Launch of SUARAM’s Malaysia Human Rights Report 2009: Civil and Political Rights

SUARAM is pleased to invite you to the launch of SUARAM’s Malaysia Human Rights Report 2009: Civil Political Rights. The launch will be held at the following:

Date: 21 July 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00am – 12:30pm (Lunch will be provided after the event)
Venue: Mandarin Court Hotel, 55 Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur.
(Near the Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall. Please follow this link for the location map of the hotel: http://www.mandarincourthotel.com.my/location.php)
Kindly confirm your attendance with John Liu at 03-77843525 / 77835724 or [email protected] by 19 July 2010. We look forward to seeing you there.

About SUARAM’s Malaysia Human Rights Report 2009: 
Civil and Political Rights
When Najib Razak succeeded Abdullah Badawi as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in April 2009, he promised reforms in response to the growing demands for action to implement human rights compliance and democracy.
This promise did not materialise. Instead, the year saw a massive crackdown on the freedoms of speech, expression and assembly, with close to a thousand people arrested for peaceful forms of protest, signalling an increased level of intolerance shown by the Najib government towards dissent as compared to that of his predecessor.
2009 saw the biggest anti-Internal Security Act (ISA) rally to date and it forced the government to announce a review of the draconian legislation. Nonetheless, more than one thousand individuals remained in detention without trial.
At the international level, the government’s record on human rights deteriorated with at least two high-profile reports in 2009 highlighting the collusion of government authorities in the trafficking of refugees at the Malaysia-Thailand border. When Malaysia’s human rights record was reviewed by the United Nations in 2009, most recommendations and criticisms by the international community were rejected by the government.
Consistent with its record since 1998, this edition of SUARAM’s Annual Human Rights Report on Malaysia documents the trends and cases of human rights violations in the country, as well as the struggles of the Malaysian peoples and human rights defenders in 2009.

50 YEARS OF ISA: NO AMENDMENTS! ABOLISH ISA!

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) would like to invite all concerned citizens to a Candle light Vigil in conjunction with 50 years of  ISA. The Vigil will be held on the 1st of August 2010 at several parts of Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perak, Johor, Kedah and Kelantan. We demand the Government of Malaysia to Abolish the ISA as soon as possible as the barbaric and unlawful Act has existed in Malaysia for 50 years. The ISA is draconian and most importantly, it is against the fundamental human rights.

Please join us together to fight the ISA and all other detention without trial laws! Together We CAN Bring CHANGE!

GMI Secretariat will update everyone from time to time regarding the venue of the Vigils in each state mentioned above. Please bear with us. For further info, please contact Miss Nalini at 019 3758912 or 03 77843525.

FREE WATER IS POPULIST AND IRRESPONSIBLE

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM, 13 July 2010
The current spat between BN and PR leaders regarding the budgetary “possibility” of providing free water to consumers is missing the point raised by environmentalists when we were opposing the Sungai Selangor dam.
It’s Water Demand Management Stupid!
Certainly, a precious social utility such as water should belong to the people and not to private interests. Water is a public good and it is the people’s right to have access to clean water and to ensure that the sources of clean water are properly protected.
The Sungai Selangor dam has not only destroyed irrevocably a region of pristine natural environment in Kuala Kubu Baru but has destroyed the ancestral homes of the Orang Asli who lived there. Selangor rate payers are now paying the price of the dam.
During our campaign against the dam, we stressed the urgent need to focus on water demand management. Water demand management includes targets set for per capita water use, and reductions in non-revenue water.
Giving away free water makes a mockery of water demand management. In fact, water demand management would involve making sure those who wash their precious cars everyday pay MORE for the luxury.
That may not be populist but it is what we expect of a responsible government that protects our resources and does not tell us that we need to pay for yet another dam because the current reservoirs are inadequate.
When Malaysians start collecting our plentiful rain water for their gardening and cleaning needs, only then will we be on our way to becoming an  environmentally conscious people and to have a sustainable lifestyle. Malaysia is blessed to be among the countries in the world with abundant rain water yet we are also the worst squanderers of this natural resource.
A comprehensive water policy would include changes to building by-laws, through subsidising the installation of water saving devices in business and residential properties and through giving industry incentives to switch to water-efficient technologies.
 
Selangor Rate Payers Expect Excellence
As the richest state in Malaysia, Selangor rate payers expect the best quality of life and the best standard of governance to go with it. The current debates about whether the state is going bankrupt do not humour us. The Deputy Prime Minister may have his own agenda but the PKR’s own leader, Azmin Ali’s warning to the State Government at the state assembly yesterday that it’s spendthrift ways have to stop does not speak well of sustainable governance in the state. He mentioned an instance of the state government spending RM500,000 on a single official ceremony and that the state reserves have dipped below RM800 million. I still remember the PR Speaker telling off the State Exco Ronnie Liu for spending RM10,000 on durian feasts for his constituents.

Who knows what else goes on…Is this corruption, or do free handouts count as corruption only when they are given out close to an election?

FREE WATER IS POPULIST AND IRRESPONSIBLE

By Dr Kua Kia Soong, Director of SUARAM, 13 July 2010

The current spat between BN and PR leaders regarding the budgetary “possibility” of providing free water to consumers is missing the point raised by environmentalists when we were opposing the Sungai Selangor dam.

It’s Water Demand Management Stupid!

Certainly, a precious social utility such as water should belong to the people and not to private interests. Water is a public good and it is the people’s right to have access to clean water and to ensure that the sources of clean water are properly protected.

The Sungai Selangor dam has not only destroyed irrevocably a region of pristine natural environment in Kuala Kubu Baru but has destroyed the ancestral homes of the Orang Asli who lived there. Selangor rate payers are now paying the price of the dam.

During our campaign against the dam, we stressed the urgent need to focus on water demand management. Water demand management includes targets set for per capita water use, and reductions in non-revenue water.

Selangor Rate Payers Expect Excellence

As the richest state in Malaysia, Selangor rate payers expect the best quality of life and the best standard of governance to go with it. The current debates about whether the state is going bankrupt do not humour us. The Deputy Prime Minister may have his own agenda but the PKR’s own leader, Azmin Ali’s warning to the State Government at the state assembly yesterday that it’s spendthrift ways have to stop does not speak well of sustainable governance in the state. He mentioned an instance of the state government spending RM500,000 on a single official ceremony and that the state reserves have dipped below RM800 million. I still remember the PR Speaker telling off the State Exco Ronnie Liu for spending RM10,000 on durian feasts for his constituents.

Who knows what else goes on…Is this corruption, or do free handouts count as corruption only when they are given out close to an election?