by Tan Wah Piow
Today’s Guardian carries a report of the Cambodian PM being condemned as a dictator by the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights.
“Charles Santiago, spokesman for the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), said the release of Kem Sokha was “far from all that is required”. He said: “Whilst there remains only one political party in parliament and no viable opposition, and until free and fair elections are held, the international community must continue to see this government for what it is: a dictatorship.”
Charles Santiago, a Malaysian Member of Parliament from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Chairperson of APHR, was speaking on behalf of APHR.
By the standard of the doctrine of the Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam, this would amount to interference in another country’s affairs.
Interestingly, Charles Chong, MP for Punggol and Singapore Parliament Deputy Speaker sits as a board member of the APHR, and is therefore directly interfering in the affairs of Cambodia.
If K Shanmugam is serious about the ‘doctrine’, he should now order Charles Chong who is a PAP Member of Parliament to come clean. Did Chong support the Statement of Charles Santiago condemning Hun Sen, the PM of Cambodia, as a dictator?
If the Minister of Home Affairs and Law deems it fit to attack Singaporeans who engaged in dialogue with Dr Mahathir on issues of human rights in Southeast Asia, he should now demand Charles Chong to make a statement to Parliament to justify his interferences in the Internal affairs of other ASEAN countries as a board member of APHR.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) is a human rights intervention force of current and former parliamentarians, who use their unique positions and innovative means to prevent discrimination, uphold political freedom, and promote democracy and human rights throughout the region.
APHR supports the work of civil society and human rights defenders and encourages sustainable solutions that increase pressure on governments and multilateral bodies to ensure accountability and uphold and enforce international human rights laws.