Let’s get busy on human rights

Angry about the compulsory annuity scheme? Ashamed that our elderly poor continue to live a life of poverty? Feeling like a alien in your own country?

If you are tired of having policy after indigestible policy shoved down your gullet by the Government and if you want to have a say in how our country is run, then you do not want to miss the public forum on 23 September 2007.

ASEAN has announced that it is willing to consider institutionalizing a human rights mechanism in a historic charter that is due to be signed in November this year. The group has been consulting existing human rights commissions of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Which raises the troubling question: Why is it that Singapore, being one of the five found members of ASEAN, not have our very own human rights commission? (Read here)

Rather than look back, however, we have the opportunity this Sunday to look ahead and constructively work towards ensuring that Singapore establishes a national body to safeguard the rights of citizens of this country.

While citizens’ groups in other ASEAN countries are already busy engaging their governments over this idea of a regional human rights mechanism, Singaporeans remain very quiet. (Read here)

Even the Cambodians are making steady progress in establishing their human rights commission.

And when the world’s eyes are focused on this nation of ours in November when ASEAN meets to sign the charter, it would be tragic if Singaporeans should no interest in speaking up for our human rights.

This forum aims to get the ball rolling. It is an exercise to involve ordinary citizens of Singapore in this historic opportunity to tell the world that we, like any other people, want our Government to respect our human rights.

Efforts will be made to discuss how we can get the process of putting in place a Singapore human rights commission underway. Its not going to happen anytime soon, but you’re familiar with what Confucius said about the journey of a thousand miles…

So, no more excuses and no more procrastination. Come to Allson Hotel, Victoria Room, Level 2 (101 Victoria Street) at 2 pm this Sunday and contribute to the cause of building democracy for our nation.

Free admission and everyone is welcome. Note: Mr J B Jeyaretnam will join the list of speakers as announced here.

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