12-point OIC Putrajaya Declaration – no mention whatsoever  of democracy, human rights and transparency

Media Comment
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangSaturday): The 12-point Action Plan under the Putrajaya Declaration adopted by  the 10th Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit yesterday is a great disappointment as it did not make a single reference to democracy, human rights and transparency – when they are among the major ills of the 57 member countries of the organization.

The OIC reiterated the right of the Iraqi people freely to determine their own political future, making the point that the United States should bow out of Iraq as soon as possible.  This is the right and proper  stand to take, but it also raises the question as to how many OIC and in particular Arab countries give their people the right to freely determine their own future including  to change  government through free elections.

It is not a propitious sign for democracy and human rights  that not a single OIC leader applauded or even made reference to the first Muslim woman Nobel Peace Laureate 2003, Shirin Ebadi, who was given the signal honour  by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for over two decades of activism for democracy, human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights in Iran.

Nor did any OIC leader refer to the Transparency International’s (TI) 2003 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released only early last week  which  gave a dismal ranking to 38 out of the  57 OIC member nations, constituting an  overall indictment of the failures of the  OIC countries  to grapple with the problem of corruption which showed that:

  • Out of the 38 OIC countries listed in the TI 2003 CPI for 133 countries, there  is not a single OIC country in the world’s top 25 least corrupt nations with CPI score higher than 6.3 out of a clean score of 10, which reflects perceived levels of corruption among politicians and public officials in the  133 countries.
  • Only   six OIC  countries have a pass score of above 5 out of a clean score of 10, viz Oman and Bahrain  (both No. 26, 6.3), Qatar (No. 32, 5.6),  Kuwait (No. 35, 5.3), Malaysia and United Arab Emirates (both No. 37, 5.2).
  • More than half of the 21 most corrupt countries out of 133 nations are members of OIC, i.e. Iraq, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Tajikistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
  • Six of the 12 most corrupt countries in the world with score of less than 2 are from OIC countries, with Nigeria and Bangladesh as the two most corrupt countries.

All in all, the OIC Putrajaya Declaration and its 12-point Action Plan is a Declaration and Action Plan of Denial, refusing to grapple with the major deficits including democracy, human rights, transparency, good governance, which are real causes for the backwardness, poverty and underdevelopment of the masses in the OIC  countries, which  enjoy fabulous oil wealth.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman