Monday, December 10, 2007

International Human Rights Day

"Respect for human rights and human dignity is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

Today is International Human Rights Day but what a sad day it is for human rights in this country.

Early yesterday morning, a group of Malaysians marched peacefully to mark this day - from Sogo at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to the Malaysian Bar Council building.
It was peaceful. No FRU personnel was present. Fewer than 100 people.
Some 500 policemen and women who were there to keep the peace.
In fact, these uniformed men and women of the law seemed to be accompanying the marchers, to be walking alongside them.

A minor incident and, wham! Several people were arrested.
At the end of the day, nine people, including four lawyers were arrested for holding an illegal march and another for allegedly obstructing Kuala Lumpur City Hall officials from performing their duties.
(I'm impressed that City Hall officials were working on a Sunday!)
The lawyers are R Sivarasa, Latheefa Koya, N Surendran and Amir Hamzah. Edmund Bon was arrested for refusing to allow city hall officials to take down posters at the bar council building.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in response to this, said that no one, including lawyers, is above the law and all involved in illegal activities will face consequences.

Let me say that Sunday's walk was as peaceful as could be. The marchers walked along the sidewalks. Besides, it was really a small group.
If the early morning traffic was disrupted, it was because of the police cars that were stationed at several locations.

Let me remind everyone that it was a walk to mark the United Nations-sanctioned and endorsed (under the Universal Declarationof Human Rights) Human Rights Day.
And I thought our freedom to assemble is enshrined in our most sacrosant federal constitution.

Why on earth would anyone want to stop people from celebrating Human Rights day? Even if it is deemed illegal, the authorities should have made that an exception. No need to give an official go-ahead, but let the marchers through.

If the police had acted on orders from "higher-up" to put a stop to the walk as the marchers were peacefully and orderly making their way, then, it is a real pity.

We have learnt that not everything is in black and white, that we can make certain considerations.
The authorities have proven that they can make exceptions to the rule.
But, obviously not on this one.

See Rocky's Bru and Eli's.


15 comments:

zaitgha said...

Nuraina,

its a sad indeed and the weather seems to feel it too...i dont know how low can things be until it turn to the better.....

i am feeling the blues on this wet day....

Da Real Deal said...

Nuraina,

We all need to realize the circumstances surrounding and preceding the event.

Was the walk banned last year and the years before that?

As you had said, initially it seemed like the police walked together with the group until an incident occurred. That means they were ok with it as long as nothing untoward starts.

This year I presume the govt was afraid that some unwanted walkers would join and deliberately do something in defiance of the authorities there, sheilding behind the cause.

Starting a question with "Why on earth..." would mean that one has logically gone through all possible reasons and not finding the smallest of reasons for something to happen.


But I can't beleive a person of your intelligence would find difficulty to reason why, because it is staring us all right in the face.

While it is "hip" to perform walks like in the West just to show that we are a matured society, we shouldn't just walk for the sake of walking and be oblivious to the current surroundings and the bloody happenings related to such events.

While you and most of the other people are responsible, there are also troublemakers out to take advantage of these events.

I am a citizen of Malaysia. I don't necessarily support the govt. As it is your right to walk in peace, it is also my right as a citizen to demand for peace. Many people had to avoid going in to KL for three weekends because of these so called walks that is actually a public nuisance.

When the election is over and the real culprits rest into non-active mode, I'm sure the Walk for Human Rights Day will resume next year. Even I wouldn't mind walking alongside you at that time.

But don't act naive when asking why this walk should be banned. While it might have been 25 years ago, it's just not cute anymore.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NURAINA A SAMAD said...

da real deal,

thank you for your honest and frank views.

the thing is, precisely the surrounding circumstances that the walk should be allowed.
there was nothing untoward that happened.
just a couple of people talking loudly -- that really did not constitute "trouble" that warranted arrest.

indeed, i am asking "why on earth..." because i just cannot imagine anyone not allowing this walk.
sure enough, it was peaceful as it was meant and intended to be.

it did not matter, yesterday, today, last year ..whenever.. there is always that possibility of trouble.
let's not be patronising.

at 7.30am on a sunday along jalan tuanku abdul rahman, you wouldnt be out in the city, would u?

anyway, da real deal..i do appreciate your comments.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

da real deal,

hi again..

you know i am not naive. walking, marching .... never about being cute or wanting to be.

cheers!

