Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

De'mockery'cy of Basic Rights of Citizens in Malaysia

When Malaya achieved Independence from Britain back in 1957, the drafters of our Federal Constitution wrote in several basic freedoms and rights that are universally recognized and acknowledged to be the basic tenets of a democracy.

We saw this freedom to speak and express the citizen's individual opinions in the early days of the nation coming into being during the first and second General Elections.

A clear example is shown here. Watch the video showing how Malayans were allowed to gather peacefully at rallies to hear the various political parties present their views to the people without any hindrances or restrictions.

Such a situation exists no more in present day Malaysia.

Malaysians are threatened and beaten up by the riot squad just for wanting to exercise their basic Constitutional Rights.

Know what rights I am talking about?

Well, here they are :

ARTICLE 10

(1) Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4) -

(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) all citizens have the right to form associations


Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression

Compared to what is guaranteed in black & white as in the above article, Malaysians today aren’t being given the right to freedom of speech and expression.

The citizens of this nation are not free to speak their minds.

We are in fact reduced to voicing our opinions online which is the last frontier of free expression.

By free expression, I mean reasonable basic rights to speak our own minds without transgressing against the basic rights of others or breaching national security, etc.

Let’s take the subject of the right to political freedom.

The Opposition are not allowed to exercise the basic rights guaranteed to them as citizens of this country by banning them from airing their views on national television or radio or even allowed to have their own broadcasting stations.

What kind of a ‘de’mockery’cy’ is this when a government that trumpets to all other nations in being fair and just do not actually put to practice in this very nation, a fundamental right to its own citizens including the Opposition in being allowed to speak and express their views freely within the limits of true democracy?

The overwhelming monopoly by the BN Government of the broadcasting mainstream media is clearly going against the very basic agreement of our nation’s founding fathers to practice true democracy as laid out in the Federal Constitution.

When was the last time that all political parties were truly allowed to speak to the nation without hindrances by all of the government’s agencies and intelligence units?

We can only recall such a moment in our nation’s history during the very first General Election and the subsequent one during the rule of Malaya’s First Prime Minister, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.

Isn’t it ironic that for all our nation’s advancements, we are nowhere close to practicing the freedom to speak as even a nation as young as Timur Leste which doesn’t even have basic infrastructures to speak of and it’s Prime Minister and President walk around the neighborhood without a security detail?

Right to assemble peacefully without bearing arms.

Every time the citizens of this country especially members of the Opposition try to hold a public lecture or rally, the Royal Malaysian Police deny them the permit to assemble peacefully.

In fact, there have been many incidents where after issuing the Opposition a permit to hold a lecture or a talk, the police are known to cancel such permits at the last minute and send in the FRU to disperse the attendees with unnecessary force and violence.

The latest such unnecessary violence perpetrated upon the Opposition members is the Batu Buruk live shooting incident where two PAS members were shot at point blank by an undercover FRU special agent and were hospitalized in the ICU with gunshot wounds.

A first, as far as usage of live bullets against members of the public by the FRU and setting a dangerous precedent.

This doesn’t augur well for a nation that claims to be a model developing nation!

Development in terms of the build up of its physical infrastructures whilst at the same time demolishing all vestiges of the true pillars of democracy is really not something that we can be proud of?

Tomorrow, the Malaysian Bar Council is organizing a march to the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, protesting against the shenanigans that have taken place in the Malaysian Judiciary recently.

I wonder if they are going to be allowed safe passage by the relevant authorities and security forces of the current regime?

Will our nation’s lawyers be safe from police brutality as what we have seen take place against any group that are opposing the current ruling government?

That’s for us to see and witness with our own eyes as whether there is a different set of rules for lawyers and a different bash them up decree from the BN higher ups against PAS members?

I just foresee a bleak future for the state of ‘de’mockery’cy that the BN makes out of all the declared rights enshrined in our nation’s Federal Constitution where they say one thing and do another especially deny the citizens of the very fundamental symbols of a democracy, worth its name.

Right to form associations

I will write about this point later. As for now, I am just focusing on what’s going to take place tomorrow at the lawyers march?

You guys going?