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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Malaysia, Human Rights, and the Zen of Idiocy

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This is the second high profile lawyer-non-grata case that Malaysia has gotten herself embroiled in recently, the first being the French human rights lawyer back in July .

It really boggles the mind to think that this nation has regressed to this extent. Worse than a communist despotic state, sometimes. And yet, Malaysia holds a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

So, is Walski to understand that Malaysia promotes human rights outside its borders, but within it cares fuck all?

Read the rest of the opinion piece below, which is, quite frankly, an eye-opener about a country that bends over backwards to portray itself as something it's not...

Amplify’d from

On being detained at Kuala Lumpur airport

Imran Khan

In the Hollywood film The Terminal Tom Hanks plays (with obligatory mangled foreign accent) a character who is trapped in New York's JFK airport. Last week, I had a similar experience at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Malaysia. Whereas Tom Hanks's character spends years trapped, I was only there for a few hours. The episode was both humiliating and enlightening. I had been engaged by a Malaysian lawyer, Waytha Moorthy, to look into taking action against the British government for its role in the exploitation of Indian Hindus during Malaysia's period as a colony, and its failure to protect their rights when independence was declared in 1957.


Ethnic Indians make up just over 6% of Malaysia's 28.3 million people, while Muslim Malays account for just over 61% and ethnic Chinese some 25%. A coalition led by the United Malays National Organisation has ruled since independence, which, according to Moorthy, had led to widespread human rights violations and discrimination of the Indian Malaysian population. About 70% live in abject poverty and one in six are effectively stateless as they are denied a birth certificate. Moorthy originally lodged his action on the 31 August 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's independence.

However, the claim stalled following the arrest of the lawyers involved under a draconian piece of legislation called the Internal Security Act. Moorthy had demanded compensation for Indian Malaysians whose ancestors were brought in by the British government as indentured labour. The claim was that, after granting independence, the British had left the Indians without representation and at the mercy of the Malays.

So, the plan was to visit Malaysia and gather evidence and claims that would form the foundation of the case. A recent case involving individuals tortured by British soldiers in colonial Kenya gave fresh impetus to the proceedings. My pending arrival in Malaysia had received advance publicity from local police who had sought to intimidate organisers of the venue where I was expected to meet potential claimants. There was, therefore, some trepidation when I presented myself to the immigration desk on arrival at KLIA.