Friday, 11 May 2012

Suaram tells British PM: Push Najib for reforms

Human rights NGO Suaram International wants British Prime Minister David Cameron to meet with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak during his visit to London beginning tomorrow and push him to safeguard human rights and implement electoral reform in Malaysia.

In an open memorandum to Cameron, Suaram asks him to publicly express his concerns on the BN government's handling of the Bersih 3.0 rally two weeks ago.

It also highlights the various controversies that arose during and after the rally, including reports of police brutality and excessive use of tear gas, violence against the media, censorship of the rally's coverage and the "malicious slur campaign" against Australian Senator Nicholas Xenophon.

najib event at london O2 dome 100512"Prime Minister Najib's shameful handling of the Bersih 3.0 rally - and political criticism (‘sedition') generally - confirms that he and his government are not committed to upholding human rights and basic civil liberties.

"We were consequently disappointed that you appear to have been misled by (Najib's) ostentatious hospitality into believing his claims of reform," the memorandum says.

Suaram also notes that the UK had shown its commitment to supporting governments such as Burma in pushing for civil liberties and human rights, and expressed hope that Cameron would extend this commitment to Malaysia as well.

Specifically, they want Cameron to urge Najib to implement "meaningful electoral reforms" as well as invite independent international observations to observe the coming general election.

"We request that you make urgent, public representations to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib and his government over the unacceptable human rights violations taking place in Malaysia," the memorandum says.

It comes in response to Najib's coming visit to London from tomorrow until Monday, when he will host a lavish dinner for overseas Malaysians at the O2 arena on the last day of his visit.

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report had earlier reported that the event has been billed as "pricey" and quotes an online site listing the rental for the venue, raising concerns over the use of taxpayers' money for the sake of public relations.

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