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Rahim Noor should crawl back into the woodwork

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The former Inspector–General of Police, Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, emerging as it were from the dead, has expressed some startling views on human rights. P Ramakrishnan takes him to task.

rahim noor
Rahim Noor

A man who infamously trampled upon the rights of others has no right to speak on human rights. He is the least qualified to speak on this subject.

Yet, the former Inspector–General of Police, Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, emerging as it were from the dead, expressed some startling views on human rights.

He is quoted as having said that the coming of a “human rights wave” would threaten the principles on which this country was founded.

In what way would the “human rights wave” threaten the principles on which this country was founded? The principles on which this country was founded is embodied in the Federal Constitution, which was agreed upon mutually by all the communities that aspired for a free and independent Malaya.

The Federal Constitution specifically guarantees the human rights of all the citizens. Indeed, it protects the rights of all Malaysians. If these rights were not guaranteed and protected, there would be no Federal Constitution to begin with and we wouldn’t have attained our independence on 31 August 1957.

The human rights wave, reflected in the Bersih 2.0 ‘Walk for Democracy’ that demanded clean and fair elections, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be termed as a “communist wave”. It is a democratic wave giving expression to the innate desire of the human spirit to be free and treated fairly and with justice.

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The present wave – demanding accountability, transparency, good governance, rule of law, the right to information, the right to assemble peacefully, the right to publish and disseminate views – represents the universal rights that are upheld by the United Nations, As Malaysia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, we are duty-bound to respect and protect these universal values.

Calling upon the Malays to unite against this “human rights wave” is acting foolishly and ignoring today’s political reality. The vast majority of thinking Malaysians are not narrow-minded bigots and will not fall for this call to respond along ethnic lines.

This was clearly established when the “Himpunan Sejuta” was organised to inflame the sentiments of the Malays against the Christians. The fact that only about 5000 turned up – which prompted Ibrahim Ali to confess that he was embarrassed by the turnout – is proof enough that racial politics will be spurned by citizens of goodwill who only wish to live together in peace and harmony for the betterment of the nation.

Though it was touted as having the backing of 3000 Malay NGOs, the fact was they failed even to send two representatives each, which would have boosted the attendance to 6000. The number that turned up was a far cry from the one million that was expected. The ultras and the extremists can claim anything but gutter politics will not hoodwink the majority of peace-loving Malaysians.

Rahim Noor should crawl back into the woodwork and remain there for a long time to come.

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P Ramakrishnan is president of Aliran

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