HUMAN RIGHTS IN MALAYSIA DURING THE PANDEMIC 2020

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 10 Dec 2020

The pandemic in 2020 has certainly shown up some of the worst cases of human rights violations in Malaysia while the whole country has been in lockdown. SUARAM’s annual human rights reports have, since its founding in 1989, focused mainly on civil and political rights violations. This year, as in previous years, detention without trial cases continue under the guise of “crime prevention”. And while the Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Commission remains unattainable, police continue to abuse their powers with impunity. Meanwhile, the freedom of expression has been violated through the careless use of the Communications & Multimedia Act for alleged “fake news” and offences against “race, religion and royalty”.   

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SUARAM Human Rights Report Overview 2020 Launch

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is launching our Human Rights Report 2020 Overview on 9 December 2020, on the eve of Human Rights Day for the year.

Human Rights Report Overview 2020

2020 was a challenging year for Malaysia as the nation grappled with not just the pandemic crisis, but the political crisis that has engulfed the whole year. The collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February 2020 through non-electoral means has indeed put a major dent on Malaysia’s democracy and has betrayed the mandate of the people. Nevertheless, throughout the reign of the Pakatan Harapan government, the human rights commitments that was made under its manifestos were either unfulfilled or completely ignored. Moreover, the greater freedom under the Pakatan Harapan government slowly evaporated when the administration turns back to detention with trial laws and U-turn on its human rights promises.

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SUARAM CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION OF IRANIAN SCIENTIST AS COWARDLY TERRORISM AND CALLS FOR UN SANCTIONS AGAINST STATE RESPONSIBLE

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser, 30 Nov 2020

SUARAM condemns the brazen assassination of Iran’s top scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and urges the UN to apply sanctions against the state responsible for carrying out this terrorist action. This act of international terrorism is a direct provocation for retaliatory action by Iran and a possible flashpoint for another war in the Middle east. The former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, said the killing of the scientist was a “criminal” and “highly reckless” act that risks inflaming conflict in the region. In a series of tweets, he said Fakhrizadeh’s death “risks lethal retaliation and a new round of regional conflict”.

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CARDINAL SOTER: A MODEL OF COURAGE & UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Tribute by Kua Kia Soong, Adviser of SUARAM at his Memorial on 28 November 2020

At the outset, let me declare that I am not a Christian – our family has always been ancestor worshippers and I would also describe myself as an animist and a humanist. As a parent and a social activist, I have always upheld unconditional love and mutual respect as the basis for human and inter-cultural understanding. Thus, I am more concerned with the capacity for unconditional love and mutual respect that we show toward others of different faiths. Unconditional love precludes any attempts at converting others to our creed.

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M KWANG YANG: A RARE PRINCIPLED MALAYSIAN POLITICIAN

(Foreword to ‘Sim Kwang Yang, An Examined Life: Politics & Principles’ by Kua Kia Soong, Adviser of SUARAM and former MP for Petaling Jaya, 27 November 2020)

My first contact with Sim Kwang Yang (SKY) was when he wrote to me while I was detained under Operation Lalang at Kamunting detention camp in 1988. From his letter, I could sense his warmth and sincerity as a fighter for freedom and justice and a genuine human rights activist. Later, when we became comrades in the DAP, I felt an instant affinity with SKY through his strong adherence to principles and deep commitment to intellectual integrity, a rare quality among Malaysian politicians indeed.

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