12-point OIC Putrajaya Declaration – no mention whatsoever of democracy, human rights and transparency
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Saturday): 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:
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