10 Dec 07
It is regrettable that the Malaysian Government has reacted with force and aggression over the peaceful protests that occurred in Kuala Lumpur in the past few weeks.
The use of tear-gas and water cannons and the arrests of non-violent protesters who are championing their civil and political rights are not signs of a confident and secure government.
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) calls on the Malaysian Government to release those arrested in the protests and return to Malaysians their fundamental rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is hypocritical, to say the least, for ASEAN to sign a charter than includes provisions to respect human rights and yet have its member governments behave the way they do.
The Burmese military continues its bloody crackdown down on innocent monks and peaceful protesters.
In Singapore, the authorities continue to arrest democracy activists whenever we conduct peaceful protests and public speeches.
All this does not augur well for the future of Southeast Asia. The region’s governments must realize that the march of democracy is unstoppable and the more they resist the peoples’ will, the more they will put at risk their countries’ future.
The Singapore Democrats reiterate our call for pro-democracy groups, be they in Malaysian, Burmese, or Singaporean, to stand together in solidarity and mutual support in our common objective of winning the battle against undemocratic governing regimes.
The SDP extends its good wishes to the brave democracy defenders in Malaysia. We salute you for your love of freedom and justice.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party