DAP calls for the establishment of a Human Rights Commission in Malaysia to review how far we have implemented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to make recommendations for the full implementation

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Pudu DAP Branch on Wednesday, October 23, 1968 at 8 p.m.:

Tomorrow is United Nations Day. This year, the United Nations Day is more significant than in previous years, because 1968 has been proclaimed as the International Year for Human Rights to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights twenty years ago.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a unique document, spelling out the fundamental rights of individuals, which should be ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.’

Twenty years have passed since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the proclamation of 1968 by the United Nations as the International Year for Human Rights is for peoples and nations throughout the world to take stock of the progress that has been made to implement the Declaration.

It is regrettable that apart from paying lip-service, Malaysia, a member of the United Nations, is not observing the International Year for Human Rights and implementing some of the recommendations of the Assembly for Human Rights for this year.

The Assembly for Human Rights, at its Conference in Montreal from March 22 to 27, recommended that for the International Year for Human Rights, the member nations of the United Nations should reaffirm, by a solemn declaration, their intention to comply in good faith with the human rights provisions of the United Nations Charter.

The Assembly also recommended that the member nations should rededicate themselves to the most complete implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on both the national and international plane, by legislation and other measures.

All nation members were also asked to systematically undertake a review of their legislation, laws and procedures to ensure that they conform to the provisions of the Universal Declaration.

We are coming to the end of 1968, but none of the above proposals for action by the Human Rights Assembly has been implemented by the Malaysian Government.

A reading of the universal Declaration of Human Rights will show that there are still considerable violations of the Universal Declaration in Malaysia.

The Universal Declaration provided for the right of every individual to be equal, regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

It also provided for equal pay for equal work, the right to work, to just and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment, to form and join trade unions, to social security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Audited by: Ernest W. & Kieran L. N.