Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, when speaking to DAP Paloh members and supporters when he visited Paloh with Sdr. Lee Kaw, National DAP Treasurer, (and Johore State Assemblyman) and Sdr. Chan Teck Chan National Deputy Organising Secretary (Malacca State Assemblyman) on Sunday, 16th October 1977 at 2 p.m.
Human Rights to be highlighted by DAP in coming Parliamentary meeting
The DAP Members of Parliament will highlight several main issue in the Parliamentary meeting beginning on Oct. 24 and ending in mid-December.
One of these issues will be human rights. I will be moving four motions in Parliament, two of which concern human rights. One motion will be to call for the repeal of the (Security Cases) Essential Regulations 1975. Another motion will be ask the Malaysian Government to ratify within one month the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 which was adopted unanimously by the United Nationsl General Assembly on Dec. 6, 1966.
Although the Covenant was opened for signature on Dec. 19, 1966, the Malaysian Government has not yet ratified it.
The failure of the Malaysian Government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which spells out the human rights which States should accord to individuals, is a reflection of the weak commitment of the Malaysian Government to human rights in the country.
One particular interest to Malaysians at the moment is Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which reads:
“Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.”
The Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 which makes it mandatory to sentence children, whatever their age to death, as happened in the case of the 14-year-old Penang Form One Boy, is an infringement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This is why the DAP calls for the repeal of the Regulations.