Old Fart said...

Nuraina

You call it "most sacrosant federal constitution"!

I am sorry to have to say this but I think my toilet paper gets far better treatment. It does not get revisited everytime it becomes inconvenient or when avarice, power, greed, fear or a pompous attitude of oneupmanship decides it can be desecrated.

When a bunch of people get together to do what they want to do with it just so that one man con continue working another year; and as I said earlier it is all of those emotions that come together to se this happen; then I think my toilet paper has been shown far greater respect. It gets flushed down never to be seen again.

I am supposed to feel comforted that I got this so called constitution that governs those sitting in government of me! Ah!

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Sharing said...

Causes & Effects!
=================
Is 50 or 100 a cause of nuisance?
Or 500 police to stop a walk?
When thousand & thousand can walk in a day
why not 50 in a HR day?

Have anyone been stuck
when visiting Government offices
when getting something done?
Are toll, tariff and concessionaire stuck almost everyone?
or Housing problems stuck a lot of us?
Are all these, "peace" to be pleased?

After all these, a stuck in KL for 3 days the biggest fuss of all?
Even with the help of water cannon and Teargas?

Walk can be for a body or a body with a soul!
How about Batu Cave!
Who were there early in the morning to start the nuisance and to stir up the Peace?

If anyone consider cause and effects with the hearts and souls
for everyone,
Life will be in peace
and not in pieces by court and Police!!

Putri Kembangan said...

Da real deal,

You called the walks "a public nuisance".

"I am a citizen of Malaysia. I don't necessarily support the govt. As it is your right to walk in peace, it is also my right as a citizen to demand for peace. Many people had to avoid going in to KL for three weekends because of these so called walks that is actually a public nuisance."

----

How naive can you be?

You are in the same class as that slobber (er, blogger, I mean) Big Dog .. shooting verbal shittomato from your the comfort of your arm-chairs.

The walk was held at 7 bloody 30, lah. You were not even awake, just like that lazy slobber (er, blogger, I mean) Big Dog, probably. Most city folk were asleep. Did you know that we gave some restaurants good business that morning because we were walking? Did you know that we chatted with many people and made friends along the way??

Did you know that the walkers and the cops were also engaging in friendly conversations?

Go on da real deal, sleep. Sleep and let us walk in peace. Let us fight for you and your kids and your parents. Let us walk and represent the cops too.

Because we are the People (like you). The People are just like those who govern the People, some of them sleep and some of them awake.

The dozers are always the noisy ones.

Angry Taxpayer said...

Dear da real deal,
This walk and all the other walks before that, were for peace, prosperity and well-being of this nation.
The only reason why these walks turned out otherwise was bcos of the fear by the current numb skull PM that he's days are almost up and that he will definitely be a 1-term PM. That is the only reason my friend...and of course, in the mean time, make it like it's the faults of the rallies that there were road blocks and traffic jams.
If there were participants who wanted to create trouble, well, where were they when the law-enforcers attacked the taxpayers with chemical-laced water and tear gas? Can you imagine that nobody retaliated!! That on its own deserves praise and a royal salute.
And what is so dangerous about a group of lawyers celebrating UN's Human Rights Day?
If you are happy to continue allowing the current govn pocket your hard-earned tax money for their holiday homes overseas whilst providing you lousy civil service...then by all means, continue to live in your shell....it's your right. But I have the right to demand the servants of the M'sian people to be accountable and performing as they are paid....not monkey around.

MODERATOR said...

Dengan izin Tuan punya blog

Salam Nuraina serta Rakan-Rakan yang dirahmati Allah swt sekelian.

kalau ada kelapangan masa, jom masuk blog KAMI. mungkin kita boleh bertukar fikiran dan pendapat secara rasional tanpa mengharapkan kesan glamour dan populariti daripada Astro.

Optimis mungkin.

Da Real Deal said...

Dear Puteri Kembangan and Angry Taxpayer.

