SUARAM Penang is part of the organiser for the event Pink Dot Penang 2014. We would like to announce the cancellation of the event after considering the views expressed by various other organizations on the said event and the personal security and safety of the organizers as well as participants.
The event includes (1) a workshop on human rights and (2) a “party” which is an open social occasion for minority communities to meet and gather for interaction. The purpose of this gathering is to enable members of this minority community to exchange views on the violence, discrimination and mistreatment they face and to discuss possible ways to overcome such difficulties. Such mistreatment include the social rejection and misunderstanding they face daily, the difficulty of getting employment, sexual harassment and at times threat to their personal safety. The minority community needs such an occasion for meaningful discussion and self-help. It is not a sex party as some groups have slandered it to be.
SUARAM Penang agrees to be a part of this event based on the principle of human rights as stated in Article 10 of the Federation Constitution of Malaysia which guarantees freedom of expression, assembly and association. We believe that all marginalized communities should be given a space to discuss the problems that they are facing in order to find an amicable solution to all.
Furthermore SUARAM Penang bases its participation on the principles of Article 7 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (also known as the Human Rights Defenders Declaration). This Declaration states its universal principles as:
“Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance”.
Article 12.2 further stipulates that “The state shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of their rights referred to in the present Declaration”
There exist different interpretations on the provisions of different sections of the Federal Constitution. SUARAM Penang believes that a better understanding of these differing views can be attained through amicable dialogues. SUARAM Penang appeals to good faith and reasons to attain such an understanding.
For inquiry, please contact Suaram Penang at 04-6582285 or email at [email protected]