Saturday, November 24, 2007

HINDRAF Rally: 25th November 2007

The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) is gravely concerned at the refusal by the Government of Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Police to allow for the intended peaceable assembly of persons supportive of the cause espoused by the Hindhu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) this Sunday. HAKAM is equally concerned at the measures aimed at preventing HINDRAF from continuing with the intended assembly including the arrest of three of the principal organizers and the procuring of a restraining order at large against all persons intending to assemble in support of the HINDRAF cause.

HAKAM believes that it is the right of every Malaysian to express his or her views in peaceable manner, no matter how unpopular those views may be. The right to assemble peaceably is a right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Though the Government and the Police are charged with the responsibility of maintaining public order, they are equally responsible for ensuring that citizens are free to express themselves. Peaceable demonstrations are universally recognized as legitimate means of expression. There is nothing to suggest that the HINDRAF assembly is intended to be anything other than a peaceable demonstration.

If the Government or the Police are concerned that there are elements that may lead to public disorder, then it is incumbent upon the Police to identify those elements and protect those who wish to assemble peaceably from them. Preventing HINDRAF and its supporters from assembling would only facilitate the purpose of those who wish to impede HINDRAF and its supporters. This would not only be unreasonable but would also render illusory the rights of assembly and expression.

In this vein, the preemptive measures should not have been taken. The situation did not warrant the obtaining of a preemptive restraining order.

Further, HAKAM deplores and condemns the invoking of the Sedition Act by the authorities. HAKAM views the Sedition Act as unconstitutional and as an outdated legislation that has no place in the modern progressive society that Malaysia is today. HINDRAF and its supporters have every right to express their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs even where such expression is not necessarily popular. Majority rule does not justify the denial of minority voices. The attempt to deny the minority voice in these circumstances only goes to reinforce belief that in Malaysia it is only the majority voice that matters. This is a belief that is unsupported in fact or law.

HAKAM urges the Police to allow HINDRAF and its supporters to assemble peaceably this Sunday and to protect them from untoward harm. HAKAM further urges the Police to exercise restraint and to not resort to force.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
President, HAKAM
24th November 2007

22 comments:

Mr. Smith said...

Malik,
What's your take on the restraining order? I am sure it can be shot down by any counsel before a right thinking judge, who is not a government crony.
Why are magistrates so beholden to the police. They simple allow remand orders and accept incomplete charges without using their brain.
Some magistrates act like officers of the police force.

Anonymous said...

(No pun intended for im writing this totally from my point of view and do not wish to discriminate any party at all)
-First and foremost, doesn't the constitution Malaysia was build up from allow it'c citizens to have the freedome of speech and to practice and have a rally when they wish to be heard. I wonder if the police and the government could actually take drastic measures to "try" & "disperse" the crowds that i really think would most definately gather to bring forth a change in the ruling system. It is the right of a citizen(s) to actually take action to change the ruling party when they feel that it does not consider the rights of it's full on citizen, isn't it?!

Anonymous said...

the judges are not government crony-acc to the lingam tape-they are cronies of the sob vincent tan and lingam et al

Anonymous said...

we cannot act like a pariah country-
poverty is not exclusive to the indians . there are many v poor malays and other bumi minorities too.just go to sarawak-pedalaman to see how poor the people are..

so for indians to cry foulthat they as a group had been left out is not accurate.. there are significant other groups left out by the government in power...

Anonymous said...

Don understand!
How come members of the bar council did not stand behind their colleagues but they can rally on 26 Sep

Eddie Law said...

We will see what is going to happen in this coming election...

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous ,

I think if you ask you should get...whether any race or anywhere you stay if you are poor then you should ask...its government duty to take care....

mindon said...

It is alarming to note the Police violating the rights of Malaysians of Indian origin to assemble freely as guranteed in the constitution.

Hindraf lawyers were unlawfuly arrested and threathened since the Shah Alam temple demolition excercise carried out by the town council.

These escalating acts of violation only serve to confirm the recent statement of a EU representative that "Malaysia is still under a state of Emergency."

If the police continue to act as unquestioning servants of Umno or as their agents then citizens in this country will become mere captives similar to that of regimes in Pakistan and Myanmar.

It is disturbing to observe that the police authorised a permit to Umno Youth to conduct street demonstrations while Condola Rice visted Malaysia a few months ago.

The American flag was burnt by Umno youth leaders and death threats were made against America, Israel and the West.

All this was witnessed by FRU and other police personell who offered "protection" to them and "proctected" them from the public until they had finished their demonstration.

If such action persists, citizens in Malaysia will be in grave danger. Malik, I appeal to you and other respected lawyers of this nation to stand against such tyranny and to ensure that the right of minorities to voice their dissent is not penalised or criminalised.

This is not what multicultural Malaysians agreed to at Merdeka and it is time that the police and the executive cease misusing the authority vested in them.

Malaysians must not tolerate any attempt or intimidation to silence their voice. Let not those elected by the rakyat consider themselves above the law, and may justice be restored as it was at Merdeka.

SBhar said...

This is a good read. We need more young Malaysians like him though...

http://niknazmi.com/articles/?p=4

Anonymous said...

The price the Indian pay for suppoting BN. So long the Government is UMNO/BN, they shall remained as such for the next 1000 years.

I want to let the Indian know that the Government cannot be brought down by rallies or demonstrations. It has to be overthrown.

Election no longer valid. Let us unite and bring down this bloody UMNO/BN Government.

You Indians are in such a state of life because the Government is BN led by racial party like UMNO, MIC dan MCA.

Anonymous said...

Malik,
i think there should be another prayer in the memorandum apart from asking damages from the British, don't you think it is proper to ask the British to take all indian in Malaysia back to their homeland where back there they form a majority people? and their interest and welfare are more taken care of? I think this is the better choice if the indian felt they had been neglected and swept aside in this country, may be there situation must be better if there were in their original homeland, don't they?
If this prayer had been inserted in the memorandum earlier, i'm 100% support of the rally.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Anonymous at 22.00am,

I am not sure whether you were being witty.

If you were not, and meant what you said, I would urge you to reconsider your position. Malaysia is a homeland for all Malaysians, regardless of their ethnicity.

On the assumption that you are of Malay ethnicity (and forgive me if I have made an erroneous assumption), you appear to be making the point that if people are not happy with what is happening here, they should go back to where they came from (forgive me if I have got your point wrong).

This perspective overlooks the fact that many Malaysians can trace their roots to somewhere else. Malaysian Malays themselves are not necessarily indigenous in the sense you appear to indirectly suggest, many a Malaysian Malay having originated from Jawa or other parts of Indonesia.

This line of reasoning takes us nowhere.1957 defined us. Merdeka was achieved by all of us. It gave us all the status of citizens and as citizens we have the right to a just and fair society in which we can all prosper fairly and equally. That right also comes with the connected right to express disagreement with whatever it is that is felt to be incorrect.

I do not agree with your suggestion and, respectfully, find it insensitive.

MIS

SBhar said...

Anonymous at 22.00am,

I concur with what Imtiaz has replied.Malaysia belongs to all of us..not just to the Malays.

Please do bear that in mind the next time you make a suggestion/comment.

Anonymous said...

maybe our great grand parents are from china, indonesia or india..but all are malaysian.we are all born and brought up in malaysia.we are all malaysian..we want equal rights!!!in education, job opportunity and all...

Anonymous said...

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who are you? I thought i was the only person in this country who was dreaming to see a 'Bangsa Malaysia'. After reading all the comments (first time), i find that i was not alone. Since when human beings started to cultivate angelic attributes? I see them all here. Getting a glimps of people who thinks like you itself is a fortunate thing to happen. May the Almighty shower His endless blessings to all of you. May your hearts be unshakeable and your intentions unchanged for eternity.

Anonymous said...

I am all for a united Malaysia. But why should the Indian race run to the British asking for help? There seems to be an alarming trend among the non-Malays. The Chinese for instance are known for inciting hatred towards Malaysia from Australia and other countries. What is the point of having a multiracial party as the government? If there is a problem then it should be settled among ourselves, rather than going to the British who got their own problems already.

Arieff said...

