APC@GK3: Update on current civil & political rights situation in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

As you might be aware of, GK3 is happening smack bang in the middle of a strange moment in Malaysia. We are anticipating our next elections sometime very soon. A Coalition on Free & Fair Elections (BERSIH – meaning ‘clean’ in Malay) was formed, and organised a peaceful demonstration on this issue. This demonstration sort of catalysed a series of events which is resulting in rapid arrests of communication rights advocates & independent media journalists, opposition party members, civil and political rights activists and BERSIH coalition members. This morning, 26 people were arrested for trying to hand over a memorandum to the parliament. There was massive road blocks on all the routes into the city, and riot police trucks along the parliament route.
As you might be aware of, GK3 is happening smack bang in the middle of a strange moment in Malaysia. We are anticipating our next elections sometime very soon.  A Coalition on Free & Fair Elections (BERSIH – meaning ‘clean’ in Malay) was formed, and organised a peaceful demonstration on this issue.  This demonstration sort of catalysed a series of events which is resulting in rapid arrests of communication rights advocates & independent media journalists, opposition party members, civil and political rights activists and BERSIH coalition members. This morning, 26 people were arrested for trying to hand over a memorandum to the parliament. There was massive road blocks on all the routes into the city, and riot police trucks along the parliament route.


It seems a little crazy and ironic that as international delegates, communication rights & development advocates, feminist and human rights activists and more are being bubbled within the KLCC convention centre and our Deputy Prime Minister’s cosy speech on ICT-competitiveness, this is happening invisibly, right outside.


Sonia Randhawa, deputy president for the Asia-Pacific region of AMARC, and a director of the Centre for Independent Journalism, is wrote a statement on the issue and is now open for endorsement.


You can do so as an individual or as an organisation. With greater visibility, there is a better chance that the Malaysian government will be more wary in operationalising swift disappearances of civil and political rights activists in the manner of Ops Lalang in 1987 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lalang), where more than 100 people were detained under the Internal Security Act (which allows for indefinite detention without trial).


Below there is some information about what is happening to give this some context.


* Information about election process & laws.

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