Prime Minister Najib Razak’s absent International Human Rights Day message on December 10 is clear indication that threats against fundamental civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia will continue to escalate by GE14.

Yesterday as the world celebrated International Human Rights Day, annually on December 10, Malaysians waited in anticipation of the Prime Minister’s message ~ to stand tall with other global leaders of progressive, democratic nations in addressing the rot and decay of human rights in Malaysia and how he, and his entire administration would commit to bring about protecting, promoting and defending human rights in Malaysia.

Alas, nothing came out from the Prime Minister’s Office on his human rights day message.

Instead, it was the Foreign Ministry that issued a statement on the still elusive ‘1Malaysia’ approach in line with this year’s Human Right’s Day theme “Mainstreaming Human Rights, Moderation and Inclusiveness for Unity, Peace and Harmony”, in which he claimed,“had also been adopted to further strengthen unity among Malaysians, aimed at preserving and enhancing unity in diversity which was the country’s strength and best hope for the future. Malaysia would continue to champion moderation approach to address the differences and disputes as well as to counter violent extremism and radicalisation within the country as well as at the international fora, apart from continuing to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles”.

Any patriotic Malaysian will attest that this rhetoric on national unity and cohesiveness has been heard time and time again by the very Government that injects and propagates hatred, suspicion, disrespect and vile race politics into the game.

Rather, what did come out from the Prime Minister’s lips at the recent 71st UMNO General Assembly, was heard loud and clear, cementing the fact that the toxic politics of rooted discrimination, ‘apartheid 2.0’ as a new form racism, political corruption, the decay of independent public institutions, political persecutions, religious witch hunts and the worsening of human rights seemed to take centre stage and will distinctly frame the course of the upcoming 14th General Elections. It is here to stay.

Despite suffering a blow being dropped out of its bid to be one of the 15 member nations in the UN Human Rights Council, losing to Afghanistan, Qatar, Pakistan and Nepal, and being the only country to lose out, out of 16 nations, the Najib administration remains thick-skinned and arrogant and has made no significant changes in protecting and promoting human rights in Malaysia.

This is evident in the slew of laws fashioned in true draconian spirit that continues to allow the BN government to abuse as tools of oppression, political persecution and religious witch hunts. From students, activists, cartoonists, lecturers, journalists, pastors, teachers, human rights defenders in the form of civil society leaders from BERSIH, KESATUAN, GHAH, Gerakan Mahasiswa UM, SUARAM, AWAM, Sisters In Islam, KOMAS and many more to state assemplypersons and Members of Parliament, Malaysians have been subjected to various methods of intimidation, selective persecutions, threats and scare tactics by this kelptocratic Government and various agencies against those who who speak out criticising wrongdoings of the government and abuses of power.

After 60 years of independence and 13 General Elections battled, the Malaysian Parliament still does not have a human rights committee which sees participation of MPs from both sides of the fence alongside human rights defenders, former judges, lawyers and even law lecturers to vet through bills before they are tabled in Parliament so the element of human rights is not abused and violated. The Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK Parliament with MPs and Senators conduct thematic inquiries, where the Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant experience and interest.

Years of lobbying, particularly by MPs from the Opposition had led to the revival of a human rights caucus in the Malaysian Parliament on November 2 2017 with Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as the new Chairperson and YB Kulasegaran as the secretary of the caucus which will be focusing on amending the mandatory death penalty amongst the other issues such as criminalising hate speech, legislating anti-discriminating laws and other policies on strengthening human rights in Malaysia. While it is a baby step in the right direction, the caucus is a loose integration or coalition of MPs from both sides to express their take on matters related to human rights.

As far as religious freedom is concerned, Malaysia has been on Tier 2 from 2014 till now along with countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Turkey that have gone through bloodshed and political turmoil due to dictatorial laws that oppress the right to freedom of religion and even freedom from religion. Malaysia also ranks 44 out of 100 according to the Freedom House 2017 report, 0 being least and 100 being most free on the condition of political rights and civil liberties.

To date, Malaysia is still dragging its feet in signing and ratifying international human rights treaties and conventions to appear to be on the right track which is hallmark of a developed nation by TN50.

I call on Putrajaya and the Prime Minister to accept the challenge to ratify human rights treaties to demonstrate, most importantly to Malaysians and the global community that Malaysia is serious in upholding human rights for all before the Father of all Elections in the 14th GE.

The main treaties that Malaysia must sign and ratify before GE14 are:-

Media statement by DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Monday 11 December in Kuala Lumpur.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s absent International Human Rights Day message on December 10 is clear indication that threats against fundamental civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia will continue to escalate by GE14.

Yesterday as the world celebrated International Human Rights Day, annually on December 10, Malaysians waited in anticipation of the Prime Minister’s message ~ to stand tall with other global leaders of progressive, democratic nations in addressing the rot and decay of human rights in Malaysia and how he, and his entire administration would commit to bring about protecting, promoting and defending human rights in Malaysia.

