Sunday, January 01, 2006

Bad law must be changed, not accepted

Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner N Siva Subramaniam reportedly said in relation to the Moorthy case that “ we must understand and respect the law of the nation; as far as religion is concerned, Islam is the official religion and the highest authority is the Syariah Court" and that “ since the matter has been decided, I think all parties should forget about this and to get together (instead) - all problems of Malaysians should be settled through negotiations". I think the Commissioner is wrong.

I also think this old, tired and muddle-headed dude sounds now like an Umno regime's agent of influence only using the designation of 'human right commissioner' as his cover. This little game of the Committee for Imperial Defence in the 1930s and 1940s is now moribund and no more effective like those bygone years when 'Malaya's Lenin' could fool the 16- or 17-year old comrades.

If Subramaniam's servile attitude towards bad law is acceptable, then I think the society and human civilisation would have still been stagnant in the age of the Pharaohs' Egypt, Nero's Rome or pre-Socratic Greece, and India and Malaysia would still have been under British rule.

Bad law must - and can - be changed, not accepted. This is where democratic politics supercedes decorative devices like the Suhakam which serves to provide false hope and acts as the 'safety valve' for people to just let go their steam without thinking of and feeling the need, or heeding the call, to change Umno's regime and its bad law.

But as British historian E.H. Carr (1892-1982) once correctly remarked: " Progress in human affairs, whether in science or in history or in society, has come mainly through the bold readiness of human beings not to confine themselves to seeking piecemeal improvements in the way things are done, but to present fundamental challenges in the name of reason to the current way of doing things and to the avowed or hidden assumptions on which it rests" ( in What is history?)

So, if the government does not change bad law, citizens should change the government (and sack N Siva Subramaniam) or punish it by voting in a stronger opposition.

Suhakam commissioner must resign

Moorthy's burial - views from the other side