Monday, November 26, 2007

Assembly language

I was going to say something about this but I guess CPPS beat me to it. So here's their press statement...


Allow Freedom of Assembly

The Centre for Public Policy Studies regrets the police prohibition of and use of violence on a number of recent gatherings in Kuala Lumpur.

Two weeks ago on the 10th November 2007, BERSIH, a coalition of non-Governmental organisations and political parties, organised a march to submit a memorandum calling for measures to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

More recently, on Sunday the 25th November 2007, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) organised a rally to submit a memorandum calling for equal treatment of Indians, highlighting their socio-economic marginalisation in the country.

The Government has responded by saying that demonstrations are unnecessary, that memorandums should be handed in personally, and that any concerns can be brought up in forums through a consultative approach.

However, such forums, panels and meetings have been conducted on numerous occasions to little avail. These articulations are compiled into reports and submitted to various committees, but it is precisely inaction and non-response from the Government that has fuelled frustrations amongst those groups who have not received equal treatment.

Article 10 of the Federal Constitution guarantees that every citizen has the right to assemble peaceably. This is affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The BERSIH and HINDRAF rallies were peaceful gatherings and should not be misconstrued as otherwise.

1. The CPPS calls on the Government to recognise the rights of civil society to freedom of assembly. The right to freely assemble peacefully is one of the hallmarks of a democratic society. If we want to consider ourselves a true democracy, then the police should stop immediately its highhanded excessive use of force at dispersing peaceful crowds, including the use of tear gas and unrelenting water cannons at peaceful demonstrations and rallies.

We need to urgently review the policy and processes regarding the provision of permits for peaceful assembly as guaranteed in our Federal Constitution. If the police had given permits to assemble and march peacefully, subject, of course, to reasonable and agreed-upon terms, the unnecessary disruption and subsequent chaos would have been avoided.

2. The CPPS also urges the Government to examine the root causes of the deep sense of grievance and frustration that underlie these rallies and demonstrations . The issues being raised by civil society organisations recently are valid and should be urgently considered. The views and opinions of this large cross-section of society cannot be swept under the carpet. These expressions of frustration and anger arise from a significant proportion of the Malaysian public. These must be factored into policy-making processes, and not ignored.

3. At the same time, it would be useful for the Government to meet the leaders of these rallies and find out more about their grievances , taking action to resolve outstanding problems that have adversely affected sections of the Malaysian society. New approaches are urgently needed to ensure greater national unity, peace, stability and progress.

Tan Sri Dato' (Dr.) Ramon V. Navaratnam


Centre for Public Policy Studies

26th November 2007

Kuala Lumpur


anon#1 said...

check out - 101 East Interview with Malik Imtiaz, Khairy, Nazri

Part 1

Part 2

HL said...

I read some transcripts of the interview. It confirms my worst nightmare. The future of Malaysia is in the hands of megalomaniacs, and yet the "silent majority" continues to vote for them. Perhaps they see something that I don't. :P

anon#1 said...

So much noise, reports and articulated discontent over the internet. But the majority of the “silent majority” don’t have access to the internet, information, independent media etc. Unless u have been personally slapped in the face and know who slapped u ( eg. ur house/ temple torn down ), otherwise if just in “general” dire straits ( just "generally" short-changed ), may not fully understand the contributing factors (?) ( & who to blame )

On a side note, if the majority of the “vocal minority” ( so-called intelligentsia ) are already clueless as to what to do ( other than vote, petition, take to the streets, rant, blog etc. which of course is a great way to raise awareness ), then what more those who do not have the education, exposure, access to information, know-how etc.

So if u have so much energy & passion in this direction, then u should put it to good use ma :)

HL said...

Hey Anon#1, do you have a blog? If not, you can very easily create a new blog, copy your comments from here and paste them in your own blog. It's like a jumpstart. You sound like you also got some passion in this area leh. :)

Malaysia is such an incredibly diverse nation that even the "silent majority" is not united. The divide-and-rule strategy is very effective here.

Passion is good. But it needs to be channeled in the right direction. Don't wanna simply run down a dead end alley.

anon#1 said...

No ler, not asking u to go check out the “spa” :-S – but sometimes ( interspersed between reality checks ), we all need these quixotic moments – of “impractical invincible idealism” – to ;) – … dream first, work out the details later :P

I have good intentions – but not equipped with the knowledge or in-depth understanding. Politically ignorant. Na├»ve. Un-informed. Gotta remedy this – just need a few more years in the slowcooker :( … lotsa reading to catch up on – *tsk tsk, “saving the world” is such hard work ;P …)

No, don’t have a blog ( & no intention of starting one :) )

HL said...

OK, you may tumpang the space in my blog to post your semi-blog.

Yea, sometimes you gotta know who you are. Don't wear your underwear on the outside unless you're Superman/woman.

Eat a balanced diet. The Star must always be eaten together with Malaysiakini. But I still find some of the bits hard to swallow.