Proxy war in the battle of three PMs

Lim Kit Siang says that Najib’s credibility rests on his human rights stand at CHOGM.

(Free Malaysia Today) – DAP adviser, Lim Kit Siang, today questioned whether the twin warnings by former Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor, and former premier, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on human rights in Malaysia was in fact “an open proxy shot in a battle of three prime ministers”.

Rahim had likened the rise of human rights movements to communism during Perkasa’s general assembly on Wednesday.

His statement sparked outrage among various human rights groups but won endorsement from Mahathir who warned that human rights was being used for political benefit by the opposition.

In his latest blog post, Lim noted the uncanny timing of both warnings with the opening of the CHOGM today, which will consider a report of an 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG).

The report contains reform proposals to end its organisational “decay” and avoid the Commonwealth being condemned as “hypocritical” for allowing rogue member states to violate human rights and democratic conventions.

Lim said that the EPG report includes 106 recommendations including the appointment of an independent Commonwealth Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights commissioner empowered to monitor violations and propose action against rogue states.

“And heading the EPG is none other than our fifth prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he pointed out.

“Were the warnings by Mahathir and Rahim a warning to Najib not to support Abdullah’s EPG proposals in improving the Commonwealth’s response to human rights violations?”

Poor analysis

The Ipoh Timur MP further queried whether Najib would now endorse Abdullah and the EPG proposals or buckle under pressure by Mahathir and Rahim to shield rogue Commonwealth countries from scrutiny and censure.

“The stand Najib takes in Perth will be a clear indication as to whether his promises of democratisation and political transformation have any credibility,” he said.

The EPG report had also warned that it was time for the Perth CHOGM to authorise the urgent reform it recommends and to mandate a concrete implementation plan.