What About… A Bill of Human Rights?
To continue from – Khalid promises FOI – Freedom of Information Act.
The FOI (Freedom of Information Act) is one of the first decent thing I heard from the opposition.
(OK some people may not like the word ‘opposition’ to be called here – but officially the winning paries have not formed the govt so… what do you call them at this stage?)
But perhaps more importantly the opposition (and this applies not only to Selangor, but also to all opposition held states and also their Federal MPs) must draft what may be called a Malaysian Bill of Human Rights.
What/ How does the Malaysian Bill of Human Rights may look like?
I will use an Australian example. Australia does not have a Bill of Rights. As has been said by many, Australia is the only western country with no Bill of Rights. However, there are some suggestions to what this Bill of Rights should be.
Readers can read it one such suggestion here, from the Human Rights Act for Australia.
Of course, there are other Bill of Rights if we consider other Western countries.
Just to motivate people about the Bill of Rights: If Malaysia does enact a Bill of Rights, it will be one of the few countries in Asia to do so.
Of course I understand that the opposition does not hold the 2/3 majority in many states that they held (I have to check this just to confirm – but readers can correct me if they wish to do so..). So the drafting of the law at the federal level may not go beyond that stage. (Also the state may not have the power to enact or implement the law – perhaps Malaysian legal experts can advise).
But the action to come up with the draft will have a lasting impact on the minds of the people who want more democracy and more liberty in Malaysia. (I am sure many want the current situation i.e. the denial of 2/3 majority not be reversed in the next elections. And of course many want more than that – you know what I mean!).
So this exercise of drafting and making public that draft of the Malaysian Bill of Human Rights will be a good step towards strengthenig the institutions of democracy in Malaysia!
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- March 10, 2008 / 4:52 am