http://dapmalaysia.org Forward Feedback
The disruption of the Penang forum on “The Federal Constitution: Protection for All”, reminiscent of the break-up of 1996 APCET II conference, should raise alarm bells whether instead of greater opening up there has been retrogression in human rights and constitutional freedoms under the Abdullah premiership
Media Statement (1)
by Lim Kit Siang
It is reminiscent of the break-up of the 1996 APCET II conference and should raise alarm bells whether instead of greater opening up under the Abdullah premiership there is retrogression in human rights and constitutional freedoms to that of a decade ago.
When the “The Federal Constitution: Protection for All” forum, which had the required police permit, was ended prematurely after 20 minutes, two hours before the scheduled time, because of mob pressure by some 400 people operating without any police permit, it is a stark reminder of the diminishing respect for human rights and constitutional freedoms after 31 months of the Abdullah premiership.
Ten years ago, the second Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor in Kuala Lumpur was disrupted by a mob from youth members of UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, who manhandled some of the conference participants and damaged hotel property.
A decade later, another mob had been allowed to disrupt a lawful and peaceful public meeting to reaffirm the secular basis and supremacy of the Federal Constitution in the context of a relentless erosion of these constitutional rights by all three branches of government – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
A series of controversial cases, e.g. M Moorthy, S Shamala, Kamariah Ali, Nyonya Tahir and Lina Joy have illustrated the urgent need to reaffirm the secular basis and the supremacy of the Federal Constitution against the backdrop of the government declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic State on Sept. 29, 2001 (“929 Declaration”), Islam Hadhari and its elevation as a state directive principle of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and National Mission 2006-2020 contrary to the secular principles of the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara.
Why did the police fail to uphold the human rights and constitutional freedoms of Malaysians in allowing a mob to disrupt the Penang forum yesterday?
Will the Police in future refuse to issue police permits for such forums to reaffirm the secular basis and supremacy of the Federal Constitution on the ground that it would attract mob responses – allowing mob rule to prevail over the rule of law in Malaysia?
Is Malaysia coming to a stage when DAP MPs, for instance, will be confronted with mob protests outside for our principled stand in Parliament that Malaysia was conceived by our forefathers as a democratic, multi-religious and secular nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State - in the face of stubborn insistence by UMNO MPs that Malaysia is an Islamic State and the thunderous silence of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP MPs on this issue?
The Police owe the organizers of the forum and all Malaysians an apology for allowing mob rule to disrupt a lawful and peaceful public meeting, marking a major failure of the police to uphold and protect the Federal Constitution.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman