Friday, March 04, 2005

From the US Department of State, With Love

The following article extracted from ob!ique’s blog entry (3/3/05)-

Dear Malaysians,

Please note that the United States of America has released an official report on
Malaysia's human rights track record.

I gave the report a brief read and I must say I totally agree with it. The role that ISA plays is to retain racial harmony and government stability is indeed oppressive . . . but the Amerikanskis put it too harshly to make it sounds as though that it is a breach of the universal human right's standards. It is a breach of their standards no doubt but do they even understand the need for a curfew (darurat) when Malaysia was under Japanese rule? I wonder if the Amerikanskis have ever felt what that was like. And the nature of our culture, I see no mention of that in their report. I presume their Homeland Security and foreign policies respect human rights? What about Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan? Oh yes, people have disappeared under
PDRM's cells but I think we'd rather read more about how the Amerikanskis treat their criminals. I can safely say disappearance is not quite the correct word . . . how about eliminated?

Spitting out the bitter pill, I still agree with the report and Malaysians have much to LEARN from the Western liberal democracies. We need to learn to not be hypocritical like them. We learn to respect our neighbours, the diverse religions of the world and the plurality of cultures that exists . . . and not to use those factors against them. We learn not to segregate the 'us' from 'them' because all states are equal cf. some states that think they are more equal than others. We learn to unite in the face of adversity and external expansions. We learn not to impose our values on others because then we should not criticise others for doing so. Such costly lessons ... I just hope we don't have to pay for it like others but LEARN from it.