He said although he readily conceded that human rights practices in Malaysia were far from perfect, the same was also true for the United States.
"Given the fact that the US has its own share of significant human rights abuses, may I ask on what basis does the world's only superpower believe it has the moral authority to judge other countries like Malaysia?''Hishammuddin is protesting too much about the US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices 2000 when he should have ensured that UMNO Youth is in the forefront to protect and promote human rights in Malaysia.
Instead, UMNO Youth has acquired notoriety and infamy as one of the greatest threats to human rights in the country as evidenced by UMNO Youth's unruly, abusive and gangsterish demonstration at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on 18th August 2000 threatening to burn down the building if there was no apology and withdrawal of the 83-point Suqiu election appeals and the lawless and gangsterish UMNO Youth break-up of the Second Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET) in Kuala Lumpur in November 1996.
Hishammuddin took strong objection to the US State Department 2000 human rights report which harshly criticised Malaysia's handling of the case against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying it was politically motivated.
Is UMNO Youth prepared to support an independent nation-wide public opinion poll to ascertain whether the majority of Malaysians are of the view that Anwar had been harshly, unfairly and callously treated?
I am convinced that an independent and professional public opinion poll
would show that the issue is not whether the US State Department
2000 human rights harshly criticised Malaysia's handling of the case against
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians,
regardless of race, religion and political beliefs, believe that Anwar
had been treated
unfairly and callously. This is why Anwar has become the crowning symbol of the injustice and human rights violations of the Mahathir government.
No Malaysian would object or disagree with Hishammuddin's criticisms of human rights violations in the United States - or the latest expose of such violations which appeared in today's press from Amnesty International USA's damning report that sexual abuse is rife in women's prisons in the United States.
However, two wrongs cannot make a right, and the violations of human rights in the United States cannot be used as a shield to justify human rights violations in Malaysia or to challenge the right of the United States to report on human rights abuses in Malaysia - just as the United States government would have no right to try to shut up Malaysian criticisms about human rights violations in the United States just because of the existence of human rights violations in Malaysia!
Where the US State Department 2000 human rights report is right about human rights violations, Hishammuddin and the government should be courageous to admit to these transgressions and take active steps to clean up the human rights abuses, such the following comments in the report: