Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Suite 700, Westmnister House
7 Millbank London SW1P 3JA
15th July 2008
RE: Request to raise serious Human Rights Issues at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meet in Kuala Lumpur from August 1-10, 2008.
Democratically elected representative at Selangor Legislative assembly Mr.M.Manoharan denied his rights to serve his constituents.
4 other HINDRAF leaders and workers detained under draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) without trial for raising legitimate issues affecting minority rights.
P.Uthayakumar one of the detainee denied right to seek medical attention for heart ailment.
51 years of neo colonization of ethnic Malaysian Indians by the majority Malay UMNO led Government.
HINDRAF is a NGO formed to protect the legitimate rights of the ethnic Malaysian Indian community but the Malaysian Government has refused our application to be registered as a formal organization. We have been raising serious Human Rights issues pertaining to the rights of the minority ethnic Indian community since 2005 and from November 2007 our organization is seen as a threat to national security and thus on December 13th 2007 5 key persons linked to our organization were arrested under the draconian Internal security Act (ISA) which means detention without trial. They were arrested after the mass protest organized by HINDRAF on 25th November 2007 and were accused of creating unrest in the country. One of the detainee Mr.P.Uthayakumar is continuously being denied his right to seek treatment for the silent heart attack he suffered at the national heart Institute but are deliberately taken to a district hospital which does not have the facilities.
In the recently concluded general elections on 8th March 2008 one of the detained person Mr.M. Manoharan had contested whilst in custody and without given the opportunity to campaign had won the seat comfortably but till today he is denied his right to serve his constituents. This is a serious affront to basic principles of human Rights which need much intervention from your esteemed organisation.
I now write to you to table an agenda on the above 2 pressing issues at the next Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur between the 1st August 2008-10th August 2008 and to raise the matter with the Malaysian Government.
In the Harare Commonwealth Declaration, 1991, the heads of government of the countries of the Commonwealth had reaffirmed their pledge that were set out in a Declaration of Commonwealth Principles agreed by their predecessors at their Meeting in Singapore in 1971 amongst them being that;
They believe in the liberty of the individual under the law, in equal rights for all citizens regardless of gender, race, colour, creed or political belief, and in the individual’s inalienable right to participate by means of free and democratic political processes in framing the society in which he or she lives;
They recognise racial prejudice and intolerance as a dangerous sickness and a threat to healthy development, and racial discrimination as an unmitigated evil;
They oppose all forms of racial oppression, and they are committed to the principles of human dignity and equality;
Malaysia, being one of the so called materially developed Commonwealth members in every possible way has breached and failed to uphold its declaration and fundamental principal of the Commonwealth in affirming human rights and good governance for the Malaysian Indians with its practice of continued oppression and suppression towards their ethnic citizens.
Although the cold war is far gone, but in Malaysia, the government is in cold war with the ethic groups and minority mainly the Malaysian Indians for voicing their grievances and plight to be treated as a citizen with equal human rights and freedom through their totalitarianism and government apparatus to silence the dissenting citizens.
The Malaysian government continues to undermine human right and civil liberties issues although they had pledged to the Harare Convention and their membership with the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Nearly all the International Human Rights instruments adopted by United Nations bodies since 1948 elaborate principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states in its preamble that it developed out of recognition of the fact that
“in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political right”.
HINDRAF’s crusade in Malaysia on the plight of the ethic Malaysian Indian has been along this paradigm nationally and internationally so that through this process a member of the society should be able to achieve his/her conscious of human dignity and worthiness for the society without any systematic marginalization or discrimination based on one’s origin or suppressive law and system that defies humanity.
I attach herewith brief notes on the issues raised by HINDRAF.