Hastening Regression of Human Rights through NSC Bill

For Immediate Release
23rd December 2015

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the passing of the National Security Council (NSC) Bill by the Senate on the 22nd of December 2015.

Since the introduction of the NSC Bill, civil societies have actively tried to engage with Members of Parliament and senators from both side of the political divide. Despite the genuine concern expressed by the civil societies, some Members of Parliament and senator from the Barisan Nasional have snubbed all effort for discussion and went out of their ways to demean and ridicule the efforts by the civil societies.

Despite the sharp censure from the European Parliament’s resolution dated on the 17th of December 2015, the Government of Malaysia and its representative have wilfully chose to disregard the concerns expressed by our European friends and proceed with their dastardly plans to further dismantle Malaysia’s democratic institution. Undoubtedly, this turn of event would further tarnish the image of Malaysia on the international stage and reveal the deception by the Government of Malaysia in portraying its leaders as liberal and moderate.

As the Government of Malaysia and the representative from Barisan Nasional have clearly forgotten their obligations, SUARAM would like to remind these ‘distinguished’ leaders that the rights and liberties guaranteed to ALL Malaysians under the Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be render null and void by the NSC Bill. As the representative of the peoples of Malaysia, they have clearly turned their back on the oath they have taken when they failed to safeguard the rights of Malaysian and wilfully participated in the destruction of these rights.

At this point, we are but months away before the Prime Minister of Malaysia would be granted powers hitherto unheard of in the history of Malaysia. Reflecting upon the persecution of human rights defenders and vulnerable groups in Malaysia throughout 2015, SUARAM have no doubt that it would only be a matter of time before the NSC becomes the new tool for suppressing dissent by the Government of Malaysia. The latest addition to the Government of Malaysia’s arsenal will further empower its agents to continue its despicable violations of human rights and fast track the erosion of human rights in Malaysia.

To our friends that have shown unparalleled courage in the face of tyranny, we urge you to stand firm our belief and continue the struggle for a democratic Malaysia together! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and may Malaysia remain a democratic country this time next year.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

National Security Council Bill a Threat to Parliamentary Democracy!

For immediate release
3rd December 2015

Suara Rakyat Malaysia strongly condemns the introduction of the National Security Council Bill and the attempt by the Barisan National to bulldoze the Bill through Parliament.

Between the power given to the Prime Minister to declare an effective ‘state of emergency’ in a ‘security area’; the wide ranging power given to security forces; and the absence of any form of check and balance would allow the Prime Minister and his chosen cabal to act with absolute impunity as a dictator in Malaysia.

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While, the Government of Malaysia justified the Bill as a necessary provision to safeguard national security, it is irrational to think that we need such measure despite the absence of any large scale conflict or threat on Malaysian soil. Even in the days of conflict with the Communists and the confrontation with Indonesia, Malaysia had no need for such draconian measure. Certainly we do not need it now!

The only reason why the Government of Malaysia wish to implement this legislation is to provide its leaders with unparalleled power to control the country and silence all form of dissent with violence and threat of violence.

Further, the execution of this act would undermine what little human rights Malaysians enjoy at this juncture. The proposed bill also clearly contradicts the United Nations General Assembly resolution on human rights defenders that Malaysia agreed to last week.

If this Bill was passed, it is likely that Malaysians today will stand witness to the killing blow against democracy in Malaysia! Rather than protecting Malaysia from the security threat from the Islamic State terrorists and incidents like the Sulu Invasion, the National Security Council Bill will become the real security threat to Malaysia’s national security and Parliamentary Democracy and set Malaysia on the path of tyranny!

Say no to the National Security Council Bill!  

 

In Solidarity,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

We agree! Now stop the record breaking persecution of human rights defenders!

For immediate release
28th November 2015

We agree! Now stop the record breaking persecution of human rights defenders!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) applauds the decision by the Government of Malaysia to vote in favour for the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the protection of human rights defenders[1]. By voting in favour for the resolution, the Government of Malaysia is obliged to ensure that the resolution is put into practice in Malaysia.

Recalling the rapidly declining state of affairs in regards to human rights in Malaysia within the last few years and the prosecution of human rights defenders such as Adam Adli (sedition), Arutchelvan (sedition), Eric Paulsen (sedition), Jannie Lasimbang (PAA), Khalid Ismath (sedition and CMA), Lena Hendry (Film Censorship Act), Maria Chin (PAA), Zunar (sedition) and countless others, it is of paramount importance for the Government of Malaysia to act in a manner that reflects the stance they have adopted in the United Nations General Assembly.

If the Government of Malaysia fails to honour the obligations it has undertaken by voting in affirmation, there would undoubtedly be severe repercussion against the Government of Malaysia and jeopardize the time dedicated by the Prime Minister in improving Malaysia’s international standing.

On this note, SUARAM calls for the Government of Malaysia to:

  1. Drop all criminal and civil charges against human rights defenders in Malaysia;
  2. Repeal the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the Sedition Act 1948, The Communications and Multimedia Act 1948, and all other legislations that are recognized as incompatible with recognized international human rights;
  3. Establish a moratorium on the use of such provisions; and
  4. Take action against the head government agencies that are actively violating human rights in Malaysia
In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

The full text of the resolution can be found at: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/N09/611/58/PDF/N0961158.pdf?OpenElement



[1] Full Title of Resolution: Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Court says SOSMA not applicable, SUARAM calls it abuse of power! SOSMA must go!

For immediate release
18th November 2015

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) welcomes the decision by the High Court in the case of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang.

The decision to reject the charges against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang is a courageous step forward for the Judiciary of Malaysia. While it is unfortunate that Khairuddin and Matthias would still have to stand trial for the crime of highlighting possible corruption in Malaysia, the small victory is still a welcomed news in these turbulent times.

Further, SUARAM call for the Attorney General to consider dropping the charges filed against Khairuddin and Matthias as the court have rejected their ‘crimes’ as an security offence. Failure to do so would contravene the Attorney General’s statement that prosecution would not take place unless he is certain of 99% chance of conviction. In this case, the decision by the High Court clearly sided the 1% and should thus be an end to this ill-advised misadventure.

On this note, SUARAM reiterate our stance that laws such as SOSMA that permits detention without trial is a draconian and unconscionable law that should not exist and MUST be repealed. The abuse of such laws in Malaysia is not uncommon and the case of Khairuddin and Matthias highlights the danger. Lastly, draconian laws such as SOSMA is not the way to protect the safety and security of Malaysia but the first step in converting Malaysia into a police state. As Malaysians, we must not allow this to be our future!

 
In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director

Solitary Confinement unwarranted! Release the Prisoner of Conscience, Khalid Ismath! Stop further Violating HR and Transfer his case from JB court

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the Solitary Confinement of Khalid Ismath and appeal for a swift revision hearing for Khalid Ismath’s denial of bail! SUARAM fully support Amnesty International’s declaration that Khalid Ismath is a prisoner of conscience and call for his immediate release!

As of today, Khalid Ismath have been imprisoned for more than two weeks. His unprecedented detention, denial of bail and 14 charges for alleged crime under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Sedition Act 1948 have made Khalid Ismath a prisoner of conscience.

Since his denial of bail, Khalid Ismath have been kept in solitary confinement and kept behind bars around the clock. The act of detaining Khalid Ismath in solitary confinement is clearly punitive in nature and should not have taken place before any trial. Recalling the deplorable arrests and rearrests during the early days of his arrests and the excessive charges made against Khalid Ismath, it is clear that Khalid Ismath is a target of punitive action by those in powers. The detention of Khalid Ismath is no longer a ‘simple’ case of Sedition but an unjust and deplorable means of punishing Khalid Ismath before a fair trial.

On top of the unjustified act of punishing Khalid Ismath through such means, Khalid Ismath’s family is similarly victimized and forced go experience unconscionable mental torture and physical inconvenience resulting from Khalid Ismath detention.

In light of the unjust circumstances around Khalid Ismath’s detention, SUARAM implore the High Court of Johor Bahru to swiftly conduct the hearing on the revision on Khalid Ismath and allow Khalid Ismath to be released on bail. As the institution charged with upholding justice in Malaysia, the Judiciary MUST ensure that justice is done and that Khalid Ismath is not punished before his trial!

The human rights violation inflicted upon Khalid Ismath is not only a violation against him, but a violation against his whole family and a rude slap to all Malaysians. On this note, we reiterate our call for Khalid Ismath to be released immediately!

Released by,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM