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Thursday, 9 January 2014 | MYT 6:12 PM

MCA Youth: Declaring Comango illegal is abuse of power

PETALING JAYA: MCA Youth wants the Home Ministry to retract its decision to declare the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) illegal, citing a case of abuse of power to silence parties with dissenting views.

Its central committee member Choo Wei Sern said it was reported that the reason behind the ministry's decision given by its secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Khalid Shariff was that 39 of the 54 organisations in Comango were not registered.

"If that is the actual problem, then KDN (Home Ministry) should deal with each of the organisation directly and not arbitrarily outlaw the coalition as a whole under the Societies Act 1966.

"The fact that some of these organisations were not legally registered with the ROS (Registrar of Societies) does not make the whole coalition illegal.

"In fact, if the Home Ministry is of the view that there is justification and argument that some of these organisations in Comango were not legally registered, then the Home Ministry should deal with each of the organisation directly and not arbitrarily outlaw the coalition as a whole under the Societies Act 1966," he said in a statement.

Choo was commenting on a report by Mohamad Khalid who said Comango was an illegal entity as it was not registered with the ROS and out of the 54 organisations in Comango only 15 were registered.

Choo said it was also unnecessary and improper for the ministry to state that “the organisations in the coalition are not based on Islamic teachings”.

"The Home Ministry should be fully aware that there is no provision of law in this country, and there should not be any such provision, that requires any organisation in this country to be formed based on Islamic teachings," he added.

In fact, he said, the Government, especially the ministry, must celebrate the efforts of Comango and other similar organisations which champions the basic principles of human rights in Malaysia.

"To my understanding, Comango is one of the few Malaysian organisations which participate in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"The UPR process, which is aimed at improving the human rights situation of the 193 United Nations (UN) member states of which Malaysia is a member to, is important to ensure that Malaysia is not only a country which champions but also engages in the best human rights practices.

"On this basis, the government must work hand in hand with the likes of COMANGO, Bar Council, SUHAKAM and other similar organisations which promote and advocate for better human rights practices in Malaysia. This should be one of the core transformations implemented by the government as we march closer to Vision 2020," he said.

MCA Youth urged the Government to adopt the following positions:

- The government must guarantee, defend and uphold the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and the spirit therein;

- Similarly, subject to the provisions of the Federal Constitution, the government must eliminate all forms of racial discrimination; and

- Whilst I may not agree with LGBT, the LGBT group should not be discriminated merely because of their sexual orientation and they should be free to do whatever they are entitled to do as long as their acts and behaviours are within the confines and boundaries of the laws.


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