Human Rights in Relation to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia – Part 2

16 05 2017

Continuation of Part I…


The same goes for the Convention on the Rights of the Child or CRC. Article 14 of CRC gives the rights to each child to choose his or her own belief or religion. This Article cannot be implemented on children born to Muslim parents, for it is against the teaching of Islam, hence against the Articles 3(1), 38, 76 and 159(5).

Article 14 of CRC states:

States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

It is also important to note that Article 15 of CRC contradicts the Section 4(1)(e) of the Peaceful Assembly Act of Malaysia; which brings the question if the UNHRC can overrule the law of a sovereign country. Article 15 of the CRC allows children to participate in peaceful assemblies while the Section 4(1)(e) of the Peaceful Assembly Act of Malaysia restricted children from participating in peaceful assemblies.

Article 15 of the CRC:

States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.

Section 4(1)(e) of the Peaceful Assembly Act of Malaysia:

The right to organize an assembly or participate in an assembly peaceably and without arms under this Act shall not extend as following – in relation to the participation in an assembly other than an assembly specified in the Second Schedule, a child.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) that gives the rights to the LGBTIQ people, is against not only the teaching of Islam but also the teaching of other main religions recognised by our nation. Therefore, the rights of LGBTIQ people is unconstitutional in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the laws that concerns the Muslims must be subjected to the Islamic law as stated in the conclusion of the judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, where The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said that:

”Taking the Federal Constitution as a whole, it is clear that it was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to allow Muslims in this country to be also governed by Islamic personal law”.

ICERD or International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is against the Article 153 of the FC; hence, it is another violation to our FC. In the name of human rights, the UNHRC is forcing the government of Malaysia to abolish the Article 153 without respecting the fact that this Article is actually an important part of our Social Contract. The Article was drafted as a guarantee to save guard the rights of the Malays and the Bumiputras, in return to the citizenship given to the non-citizen Chinese and Indian immigrants during the forming of Malaya.

More importantly, ICERD is a violation to the racial harmony of the people of Malaysia as Article 153 is the Article that protects the human rights of each and every citizen of Malaysia as agreed by our great forefathers. That makes, Article 153 as one of the four sensitive issues that cannot be questioned according to Article 10(4) of our FC:

In imposing restrictions in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof or public order under paragraph (a) of Clause (2), Parliament may pass law prohibiting the questioning of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III, Article 152, 153 or 181 otherwise than in relation to the implementation thereof as may be specified in such law.

Even questioning any of the four sensitive issues is punishable under the Section 3(1)(f) of the Sedition Act of Malaysia; what more the calls for it to be abolished as ordered by the UNHRC.

Section 3(1)(f) of the Sedition Act of Malaysia:

A “seditious tendency” is a tendency — to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.

Human rights regulations must be subjected to the principles of the Member States and not the other way around. Islam is the religion of Malaysia, while in Argentina, Roman Catholic is its official religion. Other countries like the USA are secular countries. The basic principles of the countries make huge differences in their state laws and constitutions. As the fundamental rights and aspirations of the people are different, the human rights regulations as the UNHRC conventions cannot be standardized; but must be adapted to the needs of the people in its Member States as stated in Part I, Para 5 of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993.

In the FC of Malaysia, Islam as the Religion of the Federation is written in Article 3(1); which is positioned higher than “Freedom of Speech and Expression” that is placed in Article 10, in the Part II of the FC. Article 1 of the FC explains the name of our country, the name of the states and the territories of the Federation, while Article 2 is about the admission of new territories into the Federation. That proves freedom of speech and expression in Malaysia must be harmonious with the principals of Islam. In the Court of Appeal’s ruling for the case of Kalimah Allah, the then Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali said:

[31] It is my observation that the words “in peace and harmony” in Article 3(1) has a historical background and dimension, to the effect that those words are not without significance. The Article places the religion of Islam at par with the other basic structures of the Constitution, as it is the 3 rd in the order of precedence of the Articles that were within the confines of Part I of the Constitution. It is pertinent to note that the fundamental liberties Articles were grouped together subsequently under Part II of the Constitution.

