Bloggers for unity. 4 political parties and over a dozen NGOs issued the following statement to promote national unity in the face of a growing racial/religious divide and in abhorrence of excessive government-police response to calls for greater freedoms and basic rights as espoused in our Constitution.
As a Malaysian, I welcome the spirit of the statement. As protem president of the National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs), I urge all bloggers to welcome the spirit of this stand.
We view with great seriousness the recent crises that trouble our nation.
We are especially troubled by the racial and religious antagonism that now pervades Malaysian society. Our foremost commitment is to national unity, multiracial solidarity as well as to the safety and welfare of all Malaysians. We believe that the only way to safeguard these values is to reject socially divisive approaches and uphold Constitutional guarantees. We thus affirm our pledge to remain united in our multiracial and multi-religious approach to uphold justice for all.
We deplore the heavy handed actions of the authorities in the series of arrests that took place between the 9th and 11th of December. This brutal crackdown against leaders of civil society organisations and political parties is a clear contravention of the fundamental liberties and human rights guaranteed in our Constitution. The inconsistency of these arrests and intimidations with the government’s assurances that Malaysia continues to be a strong democracy will undoubtedly tarnish our country’s reputation in the international community.
We also remain firmly committed to pursuing the agenda of free and fair elections as well as meaningful electoral reform. The amendment of the Constitution to allow the chairman of the Electoral Commission to serve for another year is a clear reminder that the government is fully intent on perpetuating an electoral system that is rife with irregularities and corruption. We reiterate our calls to the government to provide full access to the media for all political parties and to take seriously the mass of incriminating evidence that we have adduced time and time again and take all necessary measures to abolish well documented electoral malpractices.
Justice, harmony and freedom in Malaysia will be forever absent unless immediate steps are taken to remedy these vital issues. The importance of addressing them vigorously is such that we will seek to bring the matter to the highest level of government.
We are thus seeking an immediate appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss these pressing matters of state and urge him to honour his promise of being willing to listen to the concerns of all Malaysians. At this meeting we intend to pursue the agenda of national unity and reconciliation among all Malaysians regardless of race and religion, press on with our demands for free and fair elections, and work towards resolving the serious national problems we face.
List of Endorsees:
1 Democratic Action Party (DAP)
2 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan)
3 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
4 Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS)
1 Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
2 Centre for Policy Initiatives
3 Citizen Think Tank
4 Civil Rights Committee (KLSCAH)
5 Concerned Citizens Group
6 Gabungan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)
7 Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM)
8 Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas)
9 Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
10 Malaysians Against the Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
11 National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
12 National Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
13 Police Watch and Human Rights Committee
14 Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
15 Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
16 Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
17 Youth For Change (Y4C)