Next Page: 10000

          The Hypocrisy of Pakatan Harapan      Cache   Translate Page      

FMT - When is it ever time for human rights in Malaysia? by Dr Kua Kia Soong (Suaram)

On this Human Rights Day 2018, Suaram asks: when will the time ever be ripe for human rights to be realised in Malaysia?

Here, we pose six specific human rights questions to the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government which since coming to power on May 9 has developed a reputation for flip-flopping over basic human rights issues. Such issues include the failure to ratify ICERD; bring back elected local government; redistribute wealth; regulate developers; commit to sustainable development and have an accountable and effective police force.

Suaram’s Human Rights Report Overview for 2018 further calls for the abolition of detention-without-trial laws, the death penalty, the Sedition Act and the UUCA and other human rights violations that the PH government has found too convenient to use like their BN predecessors. The time never seems to be ripe for realising human rights in Malaysia.

1. When will it be time to outlaw racial discrimination in Malaysia?

While the new PH government says the time is not ripe to ratify the ICERD that the general assembly of the UN passed in 1965, let me remind them that as long ago as 1913, before the First World War, the Russian revolutionaries already had a position on the national question. Yes, more than 100 years ago, their concern at the time was that nations within Russia were being denied the right to self-determination in the name of opportunistic Great-Russian nationalism. Does that ring a bell in Malaysia amid the cries of the Malay supremacists?

Thus, instead of introducing red herrings such as the suggestion that the Malaysian constitution is racially discriminatory, we should endeavour to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to ICERD. There is nothing to stop the “New Malaysia” from putting into place legislation and enforcement mechanisms that ensure that victims of discrimination can have access to an Equality Act and an Equality and Human Rights Commission to redress any racial discrimination.

Is the PH government not ashamed to be seen as perhaps the only supposedly democratic country that, more than 60 years after independence, still practises racially discriminatory “Bumi-only” policies such as those that exist at UiTM?

I am PM of a democratic nation BUT if you are NOT a pribumi you CAN'T join my Pribumi Party

Let me remind the nation that with Article 153 in the Federal Constitution from 1957 to 1971, such institutions did not exist in our then newly independent nation. It was only after the coup d’etat against the Tunku by the new Malay ruling elite in May 1969 with their Bumiputera-ist ideology that such discriminatory policies transformed Malaysian society.

2. When will it be time to bring back local government elections?

We are also told by the new PH government that we cannot afford to bring back elected local governments because of the supposed debt mountain inherited from the previous BN government. Whether our national debt is RM1 trillion or in fact RM800 billion depends on whether we include government guarantees and lease payments under public-private partnerships.

have changed my mind liao

The size of Malaysia’s government debt in international statistics for 2017 is actually 64% of GDP, compared to China’s 65%, Singapore’s 110% and Japan’s 236%. Moody’s figure for Malaysia in 2018 is 50.8% of GDP. Clearly, it is our economic fundamentals that count and the finance minister has assured us they are sound. So why does the new PH government continually use this mythical debt mountain as an excuse to cut public expenditure?

Malaysia must be the first country that, while claiming to be democratic, gives the excuse of insufficient funds for not implementing local government elections. The PH parties have been slamming the former BN government for years for not bringing back elected local councils but this latest excuse is pretty lame.

On the question of funds for local elections, let me remind Malaysians that at independence in 1957 when the GNP per capita of Malaya was just around US$800, we could afford to conduct local government elections in the country. Today, with our GDP per capita close to US$10,000 and our pride in being on the brink of becoming a high-income society, the new PH government claims that we cannot afford to run local government elections.

3. When will it be time to tax the super-rich and redistribute wealth?

The time never seems to be ripe to implement wealth redistribution by progressive taxation of the super-rich top 1% of our society. The finance minister said Budget 2019 did not tax the super-rich because it would have shocked the financial system.

We would think that it is time for the progressive taxation of the super-rich instead of constantly raiding Petronas’ dividends to bridge the budget deficit which we have been doing ever since Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first term as prime minister.

nama saya Moo-Moo-Petronas 

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim was a PH member until he criticised the “billionaires running the show”. There are other “eminent” advisers who are the country’s top plantation owners, independent power producers and property developers who are advisers in PH-run states such as Perak. Such a pattern reeks of glaring conflict of interests. The works minister recently bemoaned the excessive “super profits” reaped by toll operators all these years.

It is worth reminding Malaysians that the total wealth of the Forbes 50 richest Malaysians (the top 0.0017%) is more than RM300 billion compared to the combined wealth of the B40 of just RM20 billion. But apparently, we cannot upset the top 1% of our high society or it will shake the entire financial system! The rest of us 99% of Malaysians can continue to be taxed and the financial system and the market will be just fine.

4. When will it be time to firmly regulate developers for the benefit of the people and the environment?

It is clear that particular rich developers have got the new government in their pockets since they were given the contract for the FundMyHome scheme one day after the budget was announced.

Apart from the criticism of cronyism in this project, private developers should stay out of public housing for the people. Let the federal government, state governments and elected local councils be in charge of public housing for the B40 and the working people of this country.

And instead of looking east and west and north, they should just drive south of the border to find out how they manage public housing across the causeway. 

Sing public housing 

Crony capitalism happens when the government is hand in glove with property tycoons and this results in house prices being artificially pushed up by limiting supply.

We need government intervention to solve the housing crisis and build liveable homes for the majority – not let the market dictate. Developers in Penang, Selangor and other states continue to have their way reclaiming land, building highways and flouting regulations by building on hill slopes even after two disasters killed more than 20 people in Penang recently.

State governments have been allowing private developers to acquire land even when there are unresolved issues of temples and communities that have been in those locations for decades, such as the Seafield temple. As was the complaint in the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan during the 80s, there have been few provisions in council and state plans for temples and burial sites for minority communities.

5. When will it be time to commit to the climate change agenda and clean environment?

How long are we going to rely on Petronas dividends to patch up the budget deficit like we have been doing since the 70s? When will we have a sovereign wealth fund like that of Norway’s which is worth more than US$1 trillion although their petroleum industry only started in the 90s while ours started in the 70s and we have only US$100 billion of assets?

What is our commitment to renewable energy and a clean environment? Why are we importing plastic waste when we can hardly cope with our own domestically generated waste? 

And if the new PH government cannot close down the Lynas plant, they should apologise to the people as well as to the former BN government because they rose to power on the discontent of the people there over the Lynas plant. 

It will be yet another unkept promise in the PH Buku Harapan. The people around Kuantan still want the toxic plant to close and to ask Lynas to generate its toxic waste in its own backyard in Australia.

The continuing travails of our indigenous peoples who are plagued by the encroachments of plantation interests and developers into their native customary lands such as the Temiar at Gua Musang show that there is a desperate need for a Ministry for Indigenous Peoples and a national agenda to improve the lives of our indigenous peoples.

Ad hoc state behaviour continues to exploit land for profit and abrogates their responsibility as stewards to conserve our precious and biodiverse forests for the benefit of future generations of indigenous communities and as a brake on climate change that benefits all. The forest reserve in Gombak is about to be de-gazetted by PH, just as Bukit Sungai Putih in Cheras was de-gazetted in 1992 for “development” by BN.

6. When will it be time for an accountable, effective police force?

The home ministry and the police have been portrayed in the media as super efficient at apprehending alleged Abu Sayyaf and IS terrorists, but they prove to be useless in finding Indira Gandhi’s daughter, Pastor Raymond Koh, and other victims of enforced disappearances. 

We now hear of vigilantes in Kedah who abduct victims with impunity, apparently to “convert” them. This is an alarming trend for there is not a great distinction between such abductions and enforced disappearances.

Why are the police characteristically late whenever racist mobs attack peaceful assemblies? This was seen not only recently at the Seafield temple but also at Kampung Medan in 2001, the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in 2000, the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor in 1996 and other such mob violence in recent years including May 13 in 1969.

And we should stop calling these incidents “racial riots” – they are in fact mob attacks by racists and fascists intent on intimidating ethnic minorities in the country. Thus, the PH government’s decision to call off the ratification of ICERD is actually a triumph of fascism in this country.

There is an urgent need for a multi-ethnic peace-keeping force that can be rapidly deployed to any flash point such as that which occurred at Seafield and Kampung Medan in order to prevent any possible racial violence.

To conclude, after kicking out the old BN government on May 9, the Malaysian people will not put up with the same lame excuses for postponing the implementation of these basic human rights.

It is incumbent upon Malaysia’s civil society to carry on the struggle for a truly progressive New Malaysia in which human rights are respected and real reforms that uphold those rights are realised in our society. To all the progressive and peace-loving people of Malaysia, Suaram wishes you the speedy actualisation of human rights in our lives.

Next Page: 10000

Site Map 2018_01_14
Site Map 2018_01_15
Site Map 2018_01_16
Site Map 2018_01_17
Site Map 2018_01_18
Site Map 2018_01_19
Site Map 2018_01_20
Site Map 2018_01_21
Site Map 2018_01_22
Site Map 2018_01_23
Site Map 2018_01_24
Site Map 2018_01_25
Site Map 2018_01_26
Site Map 2018_01_27
Site Map 2018_01_28
Site Map 2018_01_29
Site Map 2018_01_30
Site Map 2018_01_31
Site Map 2018_02_01
Site Map 2018_02_02
Site Map 2018_02_03
Site Map 2018_02_04
Site Map 2018_02_05
Site Map 2018_02_06
Site Map 2018_02_07
Site Map 2018_02_08
Site Map 2018_02_09
Site Map 2018_02_10
Site Map 2018_02_11
Site Map 2018_02_12
Site Map 2018_02_13
Site Map 2018_02_14
Site Map 2018_02_15
Site Map 2018_02_15
Site Map 2018_02_16
Site Map 2018_02_17
Site Map 2018_02_18
Site Map 2018_02_19
Site Map 2018_02_20
Site Map 2018_02_21
Site Map 2018_02_22
Site Map 2018_02_23
Site Map 2018_02_24
Site Map 2018_02_25
Site Map 2018_02_26
Site Map 2018_02_27
Site Map 2018_02_28
Site Map 2018_03_01
Site Map 2018_03_02
Site Map 2018_03_03
Site Map 2018_03_04
Site Map 2018_03_05
Site Map 2018_03_06
Site Map 2018_03_07
Site Map 2018_03_08
Site Map 2018_03_09
Site Map 2018_03_10
Site Map 2018_03_11
Site Map 2018_03_12
Site Map 2018_03_13
Site Map 2018_03_14
Site Map 2018_03_15
Site Map 2018_03_16
Site Map 2018_03_17
Site Map 2018_03_18
Site Map 2018_03_19
Site Map 2018_03_20
Site Map 2018_03_21
Site Map 2018_03_22
Site Map 2018_03_23
Site Map 2018_03_24
Site Map 2018_03_25
Site Map 2018_03_26
Site Map 2018_03_27
Site Map 2018_03_28
Site Map 2018_03_29
Site Map 2018_03_30
Site Map 2018_03_31
Site Map 2018_04_01
Site Map 2018_04_02
Site Map 2018_04_03
Site Map 2018_04_04
Site Map 2018_04_05
Site Map 2018_04_06
Site Map 2018_04_07
Site Map 2018_04_08
Site Map 2018_04_09
Site Map 2018_04_10
Site Map 2018_04_11
Site Map 2018_04_12
Site Map 2018_04_13
Site Map 2018_04_14
Site Map 2018_04_15
Site Map 2018_04_16
Site Map 2018_04_17
Site Map 2018_04_18
Site Map 2018_04_19
Site Map 2018_04_20
Site Map 2018_04_21
Site Map 2018_04_22
Site Map 2018_04_23
Site Map 2018_04_24
Site Map 2018_04_25
Site Map 2018_04_26
Site Map 2018_04_27
Site Map 2018_04_28
Site Map 2018_04_29
Site Map 2018_04_30
Site Map 2018_05_01
Site Map 2018_05_02
Site Map 2018_05_03
Site Map 2018_05_04
Site Map 2018_05_05
Site Map 2018_05_06
Site Map 2018_05_07
Site Map 2018_05_08
Site Map 2018_05_09
Site Map 2018_05_15
Site Map 2018_05_16
Site Map 2018_05_17
Site Map 2018_05_18
Site Map 2018_05_19
Site Map 2018_05_20
Site Map 2018_05_21
Site Map 2018_05_22
Site Map 2018_05_23
Site Map 2018_05_24
Site Map 2018_05_25
Site Map 2018_05_26
Site Map 2018_05_27
Site Map 2018_05_28
Site Map 2018_05_29
Site Map 2018_05_30
Site Map 2018_05_31
Site Map 2018_06_01
Site Map 2018_06_02
Site Map 2018_06_03
Site Map 2018_06_04
Site Map 2018_06_05
Site Map 2018_06_06
Site Map 2018_06_07
Site Map 2018_06_08
Site Map 2018_06_09
Site Map 2018_06_10
Site Map 2018_06_11
Site Map 2018_06_12
Site Map 2018_06_13
Site Map 2018_06_14
Site Map 2018_06_15
Site Map 2018_06_16
Site Map 2018_06_17
Site Map 2018_06_18
Site Map 2018_06_19
Site Map 2018_06_20
Site Map 2018_06_21
Site Map 2018_06_22
Site Map 2018_06_23
Site Map 2018_06_24
Site Map 2018_06_25
Site Map 2018_06_26
