Press Statement: Resolution by the European Parliament on Malaysia sends a strong message to the Government of Malaysia

 

20 December 2015

Press Statement:

Resolution by the European Parliament on Malaysia sends a strong message to the Government of Malaysia

SUARAM welcomes the European Parliament’s resolutions on Malaysia which was passes on 17 December 2015.[1] The resolution has been jointly initiated by the Members of European Parliament with many inputs and supports from Malaysia Civil Societies. SUARAM, together with International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have been working on the advocacy notes and lobbying. The resolution was adopted by 88% majority (540 MEPs for, 41 against and 35 abstain.

The resolution reiterated a number concerns that were regularly raised by SUARAM and other civil societies about the deteriorating human rights situation in Malaysia, particularly crackdown on civil societies, academics, media and political activists. The resolution also raised concerns on the degradation of the rights to freedom of expression in regard to the increase in the number of people facing charges under the Sedition Act 1948.

The resolution also addressed serious concerns related to the adoption of the National Security Bill (NSC) that was passed in Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) on the 3rd December after six hours of deflection and misdirection by Barisan Nasional’s Members of Parliament. The manner which the National Security Council (NSC) Bill have been forced through the Parliament during the last days of its seating for 2015 only serve to exemplify the callous manner which the current Government of Malaysia chose to ‘run’ Malaysia. Despite the desperate pleas put forward by civil societies, the Government of Malaysia marched on with its horrendous plot for Malaysia and denounced critics as liars.  SUARAM welcomes the European Parliament’s call for the Government of Malaysia to withdraw the bill immediately and seconds the motion calling for the government to maintain balance between the need to safeguard the national security and the civil and political rights.

Further, the resolution urged the Government of Malaysia to immediately release all the political detainees including Anwar Ibrahim and to drop all politically motivated charges, including against Zunar, Khalid Ismath, Azmi Sharom, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, Matthias Chang, Lena Hendry and Maria Chin Abdullah. The detention and prosecution of human rights defender mentioned above have contributed to a rapidly declining state of affairs for human rights and democracy in Malaysia. Despite the concern expressed by Malaysian from all walks of life, the Government of Malaysia has wilfully chosen to ignore the needs and welfare of Malaysians and proceed with its oppressive policies of silencing all critics.

Lastly, the resolution echoes the demand by civil societies in Malaysia and urged the Malaysian Government to “to repeal the Sedition Act and to bring all legislation, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Peaceful Assembly Act, and other relevant provisions of the penal code, in line with international standards on freedom of expression and assembly and the protection of human rights; calls on the Malaysian authorities to facilitate peaceful assemblies, and to guarantee the safety of all participants and their freedom of expression across the whole country”.

SUARAM calls on both EU Member States to acknowledge the European Parliament resolution and to: “to coordinate policies towards Malaysia, in line with the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights, in order to encourage reform on the above issues of concern through all possible means, including in the context of the UN where Malaysia is a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2015-2016”. The resolution also reiterates a key demand of SUARAM by calling “the Commission to make sure that human rights concerns are duly taken into account during future negotiations on an EU-Malaysia FTA and PCA”.

The contempt for human rights and democracy shown by the Government of Malaysia is at best repulsive and reprehensible and at worst inhumane and tyrannical. Despite the dire predicament that surrounds Malaysia, the Prime Minister chose to ignore all criticism and continue to exercise his oppressive policies through his private council and loyalist. For this to change, the world must stand behind Malaysians in the call for reform.SUARAM implore all international actor to take all possible diplomatic measure to help put an end to the juggernaut of injustice that the Government of Malaysia have become.

Released by,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM