Suaram upset by Dr M’s ‘foreign lackey’ attack

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Suaram attacked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today for calling it a foreign lackey, pointing out that the human rights group’s stand on violations around the world was on record.

“Suaram’s principled stands on human rights violations in Malaysia as well as the rest of the world are on record,” said the group’s director Dr Kua Kia Soong.

He said Suaram’s support for the human rights cause for the East Timorese, Burmese, Palestinians and others was well known and dated from its formation in 1989.

“Suaram has been part of the demonstrations against US imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US duplicity in Palestine. I don’t recall Dr Mahathir personally taking part in these actions although PAS leaders have done that,” said Kua in a statement today.

He then cited Suaram’s efforts in pushing for peace and in independence in East Timor, pointing out that while many Malaysian NGOs were actively taking part in the peace initiative, the Mahathir administration had tried to “suppress” the movement.

It was all because of the links between his (Dr Mahathir) government and that of the Indonesian government. And who sent the goons in to smash that peace conference? Who were the lackeys of foreigners then? And who went to jail for being victims of fascist violence?” said Kua (picture)

The Suaram man claimed that the human rights group had always been “scrupulously impartial” even on the domestic front, saying that the group had been fair in its criticisms against politicians from both political divides.

“Since 2008, we have criticised the state governments of Pakatan Rakyat just as we have criticised the Barisan Nasional whenever they have violated human rights or exhibited bad governance.

“In other words, Suaram has always scrupulously fought for justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Malaysia. Can Dr Mahathir search his conscience and declare the same?” asked Kua. 

Dr Mahathir yesterday accused Suaram of being a foreign lackey shortly after the human rights group had warned that the country’s poor human rights record was a return to the former prime minister’s era.