Media statements issued never do get media coverage, and if it does it often does not report all that is stated. Given the fact, there seem to be no real documentation of all these civil society voices, this Blog has been started hoping to capture and preserve the voices of civil society for all. Appreciate it if you could forward me ( statements that have not been picked up by this Blog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SUARAM: Human Rights are Fundamental Principle of Humanity and Human Protection.

Press Statement: 1 November 2011
Human Rights are Fundamental Principle of Humanity and Human Protection.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) criticise the latest statement issued by academicians Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, who said that the Human rights movement will undermine the sanctity of Islam. SUARAM is of the view that the statement made is incorrect and misleading the public on the understanding of human rights in Malaysia.

SUARAM believes in the principles of human rights as the central principle in a democracy and development of human dignity. It is consistent with the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that reaffirmed fundamental human rights, as in the inherent dignity and worth of the human person and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

SUARAM also would like to emphasise that the principles of human rights is not in contest or inconsistent with Islam as the fundamental principles of human rights were strongly stated in its principle statements with reference to social justice and fundamental freedom. Mr Ridhuan Tee is reminded that the key events in the history of Islam as in the freedom of Bilal who was a slave and the Hijrah of the prophet from Mekah to Madinah shall be in today's context be understood as freedom from slavery and rights to seek refuge.

SUARAM also states that the promotion and protection of human rights is fundamental to ensure the life and livelihood of human remain protected and respected to avoid another crisis of humanity as we have witnessed during the World War 2 where millions of life were perished and left to life in famine and hunger.

The protection and promotion of human rights have always been to protect hence the statement made by Mr Tee is regretted as it goes to suggest that human rights principles as a negative principle and alien to human lives. SUARAM would like to remind that the position taken is a simplified and uninformed position made in absolute ignorance and understanding of human rights.

His statement is purely a politically motivated attempt to derail the growing support by Malaysian on human rights in Malaysia and to support the notion put forward by former IGP Rahim Noor and Tun Mahathir who were known proponents against human rights and authoritarianism. The current positioning is an attempt to further launch the country into the dark ages of authoritarianism and iron fist rule and to re-establish the culture of fear that have undermined our democratic practices and public participation in Malaysia .

SUARAM as a human rights organisation will continue to oppose any laws or policies that are against the fundamental rights envisaged in the UDHR. We will continue to stand for the protection of human dignity and human lives and we would like to invite Mr Tee for a dialogue with SUARAM to foster better understanding of human rights and its principles.

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