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Human rights VS human wrongs Whos to bless and whos to blame?

5 month ago, 07-Dec-2018

There were supposed to have been two legally permitted public rallies in Kuala Lumpur.

One is in support of a cause which is clearly a human wrong that is to curtail the rights of certain human beings by saying that there is no such thing as equality among them because of their differences in racial background and composition.

It is sponsored and organised by the coalition of Malay NGOs Ummah, and supported by two very racially based political parties, Umno and PAS. Umno had been the governing party of Malaysia since 1957 and only lost power in May.

This rally is to protest the signing by Malaysia of a United Nations convention known popularly as ICERD, which stands for The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. A third-generation human rights instrument, the Convention commits its members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding among all races. There are 88 signatories, of which Malaysia is not one of them. It took effect on Jan 4, 1969.

PM Tun Dr Mahathir had already stated that Malaysia will not be signing this convention; but yet the organisers have decided to proceed with the rally with a promise that at least 500,000 of their members will turn up. The police have given their approval for it to take place. One wonders if this was still the Barisan National government in power and with such an undertaking from a sitting PM, would the police have allowed it to go ahead. Indeed times have changed maybe for a more enlightened and non-dictatorial stance?

At another venue in Kuala Lumpur, Suhakam the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, the human rights watchdog, was to have organised a rally in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a historic document adopted by the United Nations. The PM and his government ministers were scheduled to be in attendance and to speak. The organisers expected only 3,000 people to turn up although the stadium can accommodate up to 10,000.

Following advice from the government and police, Suhakam decided yesterday to postpone this rally for 24 hours to tomorrow.

From a personal point of view, it is good that the new Pakatan Harapan government had originally allowed both rallies to take place already one can see for oneself that it is a more open, freer and less tyrannical and hypocritical a government in both style and substance.

In the old regime, this could never have happened. Can one really believe that if say, Bersih 6 were to organise something in support of ICERD and were to apply for a permit for a public rally would an IGP under a BN government have said, Yes, go ahead?

If Suhakam had applied for this same rally to be held on the same day around the same area again, the authorities would have clamped down I bet you they wouldnt even be able to obtain approval for the stadium venue at all.

As a Malaysian, I hope and pray that the remaining rally will be without any untoward incident and be peaceful and uneventful. Show all Malaysians and the world at large that we are all mature, responsible and sensible human beings, regardless of race, background, status, or position. We can stand proud as one nation and one people although we may all have our differences in politics and in beliefs.

I seriously ponder on why the organisers of the ICERD rally had decided to go ahead with their event even though it would not change anything so okay they say its a celebratory Thanksgiving but surely that can be performed in an appropriate manner in a more suitable venue, not at such a public place which can attract the unwanted, rowdy, and unruly elements of society. Hopefully that is not their ulterior motive.

Any responsible and positive thinking person would have just let matters be once the government had stated that ICERD will not be ratified and move on with the next cause or issue. Why insist on shining the spotlight on it any further? What is there to celebrate if not for a show of solidarity, power, strength in numbers, and that sort of schoolyard bully behaviour usually borne out of an inferiority complex? Only a psychiatrist could expound further on it.

My gut feeling is that both Umno and PAS have fallen into the sly trap set for them by our old wily Mr Fox, by going ahead with their ICERD rally. Otherwise why did Tun Dr M allow the rally to go ahead.

Why do you think he did that?

Since May 9, Tun Dr M cannot be certain about how much support that both Umno and PAS still wield in this country. Sure, the GE14 polls results had shown an overwhelming swing away from both parties and they were worthily and embarrassingly well and truly beaten. But more than six months have passed since then and many things have changed. But many other things have remained the same.

Could PAS and Umno still be able to command support from their Malay heartland? Even without Najib throwing the 1MDB cash hoard at them and without the mighty machinery of Umno cronies and sycophants in the many halls and corridors of what were once Umno strongholds in government? After all, havent we seen that many in the civil service are still behaving as if BN is still the government and still acting like little Napoleons in their little fiefdoms?

Now is as good a time as any to gauge whatever strength or support there is still left in the country for Umno and for PAS. After all, they are both very confident that PAS alone can rally 300,000 and Umno another 200,000 to make it half a million supporters to come out for a cause which will effectively say to the rest of Malaysia We are the only race worthy to rule you all. Isnt that what this is all about?

Like the Brits used to say, The proof is in the pudding.

s wait and see what today brings.

can reach the writer via columnists@theborneopost.com.


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