“Human Rights – Unplugged” by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim

“Human Rights – Unplugged”

by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim


Ladies and gentlemen 
1.    Human Rights- Unplugged. In the context of today’s topic, the term ‘unplugged’ came to us from the music industry. Musicians, so often dependent on electronic and electrical devices to create their unique sounds, literally pulled the plug and returned to their basic acoustic roots. Since the inauguration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights some 60 years ago, the term ‘human rights’ has acquired an accretion of concepts and shades of meaning that its essential meaning is often lost in the clutter. Ask the man in the street today what human rights are and if he answers at all, he is likely to suggest that it is a Western concept which plays little or no role in his daily life. Yet it is trite that we are all human, and as acknowledged by the Universal Declaration, that fact alone gives us certain inalienable rights –rights that cannot be removed or trampled over by individuals, groups or governments. Human rights unplugged, is in essence the fundamental principles we need to live by as a civil and civilised society – to treat each other as human beings should; with dignity, with  due regard to our status as equals , having the same rights and vulnerabilities as everyone around us. It is a state where the rule of law acts to protect people from abuse and oppression.

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It’s hard being a foreigner now

It’s hard being a foreigner now


Bigotry will always rear its ugly head every time an economy falls into a crisis – citizens and governments start looking for scapegoats to blame, or an excuse to unload the foreign labour that they now see as a burden.

THEY are found everywhere, from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles and from Hong Kong to London. And even in Beijing and Moscow.

During good times, they are considered the driving force of a country’s economy, but in bad times they are said to be a drag on the economy.

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Irrawaddy:Is UWSA Preparing for Clash with Junta?


About 1,000 United Wa State Army (UWSA) troops have been taking part in military training exercises near the Thai-Burmese border since the beginning of December, as Burma’s ruling junta steps up its efforts to force the former rebel army to disarm.

The military exercises, which are taking place just a few kilometers from Mae Ai District in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province, come after another failed attempt by the Burmese Army to persuade the Wa army to disarm, according to Khuensai Jaiyen, editor of the Shan Herald Agency for News, based in Chiang Mai.

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Irrawaddy:Suu Kyi Denied Meeting with Her Lawyer


Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday, Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Kyi Win, said that the Burmese authorities had denied him a meeting with the detained opposition leader to discuss the appeal against her continued detention.

Kyi Win said that his written request to meet with Suu Kyi was rejected by the security forces on Monday.
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