You in here represent the 100 odd walkers or 100,000 (giving you the far fetched benefit of the doubt. I represent the other 24,900,000 rakyat who didn't show up because it was, as I said, a public nuisance. You're not going to make a change that way so live with it.

Puteri Kembangan, you probably enjoy walking the streets because that's probably your profession, and your disgust with the "slobber" is probably because he's had you for a fee, not complimenting his weight.

Angry Taxpayer, you have a right to be angry and I'm not chastizing you for it, but just because you and many others here pay taxes, don't assume that everyone else who were gassed and sprayed at pay their taxes too. They may have joined just to kill the time and cause trouble and by doing so deserved every drop of the "chemical shower".

By going to the streets ( not in Puteri Kembangan's context )you are actually giving those you despise in the govt the perfect avenue to "monkey around". They strive on it Sir. So let's be smart and be more effective. If you walkers are really true to your beliefs and want to walk, then you should walk in the constituencies of the main characters and make sure they lose their respective seats. There you can make a difference. On the streets, you're just making the leaders stronger, and the divided Malays more united.

Come on taxpayer, I'm addressing you because I know this school of thought is way beyond Puteri Kembangan's comprehension. Make a difference where it counts. Otherwise, it's just like a stageshow for the world to see. If that's what you want, then you might as well be like Anwar prostituting (no pun intended) himself abroad.

Thank you for your comments directed to me. I'm in the same frequency with you on working against the economic rapists of this country but I'm not going to destroy the peace while doing it.

Fabian Dawson said...

What is the use of freedom of speech, if there is no freedom after speech.

Sad day indeed

hawaiichee said...

Da real deal

More and more Rakyat and demanding for more accountability and transparency in the government. Besides walking, they are printing out discussions about the Constitution, spreading awareness to other Rakyat to demand transparency and accountability from the government. More and more Rakyat are demanding that the newsmedia report the truth and not spin information to paint a picture that all is well. More and more Rakyat are printing out blogs to pass to their relatives and friends about the truth reported by whistle blowers.

It is time the Rakyat demand transparency to all the A-G reports of fund misappropriated yet not pursued. It is time the Rakyat demand that elections be fair and policies be transparent for all to see to make further improvement. It is time that the Rakyat demand that government figures be made public, so that no hanky panky cryonism can continue.

The current government needs to step up, reveal its failings, listen to the Rakyat and ensure power is shared to ensure accountability is once again restored. Unless this is done, the Rakyat will continue to demand transparency and more and more will come out of the closet to be whistle blowers till light shine into the darkness and truth be made known.

Are you also seeking after transparency and greater accountability from the government? Then, come out of the closet and report the truth.

News reporters, lawyers, government servants, any worker under the Malaysian sun can come out of the closet and have pride in reporting the truth about what is going on in Malaysia thats not reported in the newspapers so that we can make improvements and ensure this time, the leaders know that they can not kid the Rakyat anymore.

Da Real Deal said...

Hawaiichee,

I'm in agreement with you mostly.

We have come out of the closet, and even the govt have come out of the closet. Who do you think the Auditor General works for? The opposition? These things would have been swept under the carpet under the old master.

Come on. Be fair. A lot has changed after the Mahathir era. If there is no transparency, you wouldn't be seeing how much the govt has screwed up mate. This is the current PM's policy which is working against him instead of being a feather in his cap.

We are getting out of the govt more today than the whole 22 years under Mahathir. (transparency, not prosperity).

We will continue to demand our rights, but lets do it effectively without cracking the basis of our national unity and peace.

The election is near. Let's pick a few candididates, concentrate on their constituencies and work them out of their seats to drive through our message, because I doubt if BN will fall over a demo or two. On the contrary, it has given them the advantage with voters from the heartland who only feed on propaganda and have no access of the alternative media.

I seek the truth, that is why I surf the blogs and stopped buying mainstream newspapers. But it seems of late that even bloggers have become guilty of bias, only in favour of the opposition instead of providing a neutral and true stand. They amplify the weaknesses of the govt and compromise or downplay when it comes to their strength.

So, we're actually getting bullshit from both sides now. But your views are reasonable and we're on the same side on that score.

Many thanks for the engagement.