Thursday, December 10, 2015

Malaysia turning into police state according to Putrajaya’s script, says Suaram


Suaram director Kua Kia Soong speaking at the launch of the human rights NGO's 2015 report in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, December 9, 2015.

Suaram director Kua Kia Soong speaking at the launch of the human rights NGO's 2015 report in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, December 9, 2015.

Malaysia is being turned into a police state where valued concepts such as national harmony and parliamentary democracy are being twisted according to the interpretation of the ruling government, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) director Kua Kia Soong said today.
Speaking at the release of the NGO's 2015 report in Kuala Lumpur, he also criticised the recently passed National Security Council Bill, saying that promises that it will not be abused could not be believed.
"A former anti-corruption activist turned minister said we should have trust in the government that it will not be abused.
"But we know that in passing the Internal Security Act, the country's second prime minister also said it will never be abused.
"But we know what happened in 1987 with Ops Lalang, where I was also a victim.
"So I don't think the value of his words stand very high," Kua said in obvious reference to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low.
Kua added that of late, abuse of the law could be seen in the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act against former Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and lawyer Mathias Chang.
"We are undergoing a political transformation into a police state in this country.
"We are turning into a degraded society where important and valued concepts like national harmony and parliamentary democracy have been degraded according to the way the government wants to interpret it," he added.
In its 2015 report overview, Suaram noted that the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 continued to plague publishers and the media in the country, adding that the suspension of The Edge's publishing permit for carrying articles related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) marked a new low for the government in attempting to penalise and silence those who published unfavourable news on the state investment firm's financial scandal.
The report also noted that despite the promise by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to repeal the Sedition Act, the number of cases investigated and charged under the colonial era law grew from 18 in 2013 to 44 in 2014 and 220 this year.
"The freedom of expression and information was the main victim with the government's decision to use the Sedition Act against critics and dissidents in 2015.
"The harsh crackdown and harassment that followed the revelation on the 1MDB financial scandal and the depositing of RM2.6 billion into the prime minister's private accounts were gross violations of human rights," the report said.
Suaram also honoured the Save Perak Breeders and Farmers Affiliation and Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan with its human rights defender awards for this year, presenting each group with a token sum of RM500 in appreciation of the work done in their respective communities.
Also present at the launch of the Suaram report was rights activist and lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who said that corruption was the root of every single human right violation in the country today.
"We don't treat people very well in Malaysia, we don't value basic fundamental rights of liberty and life.
"And they dropped a nuclear bomb on us by introducing the National Security Council Bill.
"How did our ministers allow this legislation to go through," she said. – December 9, 2015.
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