The root of the problems owes to the fact that most people in Malaysia, regardless of their ethnicity, hold prejudice and ill-feelings towards each other. There was never pure racial intergrity, and we were taught and always reminded that we are either Malay, Chinese, Indian or Lain-lain. Blame the education system. Until the day that government / official form does not have the instructions to tick on "Your race", there will be no pure unity. I am a Malay and proud of it, but first and foremost, I am a Malaysian. And the tag of receiving "Keistimewaan orang Melayu" never goes well with me. I studied hard to enter medical school, but the whispering air told me that my Chinese and Indian friends always thought I got lucky because lack of meritrocracy (eg matriculation issues etc). And my Malay friends always speak on how they afraid that the non-Malays will one day "steal" this country from "us" if "we give them face". Isn't that enough evidences that prejudice and hatred drive these people beyond sanity?
Malaysia for Malaysian!

Anonymous said...

Race is a reality anywhere on the face of this world. It is important to understand the Malay psyche. Malay is dorminant in this Malay archipelago meaning it goes beyond the political boundary of Tanah Melayu, Borneo,Sumatra, Java, Mindanao, Pattani etc. Along the way the definition of Malay would also include mix of Indian , china and arabs. It is the latter that would not be termed 'indigenous'Malay But it accepted into the Malay society. Of there are pure arabs and indians ( which will now include Pakistanis and Bangladeshis ) with not a trace of Malay ancestry being absorbed as Malay. These generation may feel lost maybe and may not fully appreciate the Malay minds.
I am sorry I have tried to explain this earlier but I would probably be too blunt as I could be insinuating that given your name you could have originated from the Indian subcontinent and thus do not fully appreciate the thinking of a Malay. I am sorry to say this but I will nonetheless accept you and your kind, being a MUslim , who would in time be assimilated as a full fledged Malay

nais69 said...

Malik,
I am as upset as you are reading this ridiculous letter about being a full fledged Malay. Do you know in Singapore, the Malay's are categorised by their origin as Arabs, Bugis and so on. Probably even the anonymous writer talking talking about being a full fledge Malay will be regarded as 'lain-lain' in Singapore unless he is an Orang Asli or something.

Sadly, I think politics based on race, breeds this kind of people. In the holy Koran Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah said "O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most Taqwa among of you. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (49:13)

From this verse it goes to show that Malaysians especially non-Malays can never hope for equality if the ruling party is based on racial grounds. You will always remain a Malay, Chinese or Indian. But if the ruling party is Muslim party and the members really understand the meaning of Islam, then Muslims and non-Muslims can live in harmony.

Anonymous said...

nais69 this prove the point that race is a reality where in in example in your beloved singapore, the Malay are further segregated based the racial origin. At least in Malaysia any mixed Malay race is simply regarded as Malay. Mixed means indian or bangla with say a jawa. For argument sake a jawa with a kelantan malay is not a mix but simply a Malay.
Sad to say you have such negative perception of a person who is conscious of race. On the other hand I see that Islam as you rightly quote here has no problem with such categorization or identification. Great that you bring up the matter of religious belief here as a uniting factor to which I have no issue. I would like to hear from both Muslims and non Muslims on this Muslim party with such real understanding of Islam.
BTW what makes you think Malik is upset over just another viewpoint which in essence trying to explain what is in the mind of a Malay. Dont be confused with Malay and Islam and making presumptions that because I am a Malay and proud of it I cannot be a good Muslim or leader.
Once again my apologies for hurting you

Anonymous said...

My advice, to who ever that don't like this country.You are more than welcome to get out from this country. I'm sick of looking my country flag being burnt without any respect, no matter you are malay, indian, chinese or indonesia. No more of this kind of thing, it will make our country suffer, and by the end no body will get any benefit of it. I'm working in hotel industry and I know this kind of thing will scared our guest to come to this country. And our economy will suffer. Please, there a lot of way to settle any problem that any of you have. Dont just pin pointing at any party wether BN or MIC or MCA.You have the power. So choose your government wisely.Use your brain and think before you do any stupid action.Enough with racial different.We are the same, By economy or by anyway at all.Do your homework before you say something bad about other races..WE ARE THE SAME.

dan glover said...

When goverment is blaming that HINDRAF have link with LLTE ( Tamil Tigers Group ) is possible without video clip evidence, why should if we blame goverment that they have link OSAMA BIN LADEN.. Can we can call BN are terrorist????