Sunday): United Nations Special Rapporteur for Independent Judges
and Lawyers, Datuk Param Cumaraswamy said at the “National Consultation on the
Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) After Two Years” held in Ipoh
yesterday that judges and
magistrates should be given human rights education so that they will be more
concerned about human rights when making decisions in their line of duty.
It is most regrettable that after more than two years after
the establishment of Suhakam, the area of human rights education for judges and
magistrates has been largely neglected. It
is imperative that the Chief Justice, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah should
take the initiative to prioritise human rights education for judges and
magistrates as is taking place in other developed countries with stronger
traditions of an independent judiciary and work in unison with Suhakam to remedy
this grave omission.
There is also great urgency to provide human rights
education to all police officers, whether national, state or district.
Although Suhakam has started tentatively to provide human rights
education to the police, the programme is clearly most unsatisfactory and not
pervasive enough – or the spate of police abuses of power and violation of
human rights as in the repeated harassment and criminlisation of peaceful and
legitimate political activities like the DAP’s ‘No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957” People’s Awareness Campaign and the false and wrongful arrests of DAP
leaders and activists would not have taken place.
Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman should urgently
review the human rights education programme for all levels of police officers in
the country to instil in them respect and sensititivity of human rights in their
line of duty.
DAP leaders and activists have today returned to the
Pandamaran new village. to continue with the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to
1957” People’s Awareness Campaign, which was interrupted
twice by the police, on August 18 and 25, with the wrongful arrest of 12
We do not rule out a third police arrest operation this
morning. No DAP leader or member wants to be arrested, but we cannot allow any
police abuse of power and violation of human rights to cow us into submission or
intimidate us from discharging our legitimate political and constitutional
I am glad that the police today have
not harassed or interfered with our campaign, and this morning’s
programme to sell the ‘No to 929” booklet and distribute
“No to 929” pamphlets went off without any hitches. Among DAP leaders
who took part in this morning’s campaign were
DAP National Publicity Secretary, Ronnie Liu, DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong
Po Kuan and former DAP MP for Seputeh and Chairman of DAP Veterans’ Club, Liew
There had been five unlawful police arrests, involving 32
victims, in connection with the “No to 929” campaign in the past three
months, all under the Sedition Act 1948, but no one has been charged in
court to date – including the disgraceful episode on Friday
at the Klang Magistrate Court when the six DAP officials arrested in
Pandamaran on August 25 and the six bailors had to release themselves when the
police did not turn up in court as required by the RM1,000 police bond.
.The DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting next
week will decide whether to institute legal proceedings against the police for
these 32 wrongful arrests and gross abuse of power in harassing and
criminalizing the peaceful and legitimate political and constitutional “No to
929” campaign to defend and uphold the 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the social
contract and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a democratic, secular
and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but Malaysia is
not an Islamic state, whether UMNO Islamic State or PAS Islamic State.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should present a Ministerial statement in Parliament when
it reconvenes tomorrow on the the 32 wrongful arrests and
police abuses of power and violation of human rights in criminalising
peaceful and legitimate political activities like the DAP’s “No to 911, No
to 929, Yes to 1957” People’s Awareness Campaign.
In his Ministerial statement, Abdullah should in particular
what actions he had taken to check police abuses of powers
and violation of human rights in the five episodes totaling 32 wrongful arrests
in connection with the DAP’s “No to 929” campaign in the past three
what disciplinary actions have been taken against police
officers responsible for such abuses of power and violation of human rights in
making the 32 wrongful arrests;
what action he has taken to instil and inculcate in all
police officers full respect and sensitivity of human rights, whether he
proposes to introduce compulsory human rights education for all police officers;
what assurance he could give to ensure that there would be no repetition of false and wrongful arrests of DAP leaders and activists for carrying out peaceful and legitimate political and constitutional activities like the “No to 929” campaign.