This speech was delivered at Amnesty International, London, in conjuction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's Internal Security Act - organized by The Solicitors International Human Rights Group and the Abolish ISA Movement UK - on April 2nd 2011.
The Internal Security Act, the ISA, is a source of constant consternation for Malaysian society. It is a piece of legislation that has succeeded in instilling fear into the hearts of every one of our citizens. So much so that parents no longer use the threat of the boogeyman to get their children to behave but rather the home minister and the ISA enforcer that will come and get them in the middle of the night.
Abstract of speech delivered by Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim at the Mensa Annual Gathering on the 20th March 2011. For full text of speech, please refer here.
Today I want to talk about the importance of a liberal democracy for Malaysia if we are to sustain our growth and our success story.
Let’s look at the issue in a wider context. A vibrant democracy promotes a free market of ideas. As democratic citizens, we should be confident enough of our own critical thinking faculties to evaluate challenging ideas. What the authorities are doing is imposing protectionism on our sphere of reason.
Full text of speech prepared for Mensa Annual Gathering, 20th March 2011.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
I thank you for your kind invitation to have me share my thoughts on where our country’s vulnerable democracy is headed. Today I want to talk about the importance of a liberal democracy for Malaysia if we are to sustain our growth and our success story.
Recovering our democratic bearings will help us rise above the destructive ethnocentricity that currently permeates the politics of this country. For instance, just this week there is the controversy surrounding the seizure of imported bibles in Bahasa. If we apply the principle that in a democracy the minorities require the protection of the majority, and such minorities having their rights entrenched in the Federal Constitution, then the embargo and the restriction imposed would not have been necessary.
22 August 2010
Zaid Ibrahim addresses 300 PKR leaders in Kuching, Sarawak:
It has been 53 years since Malaya became independent; and 47 years since Sabah and Sarawak and Malaya combined to form the Federation of Malaysia. The imperative word here is “formed”. Sabah and Sarawak distanced not join Malaysia.
But for too long, people in Sabah and Sarawak have been made to feel like they are the children of a lesser God. And for too long, even in Semenanjung, many of us have been made to feel like the children of a lesser God – just because we do not agree with the Barisan Nasional’s policies.
Dec 23, 2009
Zaid talks to human rights activist Susan Loone on his book, "I Too, Am Malay/Saya Pun Melayu".
Mar 18, 2009
Zaid Ibrahim questions the legitimacy of the leadership transition during a speech at the Rotary Club.
Jan 7, 2009
Zaid Ibrahim comments on the political developments since the 2008 general elections.