Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Security is part of human rights

Salleh Said Keruak

Malaysians love talking about human rights and civil liberties. But human rights in the Malaysian context merely means freedom of speech, no detention without trial, and the removal of what they view as draconian laws, such as the sedition and illegal assembly laws.

Actually, there is a broader definition of human rights that extends beyond just the right to oppose the government. Amongst these are the right to receive an education, the right to receive potable water, the right to receive healthcare, and the right to peace and security.

The denial of any of these rights means we are being denied our basic rights and fundamental liberties. How can we say we have rights and liberties when the right to peace and security is denied and we are not at liberty to pursue happiness and peace of mind?

We can say that in some parts of Sabah such as along the East Coast we are being denied our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because of the dangers of terrorism, piracy, murders and kidnappings that we face. When we are not free from those risks and dangers then we have lost our human rights. It is as simple as that.

More effort must be made to resolve this security issue so that Sabahans, in particular along the East Coast, can once again enjoy the peace that they used to have. Tourism is a very important industry not only for Sabah but also for Malaysia and negative incidences such as piracy and kidnappings will not help the tourism trade.

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