Viewpoint: Reclaim Our Rights

10 December is annually celebrated as the World Human Rights day.

It was on this day that the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

The Declaration consists of a preamble and 30 articles that were formulated as a direct result of the experiences of World War II.

These articles sets out a wide range of basic human rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

Many aspects of the 30 articles in the declaration were subsequently adopted and/or elaborated in various international treaties, regional human rights instruments, constitutions and laws.

Several semblances of these articles have found its way into the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. However, some of these basic rights were gradually eroded through subsequent legislations and amendments to the Federal Constitution.

In conjunction with Human Rights Day 2011, UndiMsia through the website of loyar burok invites all to join them to ‘celebrate and reclaim our rights”. In this respect respect the website calls on all to come together on Saturday (10th Dec) 8pm at Dataran Merdeka for a candlelight vigil.

The website reminds us that “in 2011, we have been faced with so many violations of our rights and have seen much injustice served. Some of these faced by us, the rakyat of Malaysia, include no justice for Teoh Beng Hock, Aleesha Farhana & Ahmad Sarbani, the “illegalisation” of Bersih 2.0 and victimisation of the EO6, the outrageous Malaysia-Australia Refugee Swap Deal, the environmental nightmare of Lynas, the banning of Seksualiti Merdeka and, of course, the most recent, the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011.”

We have just experienced the implications of this Bill. Malaysiakini and Malaysia Insider reports that overzealous police officers have demanded churches to provide personal details of home owners before any permit could be issued for those who wish to carol and bring cheers of the spirit of Christmas to these homes. What more is to be expected when the Bill becomes law?

Remaining silent is no longer an option. It's time to stand up to reclaim our rights!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Catholic Lawyers Society Kuala Lumpur. CLS makes no representation concerning, and does not guarantee the source, originality, accuracy, completeness or reliability of any statement, information, data, finding, interpretation, advice, opinion, or view presented.

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