Travel ban on Bersih chief ill advised
By J D Lovrenciear
Who was the brains behind that travel ban that was so undemocratically imposed on the chairperson of the Coalition for Clean and Free Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0), Maria Chin?
And whose brainchild was it that led the prime minister and his deputy to not act otherwise?
The fact is 46 civil society organisations have penned no-holds-barred protests over the government preventing a Malaysian icon of democratic reforms from receiving a world-coveted prize for human rights.
Something is seriously wrong then.
How on earth would so-called investors with a conscience in faraway lands that represent advancing democracies want to come to Malaysia to invest their wealth when even a citizen can be bullied and “imprisoned” from going abroad to receive a prize that very few global icons have earned?
And, as pointed out by others, not only was Chin robbed of her rights as a citizen, the PM’s team even had the audacity to state that the government was not obliged to give a reason for their decision.
Is Chin a criminal? Has she fleeced the country of billions in funds? If she was a con woman, she would not have been successful at mobilising half a million citizens to march the streets, mind you. And they assembled to protest peacefully, too.
By banning her travel to South Korea, the government of Malaysia has also insulted the awarding nation. Do our leaders not realise how much our country is benefiting from trade ties with South Korea?
Just look at the number of Kia vehicles being sold here. Consider the jobs created; the spare parts industry; and the service and maintenance jobs made available as a result of trade with South Korea.
And by the way, since the government is so much into race-based politics, is it also not fair to ask whether Bumiputeras themselves have benefited from all these spin-offs flowing from South Korea’s success stories?
And here is a situation where the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights from South Korea is being denied to Chin by this same government.
Indeed, it was a foolish move by the country’s leaders. You have only orchestrated your own fears to loom even larger in the global sphere of all those politicians and civil society leaders who care enough for human rights.
You have unmistakably sent a clear message that you do not support and recognise human rights the way successful nations do.
Why must Malaysians endure yet another shameful act?
Travel ban on Bersih chief ill advised -abuse of authority. It is sickening that the people in power resort to this childish and evil behavior - totally sickening!!! Let's get these abusive people out of power in the NEXT GE!