Contributed by Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri. (www.malaysianbar.org.my)
Despite being denied access to the lobby of the Parliament building, a Joint Memorandum by Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Amnesty International (AI) and the Bar Council Human Rights Committee (BCHRC) was handed over to the Opposition Leader in front of the main entrance of the Parliament building in the presence of a number of Members of Parliament from Pakatan Rakyat, calling on the Government of Malaysia to show its commitment towards abolishing torture and other forms of ill-treatment by signing, ratifying and implementing the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the Optional Protocol to this Convention (OPCAT).
GMI, a coalition of 80 organizations, is dismayed over the unbecoming action of denying access to concerned citizens by the administration of Parliament. GMI is extremely appalled by this action. It was unnecessary, uncalled for, inappropriate and disrespectful.
The act of denying access to members of the public to be present in Parliament manifests the reversal of the concept of democracy which belittles the rights of the people to be part of the democratic process in the administration of the country.
The Parliament, which symbolizes the ideal of democracy, must at all times acknowledge the rights of the people to be actively involved in the democratic process.
The administration of Parliament should not impose ludicrous rules that would eventually hamper the very ideal of democracy.