Day: May 16, 2016

Press Statement – Barring Maria Chin Abdullah from Leaving Malaysia Depriving Her Fundamental Right to Freedom of Movement.


16 MAY 2016

I strongly condemn the government’s high-handed action in barring Maria Chin Abdullah from leaving Malaysia yesterday and thus depriving her of her fundamental right to freedom of movement.

This is again another instance of the arrogance of power which the UMNO-BN government has been displaying all too frequently without any regard to the principles of democracy and rule of law.

While no explanation was provided for the high-handed action, it was known that Maria was on her way to South Korea to receive the 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights on behalf of BERSIH 2.0.

This is a prestigious award given in recognition of individuals and organizations that have contributed towards promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace. There is no Malaysian organization more deserving of such recognition than BERSIH 2.0.

Undoubtedly, such arbitrary action by the Najibadministration is politically motivated and indicative of a government drunk on power with absolutely no regard for democratic accountability.

We demand that Maria’s constitutional right to travel abroad be restored immediately.


Press Statement – Freedom of Speech to the Defenders of Democracy


16 MAY 2016

While I welcome the Court of Appeal decision to set aside the nine-month custodial sentence on Hishamuddin Rais, I would reiterate that he should never have been convicted in the first place for speaking out for freedom and justice.

Isham was only exercising his fundamental rights under the Federal Constitution when he called for fresh elections in the wake of the controversial results of the 2013 General Elections.

Not only is it not a crime but I believe it is incumbent upon all right thinking Malaysians and those who care for the rule of law and democracy to demand for free and fair elections.

We must defend this right if Malaysia is to remain worthy of being considered a democracy. I salute the tireless efforts of Isham and BERSIH to share the light of democracy with all.

Defenders of democracy must be free to speak up, but the draconian Sedition Act remains a barrier to free speech that has been abused time and again to protect a government that is terrified of legitimate criticism. This colonial-era law must be abolished and the remaining charges under the act must be dropped.