Human Rights Watch (HRW) must have a funny way of choosing whose rights to be given priority, whose rights can be discounted and whose rights to fight all the way for. And in Malaysia, HRW is seen to be more interested in the rights of the minorities and the outlaws, whom, in a way, represent the Oppositions.
Malaysian Oppositions has been very vocal in fighting and defending the rights of the criminals and they are not shy about it. In fact, they are the ones responsible for putting the contained criminals back on the streets through their constant fight to abolish the Prevention Act, which they finally won.
The Oppositions are also known to be the champion of LGBT rights even though ‘un-natural sex’ is a crime in this country. And there is also the Bumiputera Rights that the Oppositions swear to abolish for the sake of ‘equality’ and in the name of ‘justice’, especially for the already rich Chinese.
Therefore, it couldn’t be wrong for us to connect the words ‘minorities and outlaws’ to the Oppositions.
And the statement made by HRW on Malaysia’s Home Minister’s recent speech, has made us wonder just how far does this ‘connection’ goes. HRW’s statement, could at any time, be taken as a write-up by Malaysiakini, a pro-Opposition news portal. Co-incidentally or not, Malaysiakini is currently building up a personal vendetta against the Minister for his blunt attack on the portal’s ‘habit’ of spinning his words in its reports.
After communist threat that ended in the late 80s, modern Malaysia has been a safe country to live in for almost forever, except for a few isolated tragedies involving extremists such as Sauk and May the 13th 1969 racial riots. Even those were contained at a certain parameter and ended as fast as they occurred.
In other words, Malaysians have never really known what it’s like to live in fear.
However, the prosperity and peace of the country not only attract the attention of peace-loving and fun-seeking tourists, but also criminals who see the country as a gold-mine. Malaysia has been swarmed by all sorts of criminals from all over the world from petty theft and brutal murderers from Indonesia to human traffickers from China and Thailand or drug dealers and the more cunning IT-savvy robbers from Africa and Latin America.
At the same time, local criminals have also ‘upgraded’ themselves along with the country’s rapid development.
We cannot deny that the crime rate has been rising almost ‘steadily’ in the past few years but the police have always had it under control.
Only until the Prevention Act was abolished which, was a quick and almost unexpected decision, that the police was caught by surprise as they were forced to let the hard-core criminals free. These criminals waited no time at all to roam the streets, paying long overdue debts and picking up things at where they left off.
The sound of gunshots and sirens are not norms in Malaysia and Malaysians are not even used to the sight of a gun except on TV. For so long, the most terrifying deaths reported in Malaysia are road accidents.
But ‘thanks’ to the Oppositions we now are ‘getting-used’ to reports of people being gunned down in the streets. This, must be the new modern-Malaysia that the Oppositions want to bring us to.
So, Malaysians took the Home Minister’s declaration of war against crime very positively. Zahid knows that Malaysians do not tolerate crime and the only way to make sure that no man would ever even think of committing a crime here again, is to ensure that he knows that he will not be compromised.
For that, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi is practically a hero, for having the guts and shows it off through his fierce speeches.
HRW however, has a different view about Zahid Hamidi. The organization is now echoing our Oppositions by condemning our Home Minister – instead of the criminals.
Zahid is under attack for his statement that the police ‘will shoot first, ask questions later’. But his next sentence that ‘there must be proof and evidence before the shooting starts’ was somehow disregarded.
HRW went on referring to our Home Minister as ‘unlawful and having callous disregard for basic rights to live’. The organization even urge our government to take action against him!
Well, the way the Malaysians see it, the only person that is ‘unlawful and having callous disregard for basic rights to live’, is the criminals who go around shooting people on the streets.
And HRW has, in a way, just renewed these criminals ‘licence to kill’ by attacking Zahid.
By doing so, HRW is also indirectly motivating the criminals and help them twist things into becoming a racial issue just because most of the gunned down criminals are Indians. But yesterday, three criminals were shot dead in a gunfight with the police on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and they are not Indians, but Indonesians.
HRW should have known that racial issues could have caused an even worse kind of crimes. Therefore, HRW is just as bad as the criminals themselves or even worse.
While Dato’ Zahid Hamidi gives us hopes to live in peace of minds like we always have, HRW gives the criminals and potential criminals hopes and dreams to get away with their crime.
And this, is the organization that is supposed to ‘watch’ for our rights? Serious?