Site Map 2018_06_27
Site Map 2018_06_28
Site Map 2018_06_29
Site Map 2018_06_30
Site Map 2018_07_01
Site Map 2018_07_02
Site Map 2018_07_03
Site Map 2018_07_04
Site Map 2018_07_05
Site Map 2018_07_06
Site Map 2018_07_07
Site Map 2018_07_08
Site Map 2018_07_09
Site Map 2018_07_10
Site Map 2018_07_11
Site Map 2018_07_12
Site Map 2018_07_13
Site Map 2018_07_14
Site Map 2018_07_15
Site Map 2018_07_16
Site Map 2018_07_17
Site Map 2018_07_18
Site Map 2018_07_19
Site Map 2018_07_20
Site Map 2018_07_21
Site Map 2018_07_22
Site Map 2018_07_23
Site Map 2018_07_24
Site Map 2018_07_25
Site Map 2018_07_26
Site Map 2018_07_27
Site Map 2018_07_28
Site Map 2018_07_29
Site Map 2018_07_30
Site Map 2018_07_31
Site Map 2018_08_01
Site Map 2018_08_02
Site Map 2018_08_03
Site Map 2018_08_04
Site Map 2018_08_05
Site Map 2018_08_06
Site Map 2018_08_07
Site Map 2018_08_08
Site Map 2018_08_09
Site Map 2018_08_10
Site Map 2018_08_11
Site Map 2018_08_12
Site Map 2018_08_13
Site Map 2018_08_15
Site Map 2018_08_16
Site Map 2018_08_17
Site Map 2018_08_18
Site Map 2018_08_19
Site Map 2018_08_20
Site Map 2018_08_21
Site Map 2018_08_22
Site Map 2018_08_23
Site Map 2018_08_24
Site Map 2018_08_25
Site Map 2018_08_26
Site Map 2018_08_27
Site Map 2018_08_28
Site Map 2018_08_29
Site Map 2018_08_30
Site Map 2018_08_31
Site Map 2018_09_01
Site Map 2018_09_02
Site Map 2018_09_03
Site Map 2018_09_04
Site Map 2018_09_05
Site Map 2018_09_06
Site Map 2018_09_07
Site Map 2018_09_08
Site Map 2018_09_09
Site Map 2018_09_10
Site Map 2018_09_11
Site Map 2018_09_12
Site Map 2018_09_13
Site Map 2018_09_14
Site Map 2018_09_15
Site Map 2018_09_16
Site Map 2018_09_17
Site Map 2018_09_18
Site Map 2018_09_19
Site Map 2018_09_20
Site Map 2018_09_21
Site Map 2018_09_23
Site Map 2018_09_24
Site Map 2018_09_25
Site Map 2018_09_26
Site Map 2018_09_27
Site Map 2018_09_28
Site Map 2018_09_29
Site Map 2018_09_30
Site Map 2018_10_01
Site Map 2018_10_02
Site Map 2018_10_03
Site Map 2018_10_04
Site Map 2018_10_05
Site Map 2018_10_06
Site Map 2018_10_07
Site Map 2018_10_08
Site Map 2018_10_09
Site Map 2018_10_10
Site Map 2018_10_11
Site Map 2018_10_12
Site Map 2018_10_13
Site Map 2018_10_14
Site Map 2018_10_15
Site Map 2018_10_16
Site Map 2018_10_17
Site Map 2018_10_18
Site Map 2018_10_19
Site Map 2018_10_20
Site Map 2018_10_21
Site Map 2018_10_22
Site Map 2018_10_23
Site Map 2018_10_24
Site Map 2018_10_25
Site Map 2018_10_26
Site Map 2018_10_27
Site Map 2018_10_28
Site Map 2018_10_29
Site Map 2018_10_30
Site Map 2018_10_31
Site Map 2018_11_01
Site Map 2018_11_02
Site Map 2018_11_03
Site Map 2018_11_04
Site Map 2018_11_05
Site Map 2018_11_06
Site Map 2018_11_07
Site Map 2018_11_08
Site Map 2018_11_09
Site Map 2018_11_10
Site Map 2018_11_11
Site Map 2018_11_12
Site Map 2018_11_13
Site Map 2018_11_14
Site Map 2018_11_15
Site Map 2018_11_16
Site Map 2018_11_17
Site Map 2018_11_18
Site Map 2018_11_19
Site Map 2018_11_20
Site Map 2018_11_21
Site Map 2018_11_22
Site Map 2018_11_23
Site Map 2018_11_24
Site Map 2018_11_25
Site Map 2018_11_26
Site Map 2018_11_27
Site Map 2018_11_28
Site Map 2018_11_29
Site Map 2018_11_30
Site Map 2018_12_01
Site Map 2018_12_02
Site Map 2018_12_03
Site Map 2018_12_04
Site Map 2018_12_05