EDMUND Bon Tai Soon (pic) has spent much time at odds with the Malaysian Government as a human rights defender and advocate.
And so it was a surprise when Wisma Putra issued a statement on April 1 announcing him as Malaysia’s new representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
“With vast experience and exposure in high-profile public interest litigation over the past 18 years, the appointment of Mr Edmund Bon is a strong manifestation of the government of Malaysia’s desire to bring human rights and fundamental freedoms issues at the forefront of Asean’s agenda through the AICHR,” the Foreign Ministry (MoFA) had said in the announcement.
On March 30, he received his letter of appointment.
Bon’s appointment was delayed – there were some objections, unsurprisingly – so much so he missed the first meeting of the new batch of AICHR reps from the member countries.
But in full Bon-style, he’s jumped in with both feet and full of determination, undeterred by chatter that he has ‘sold out’.
In a recent exclusive interview, he talks about who he represents, his mandate to popularise the Asean Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the advent of an Asean Court for Human Rights.
The following are excerpts from the interview with Sunday Star. Read more