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A devil called Human Rights

By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

Some of the arguments could easily make people feel completely bewildered, such as a car that suddenly whizzes into your way while you are driving on a one-way street.

You honk and try to avoid the guy, reminding him he is on the wrong way. However, he does not quite get your message, and keeps blaring his honk instead, thinking you are the one on the wrong way.

Sure enough only one is on the right way while the other is on the wrong way.

If the one on the wrong way insists that he is right and keeps moving forward, a heads-on collision is bound to take place.

This reminds me of the reasoning by former IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor, who said human rights movement today was comparable to the communism of yesteryear, dealing a hard blow on the country. He added that if the same were to be allowed to go on, something detrimental was going to happen, such as erosion to our social contract.

If you happen to forget who Rahim Noor is, you should not have forgotten Anwar's "black eyes," right?

Rahim Noor's statement was positively received by Dr Mahathir who felt there should be a cap to the country's human rights movement.

What I am trying to say is that human rights have always been cruising on the right track in the history of mankind, leading the human race towards greater civilisation, whereas slavery, feudalism and communism are dashing on the wrong direction and will eventually get wiped out from history.

Putting human rights movement on the same par as communism is an unforgivable blunder in Rahim Noor's logicality. What makes it worse is that he said this in a Perkasa meet.

As a matter of fact, human rights have been the mainstream ideology of this world. That said, some people only see the more recent sporadic movements but fail to see the big picture.

The human rights movement that takes on the form of Jasmine revolution in the Middle East and North Africa has culminated in the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Human rights have come under chronic suppression in a hermetic society, resulting in accumulation of public furore and escalating demands for more human rights.

Authoritarian regimes, on the other hand, continue to build walls around them, but the taller the walls, the bigger the pressure that will eventually bring them down.

Just as the stormwater that inundates the city of Bangkok due to the authorities' failure to divert the stormwater, not because the sandbags are not stacked tall enough on the peripheries of the city.

In actuality, a society that tolerates and respects human rights is less likely to see such a surge in human rights movement.

Human rights are omnipresent. As a matter of fact, human beings have been in continuous existence merely because of their rights to exist.

Human rights are nothing to be way of. The emancipation of slaves by Abraham Lincoln was an act of human rights preservation, while Britain's Glorious Revolution marked a significant triumph in human rights struggle. So was Nelson Mandela's anti-apartheid campaign.

Human rights movement has propelled human civilisation and driven the advances of our human society. Nothing to be dreaded about at all.

The facts that Perkasa was allowed to hold a rally in Shah Alam and that Rahim Noor was able to speak at the Perkasa convention, signal the integrity of human rights protection in this country.

Of course, political scholars will tell us that human rights are part and parcel of democracy, and that we need the synergistic interaction of the rule of law, elections and power equilibrium to put democracy on the right track.

 

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