebration?

If there is anyone who is equating this with "public safety is valued over public freedom", then I think it is crap. It is a peaceful celebration just like Hari Merdeka, just with more people being together, that's all.

Good luck, Malaysians. Happy (whoops) celebrating Human Rights Day ! Malaysian-style I mean. Or rather, someone's preference but not all Malaysians

Anyway, in the atmosphere of fear, I would still choose to write.


multidimid said...

Peaceful assembly or walk may not be a serious offence but when the 9 were charged on Monday, the AG Gani Patail said: “the prosecution will prove that their actions may lead to public disorder and more unlawful assemblies," he said. At this juncture, laughter broke out in the courtroom, which was packed mostly with lawyers, prompting Gani to tell the court that this was no laughing matter as it involved national security.
More details
Go H E R E
Plus a 3.24min Video Clip (with Clips within Clip) on the police aborted Peace Walk

Anonymous said...

out of topic~

juz hope sum1 will keep track of tat "biznessman" who make report against rpk.... has he turned into millionaire oredy?