Alas, nothing came out from the Prime Minister’s Office on his human rights day message.

Instead, it was the Foreign Ministry that issued a statement on the still elusive ‘1Malaysia’ approach in line with this year’s Human Right’s Day theme “Mainstreaming Human Rights, Moderation and Inclusiveness for Unity, Peace and Harmony”, in which he claimed,had also been adopted to further strengthen unity among Malaysians, aimed at preserving and enhancing unity in diversity which was the country’s strength and best hope for the future. Malaysia would continue to champion moderation approach to address the differences and disputes as well as to counter violent extremism and radicalisation within the country as well as at the international fora, apart from continuing to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles”.

Any patriotic Malaysian will attest that this rhetoric on national unity and cohesiveness has been heard time and time again by the very Government that injects and propagates hatred, suspicion, disrespect and vile race politics into the game.

Rather, what did come out from the Prime Minister’s lips at the recent 71st UMNO General Assembly, was heard loud and clear, cementing the fact that the toxic politics of rooted discrimination, ‘apartheid 2.0’ as a new form racism, political corruption, the decay of independent public institutions, political persecutions, religious witch hunts and the worsening of human rights seemed to take centre stage and will distinctly frame the course of the upcoming 14th General Elections. It is here to stay.

Despite suffering a blow being dropped out of its bid to be one of the 15 member nations in the UN Human Rights Council, losing to Afghanistan, Qatar, Pakistan and Nepal, and being the only country to lose out, out of 16 nations, the Najib administration remains thick-skinned and arrogant and has made no significant changes in protecting and promoting human rights in Malaysia.

This is evident in the slew of laws fashioned in true draconian spirit that continues to allow the BN government to abuse as tools of oppression, political persecution and religious witch hunts. From students, activists, cartoonists, lecturers, journalists, pastors, teachers, human rights defenders in the form of civil society leaders from BERSIH, KESATUAN, GHAH, Gerakan Mahasiswa UM, SUARAM, AWAM, Sisters In Islam, KOMAS and many more to state assemplypersons and Members of Parliament, Malaysians have been subjected to various methods of intimidation, selective persecutions, threats and scare tactics by this kelptocratic Government and various agencies against those who who speak out criticising wrongdoings of the government and abuses of power.

After 60 years of independence and 13 General Elections battled, the Malaysian Parliament still does not have a human rights committee which sees participation of MPs from both sides of the fence alongside human rights defenders, former judges, lawyers and even law lecturers to vet through bills before they are tabled in Parliament so the element of human rights is not abused and violated. The Joint Committee on Human Rights in the UK Parliament with MPs and Senators conduct thematic inquiries, where the Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant experience and interest.

Years of lobbying, particularly by MPs from the Opposition had led to the revival of a human rights caucus in the Malaysian Parliament on November 2 2017 with Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as the new Chairperson and YB Kulasegaran as the secretary of the caucus which will be focusing on amending the mandatory death penalty amongst the other issues such as criminalising hate speech, legislating anti-discriminating laws and other policies on strengthening human rights in Malaysia. While it is a baby step in the right direction, the caucus is a loose integration or coalition of MPs from both sides to express their take on matters related to human rights.

As far as religious freedom is concerned, Malaysia has been on Tier 2 from 2014 till now along with countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Turkey that have gone through bloodshed and political turmoil due to dictatorial laws that oppress the right to freedom of religion and even freedom from religion. Malaysia also ranks 44 out of 100 according to the Freedom House 2017 report, 0 being least and 100 being most free on the condition of political rights and civil liberties.

To date, Malaysia is still dragging its feet in signing and ratifying international human rights treaties and conventions to appear to be on the right track which is hallmark of a developed nation by TN50.

I call on Putrajaya and the Prime Minister to accept the challenge to ratify human rights treaties to demonstrate, most importantly to Malaysians and the global community that Malaysia is serious in upholding human rights for all before the Father of all Elections in the 14th GE.

The main treaties that Malaysia must sign and ratify before GE14 are:-

– International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

– International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

– International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

– Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

– International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

– International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICMW)

– International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED)

– Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

and to overturn and rescind reservations in the CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of Child to safeguard the rights of women and children.

Why hasn’t the self-proclaimed Father of Moderation Datuk Seri Najib Razak declare as how he valiantly did at the recent UMNO General Assembly, in his Human Rights message on strengthening fundamental liberties as well as protecting freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and belief and to prosecute those who threaten them? Instead his administration is progressively locking up defender of human rights instead!

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s absent International Human Rights Day message on December 10 is clear indication that threats against fundamental civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia will continue to escalate by GE14.

Kasthuri Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP
Communications Head of Wanita Pakatan Harapan
Democratic Action Party

By | 2017-12-11T08:28:51+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Media Statements|Comments Off on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s absent International Human Rights Day message on December 10 is clear indication that threats against fundamental civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia will continue to escalate by GE14.

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