So, in order to ensure the rights of all members of the human family which is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace, UNHRC must note that:

  1. Recognition of the inherent dignity of human rights must be as according to Part I, Para 5 of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993.
  2. Stop bullying Member States into submitting to the rules that contradict the values and fundamental needs and rights of their people.
  3. Acknowledged the aspirations and the rights of all peoples; not only the people with liberal ideology or selective people from selective Member States.
  4. UNHRC must respect the rules of law of its Member States as they are sovereign countries; therefore the UNHRC conventions cannot overrule the constitutions and laws of the Member States.
  5. Equality is not always fair. UNHRC must also focus equity.
  6. UNHRC must also take actions on Western countries where human rights of the minorities such as Muslims are not being respected.
  7. Protect the rights of children as granted in CRC in conflict areas and war zones.
  8. UNHRC as the world body promoting fair and peace, must be professional in acknowledging stake holders of its Member States in the process of Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It is a disgrace for the United Nations to recognise an illegal coalition like COMANGO that represented only a minority voice of Malaysian, as the main stakeholder; and their baseless and malicious allegations are accepted as concrete proves in deeming the standard of human rights in Malaysia.
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Human Rights in Relation to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia – Part 1

12 05 2017

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA) hosted an essay contest in 2015. I wanted to take part but I was not allowed because the age limit was from 18 years old and above. I was twelve at the time but I still wrote an essay on the topic given, and sent it to CENTHRA  as my submission for the contest even though I was told that I cannot take part because I was too young. I think young people like me must also be given the chance to voice out our opinions and not to be considered as immature. We also have our rights as granted by the Federal Constitution and the Convention of the Rights of the Child and we hope to be given the opportunity to be included in making the decision for the future of our country.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted as the result of the Second World War experience. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December, 1948 General Assembly resolution 217 A as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.

Generally when people talk about human rights, they will be referring to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) “common standard law of human rights” that was drafted by a group of people who subscribed to the ideology of liberalism.

The question is, is it fair to use the UDHR as the universal standard human rights law for all peoples from all nations in this world?

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 states the human rights regulations must take into account, the religions, customs and cultural systems of the region. In other words, the human rights of the people must be subjected to the aspiration of the people; and not only subjected to the aspiration of the committee of the UNHRC and the drafters of the UDHR alone.

Part I, Para 5 of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993:

All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In my opinion, human rights regulations must be subjected to the state laws of the Member State. Let us take Malaysia as an example. Malaysia is a country which has stated in its Federal Constitution (FC) that, “Islam is the religion of the Federation”, making Malaysia an Islamic country.

Article 3(1) of the FC:

Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.

Hence, any UNHRC human rights regulations that are against the law of Islam are against the FC which is the supreme law of Malaysia, as stated in Article 4 of the FC:

This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Since the religion of Malaysia is placed under Article 3(1) of the FC, it shows the importance of Islam in the FC; hence the interpretation of other Articles of the FC must be harmonious with Islam; including the Articles about the human right of its people.

If we look at the UNHRC human rights conventions, we can see that some of the Articles of the conventions are against the FC. First, let us look at Article 18 of ICCPR:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Thus, Article 18 of the ICCPR is inapplicable and unconstitutional in Malaysia because, while Article 11(1) of the FC guarantees freedom of religion; the rights to propagate is subjected to Article 11(4). In the Federal Court judgement of ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and Another v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, The Right Honourable Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said:

“Thus, in the present case, we are of the view that Article 10 of the Federal Constitution must be read in particular with Articles 3(1), 11, 74(2) and 121. Article 3(1) declares Islam as the religion of the Federation. Article 11 guarantees every person’s right to profess and practise his religion and to propagate it. With regard to propagation, there is a limitation imposed by Article 11(4) which reads:-

“(4) State Law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.”

In the same judgement, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif concluded that:

Federal Constitution allows the Legislature of a State to legislate and enact offences against the precepts of Islam. Taking the Federal Constitution as a whole, it is clear that it was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to allow Muslims in this country to be also governed by Islamic personal law.

Therefore, unlike the UNHRC liberal interpretation of freedom of religion, it is the right of the Muslims to be governed according to the Islamic law and to be protected against the secular and liberal ideology of the UNHRC common human rights regulations; apart from the freedom to manifest Islam in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Article 18 of the ICCPR also gives people the freedom to choose whether they want to believe or not to believe in god. It is very important to understand that according to the Rukun Negara or the National Principles, the “freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” means ‘freedom of religion’ and not ‘freedom from religion’. The Rukun Negara clearly states that all citizens of Malaysia must believe in god in its first principal which is, ‘Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan’ or ‘Belief in God’. As opposed to the UNHRC’s ideas of human rights, atheism is not part of the rights guaranteed under the freedom of religion in Malaysia.

Apart from going against the Articles 3(1) and 11(4) of the FC; Article 18 of the ICCPR is also against the Articles 37, 38, 76 and 159(5) of the FC. That means it should be void even if it was signed by the federal government as pressured by the UNHRC.

According to Article 38 of the FC, the Parliament cannot make into law and implement Article 18 of ICCPR without the consent of the Conference of Rulers because it touches the matters of religious acts and observances.

Article 38(2)(b) of FC:

The Conference of Rulers shall exercise its functions of— (b) agreeing or disagreeing to the extension of any religious acts, observances or ceremonies to the Federation as a whole;

Article 38(2)(c) of FC:

consenting or withholding consent to any law and making or giving advice on any appointment which under this Constitution requires the consent of the Conference or is to be made by or after consultation with the Conference;

Also, Article 18 of ICCPR cannot be implemented and made into law without the concern of the Government of the State, as in accordance to Article 76 of the FC.

Article 76(1)(a) of FC:

Parliament may make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in the State List, but only as follows, that is to say – for the purpose of implementing any treaty, agreement or convention between the Federation and any other country, or any decision of an international organization of which the Federation is a member.

Article 76(2) ) of FC:

No law shall be made in pursuance of paragraph (a) of Clause (1) with respect to any matters of Islamic law or the custom of the Malays or to any matters of native law or custom in the States of Sabah and Sarawak and no Bill for a law under that paragraph shall be introduced into either House of Parliament until the Government of any State concerned has been consulted.

To be continued in Part II…





Beirut’s River of Trash: What Can We Learn From It?

29 02 2016
A view of the built up pile of waste on a street in Beirut's northern suburb of Jdeideh

A view of the built up pile of waste on a street in Beirut’s northern suburb of Jdeideh

A river of trash?

Yes, there is a ‘river of trash’ in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.

It is amazing to see trash arranged in a line like a river for miles through the city.

This was caused due to the closing of the country’s landfill in July 2015.

I think due to the political deadlock in Lebanon, its government is unable to function properly and that had caused lots of trouble for its people.

Due to the political crisis in Lebanon, the country has yet to elect a new president after the previous president, Michel Suleiman resigned on May 2014.

Al Jazeera, in its article, ‘What’s to become of Lebanon?’ reported that:

“But the Lebanese are a divided people, and that is a major cause for trepidation,” – Al Jazeera

That is what happened when its people are too divided and failed to work together in order to build a stronger nation.

Now protests were held in Beirut regarding the trash problems that injured hundreds of people including the police.

My question is, can protests solve this problem?

Some people see this as their human right, the right to make street protest when they are not happy.

But instead of going to the streets to protest, it is better if the people of Lebanon be united and make sure that they have a strong government that can take care of them.

This can happen anywhere in the world, including in Malaysia if our government is unable to function properly due to political instability.

Our government needs to solve problems that are actually created by people who are against the government instead of solving the real problems faced by our country, and this can bring us to destruction and cause chaos to Malaysia.

That is why we must be careful or we too will be facing problems like the people of Lebanon, or even worst like what happened to the people of Libya, Egypt and others.

Political differences must not be the reason to destroy our country, for if that happened it is the people who will be suffering.





My View On Waco’s Twin Peaks Shooting

4 06 2015

A shootout between rival biker gangs on a Sunday afternoon at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, had killed 9 people and injured 18 others.

Sadly, shootings and violent incidents seems to becoming a norm in once a civilised country. 
The Guardian reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton, a spokesperson for Waco police department, said in a press conference on Monday after the incident that:

Police in Waco have charged 170 people with “organised crime in reference to … capital murder” in what could potentially represent the largest mass arrest on a capital charge in American history. – The Guardian.

The Guardian also reported that sergeant Patrick Swanton as saying:

“What happened here today could have been avoided,” he said. “They [the restaurant management] failed and this is what happened.”- The Guardian.

So, the incident could have been avoided?

He added: “We have been made aware over two months that rival gangs are meeting here and that the potential for violence is increasing.” – The Guardian.

Police were already present at the scene because authorities were aware of the likelihood of trouble between the gangs, Swanton said,”The Guardian.

The police had suspected some violent incident to happen during the meeting between the gangs; so they were there at the scene; but they do not have the rights to interfere before the incident happen because they have no rights to do so!

He said that police had attempted to get the local management to assist but they “would not cooperate”. – The Guardian.

The First Amendment in the American constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As what I had asked before, is too much freedom good for us?

This shooting could have been avoided if:

  1. The police had the rights to take actions to prevent  the violent incident from happening.

  2. The government of United States does not give the total freedom of owning and carrying guns to their citizens.

In this case, the police had done their job and they were actually there before the shooting started but sadly, their hands were tied.

The police can’t do anything because not like Singapore, the United States does not have laws like the Internal Security Act (ISA) of Singapore (Cap. 143, 1985 Rev. Ed.), where police can take actions to prevent such crime if they have information that it could happen; furthermore carrying guns is legal in the United States.

Innocent people and children could had been killed and the police could not do anything to stop it from happening in the first place.

It is sad that such a violent incident that could had been prevented can’t be stopped.

After all the mass shootings in the United States, is it right for the United States to tell Malaysia to repeal the Sedition Act after the Western powers and the United Nations had forced Malaysia to abolish the ISA?

Without the laws, mass shooting and mass killing like the Sandy Hook shooting incident could be a norm in Malaysia just like in the United States.

I am surprised that the United States had not learnt that too much freedom and the rights to carry guns are part of the reasons that had caused the many incidents of mass shootings and mass killings and expect other country to abolish laws that could prevent such incidents.

Perhaps the government of Singapore can brief the United Nations on why they still keep the ISA.

Is total freedom to do anything they want as demanded by the human rights groups is more important than preserving a peaceful community and the safety  of minors and old people who may not be able to protect themselves? 





Congratulations JAKIM on Khutbah Jumaat, ‘Menangani Konsep Kebebasan’

18 10 2013

Congratulations to  Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) for today’s Khutbah Jummat with the title, ‘Menangani Konsep Kebebasan’. It was a very good khutbah about Human Rights and freedom. The Khatib also spoke about Universal Periodic Review (UPR), United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) demands and COMANGO (Coalition of Malaysian Non-Governmental Organisations).

The UPR process is getting closer. As what was said by the Khatib, we must not accept the UNHRC demands that wanted Malaysia to legitimise LGBTIQ, abolishing some part of the Syariah Law and others that are against the Malaysian Federal Constitution. 

Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution stated that, “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation”. So, as Islam is the religion of the Malaysia, we cannot accept total freedom, in fact total freedom is bad for us. That is why every country has rules that must be obeyed by everybody in the country including the tourists and visitors from other countries.

This proves that COMANGO, does not represent Malaysian Muslims. COMANGO leaders are not Muslim, so how could they represent the Muslims on Islamic issues? COMANGO is lying when it claims that it represent most Malaysian. And after I read their reports, I know that they are lying about the situation in Malaysia and accusing the Malaysian government for things that are not true.

After all, most of the COMANGO leaders are Malaysian opposition parties’ DAP and PKR leaders who would blame the government for every thing that they can ever imagine.





What Is Universal Periodic Review

2 10 2013

UNHRC-logo_withtext

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC) which is an intergovernmental body made up of 47 states, to review how far the members of the United Nations follow the Human Rights. (All About The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by SUHAKAM)

The UPR reviews all 192 United Nations (UN) Member States over a four-year cycle. The process consists of several steps. The review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Objectives:

  1. Improvement of human rights of the people.
  2. How far does the state fulfil the obligations and commitments of human rights, assessment of positive development and problems that are faced by the States in fulfilling the obligations.
  3. Enhance the State’s capacity and technical assistance, in consultation with, and with the consent of, the State concerned.
  4. Sharing the best practice of human rights among States and other stakeholders.
  5. Support for cooperation in promotion and protecting of human rights.
  6. Encourage full cooperation and engagement with the HRC, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other human rights bodies.

Recommendations:

Recommendations are the final results of the UPR process, and are included in the final report. Although the recommendations are not binding, they act as a set of commitments by the State to improve the protection and promotion of human rights in their country. These recommendations will serve as benchmarks to the State, on what it must achieve until the next UPR cycle.





United Nations Human Rights Council’s UPR

30 09 2013

UPR-logoUPR stands for Universal Periodic Review. It is a process to review how far all the countries that are members of the United Nations follow the demands made by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

This year, our country, Malaysia will be reviewed by UNHRC. I think Malaysia is a very peaceful and fair country where all minority races are not being discriminated by our government.

Must all the United Nations members agree to all of the UNHRC demands? I feel that not every country needs to be the same as other countries and follow the same universal rules because every country and its citizen is unique and has different needs and values.

For example, Malaysia is an Islamic country while Roman Catholicism is the official religion of Monaco and Argentina. So, they are all different and each country has different social values and ways of live.

So, is it fair if we want all the countries in this world to follow a set of universal rules and values agreed by other countries whose needs and values are different? I think that not only it is wrong, in fact, it is against the human rights to force a country to accept any value or rule which is not suitable for the local people of the country, against their social values, religions or can cause lots of problems to the country. And it is not right to force a country to agree on something that is actually against their Constitutions and rules of laws.

Related articles:

COMANGO And Human Rights

PPMM’s NGI Round Table Discussion On UPR Human Rights Council 2013








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