Anti-Trump resistance: A lesson for Malaysians

Source: FMT News

DAP's Ong Kian Ming says strong institutions make vigorous checks and balances possible in the US. Pic from FMT News.

DAP’s Ong Kian Ming says strong institutions make vigorous checks and balances possible in the US. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming has urged Malaysians to learn from the resistance put up by the American media and civic groups against US President Donald Trump.

He said Malaysians should aspire to become like those Americans who were challenging the Trump administration.

“The civil societies and independent media are reacting to what Trump is doing and we can see the check and balance happening in his administration,” Ong said yesterday at a forum at the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights in Bangsar.

The forum discussed an executive order that Trump signed on Monday to block citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. It was a revision of an earlier order that provoked protests at American airports and elsewhere and was ultimately blocked by a federal appeals court. Read more

Global Human Rights in the Era of President Trump

Poster taken from Penang Institute Facebook event page

Poster taken from Penang Institute Facebook event page

2017 will likely be a very grim year for human rights advocates around the globe, with looming challenges including the continued backlash against the flow of refugees from the Middle East, the continued anti-globalisation and anti-free trade backlash and the uncertainty generated by the policies of the Trump administration.

While it may seem like too big of a ‘fish’ to swallow in Malaysia, society should be encouraged to have open discussions on the different challenges confronted by human rights on a national, regional and global perspective. Doing so will not only help create an educated, well-informed and contextualized discourse but also enable the formation of strategies in response to these global challenges.

Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur will be organizing a forum entitled “Global Human Rights in the era of President Trump” as a platform to debate these issues.

The forum will be held on Friday, 3rd of March, 2017 at Bookmark, APW, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur from 8p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

The panel will feature distinguished speakers including Ms Navi Pillay, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, Secretary General of the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Malaysia (PROHAM), Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia and Andrew Khoo from Bar Council, with Dr Ong Kian Ming, General Manager of Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur, moderating the discussion.

It is inevitable that any discussion of global human rights so early in 2017 will be somewhat speculative. Nevertheless, certain actions taken by the U.S. government have already raised disturbance, to say the least. This forum is but a small step towards a larger discussion that is ongoing in Malaysia and around the world.