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Friday, June 25, 2010

'Ignorant' Pak Lah courts flak from Hindraf


The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has slammed former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of being “naïve and ignorant” for suggesting an end to secular human rights practices.

Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy rebuked Abdullah for failing to understand the basic perspective of human rights.

He said it was “shocking and appalling” that Abdullah claimed that secular human rights practices be abandoned because their principles contradicted religious virtues and values.

“The former premier was talking gibberish in criticising secular human rights as hedonistic and comparing it with human rights in the form of Islam,” he told FMT.

He said religions would create a society based on a deep sense of moral responsibility and justice to preserve human dignity.

But he noted that without practical recognition of basic individual rights and civil liberties, all talks of human dignity would remain empty verbiage.

Waythamoorthy said demolition of temples, unlawful conversions, restraints on freedom of speech, and manipulated state actions against certain segments of society were major violations of human dignity and religious obligations.

“However, these violations were prevalent during Abdullah’s premiership,” he said.

Abdullah said this week that secular human rights practices should be discarded as they would eventually lead to the irrelevance of spirituality, divinity and morality.

He claimed that many did not realise that the concept and practice of human rights movements based on the philosophy of humanism, secularism and hedonism were enemies to religions.

Abdullah said this when speaking at a seminar on religion and human rights organised by the Malaysian Institute of Islamic Understanding, which he presides.

'How could this man become PM?'

Waythamoorthy, however, argued that human rights, whether secular or religious, emphasised on individual dignity and level of self-esteem that secured personal identity.

“Human rights would promote human community to co-exist,” he said.

While the pursuit of human dignity was universal, he said its forms were designed by religions, cultures and traditions.

He chided Abdullah for placing more importance on abstractions like state, political and religious ideologies at the expense of human dignity.

Waythamoorthy said the main task of a state and its leaders was to protect the rights of citizens.

“They should not divide and diversify human rights and its dignity by bringing religion into the same equation with human rights,” he said.

He said Abdullah should realise and recognise that secular human rights were imperative social conditions necessary to uphold and enhance human dignity.

“Hindraf wonders how a man with so much antagonism towards secular human rights could have led the country,” he added.

courtesy of FMT

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