Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let Shirin Ebadi speak at Universiti Malaya!


Foreign Minister Rais Yatim is right - Iranian Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi should be allowed to speak at the campus. There is no reason why the invitation to the outspoken human rights activist should be withdrawn. She is a guest of a Malaysian university. So why should we worry if a small group of Iranian students grumble. This is Malaysia, not Teheran-lah. If they do not want to listen to her, then they should just stay away. Since when does Universiti Malaya and the Foreign Ministry take orders from Iranian students? A university is a place where intellectual discourse must be allowed to take place and the divergence of views must be encouraged. To stifle the freedom of expression and to submit to the demands of a small group is surely out of line. There is no place for the tyranny of the minority. Rais must be commended for saying the letter from the Foreign Ministry was made without his permission. Diplomacy and maintaining good relations is what Wisma Putra does but they should not let these envoys boss them around. Ebadi, a lawyer, and her daughter have faced death threats for their views, which does not conform with those of the Ayatollahs. Liberals must never let the conservatives and religious right drown their voices and rights.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have idiots working in the government who can't think and make rational decisions.
Yes, we should invite Shirin Ebadi and other famous people to speak at our local universities and other public forum. And we should be happy that they accept our invitations. Foreign students or local groups have no right to demand that these speakers be banned. Ask the Iranian students to go take a hike.

bepy66 said...

Well said.

amoker said...

Another flip flop. Even BBC is bemused. I agree that it was a bad decision to take away the invitation and Rias seemed to be out of touch of his own man. Seemed that they were bahaving like Syed Hamid's man. haha

Anonymous said...

This is yet another case of civil servants making calls that has no basis.

This is a clear case of mediocrity in the Malysian civil service. For heaven sake, this is a nobel prize winner. I am truely ashame of the govt civil service.

Sigh. What can we expect when the govt hire people what want to change Jalan Alor to soemthing else.

BlueMoon said...

Yes, Ebadi must be allowed to give her speech. There is nothing wrong with her championing the rights of women. It is no longer a secret that women are treated differently not only in Iran but almost all country where sheikhs dominate. Rightfully, UM should take one more bold step by coferring Ebadi with an Honorary Doctorate degree.

Anonymous said...

When you don't hire and promote the best people available for the job, you end up with mediocrity in an organization. The whole government is full of incompetent or corrupt people. UMNO itself is struggling to come up with competent and clean leaders. Not a single name running for President or VP is a name that the majority of Malaysians would feel proud of. Our country is going down the drain,and we the Rakyat should do something to stop the rot.

Anonymous said...

Dato Wong, I have a question that is outside the topic of Shirin Ebadi. But I hope you can pose this question to the MCA fellas who have been talking about reforms and all sort of things during the runup to the party elections. We want to know why they are not supporting the debate on ISA. Why are they not walking the talk? So soon after the big talk, they have quickly gone back to being chickens. Surely they cannot expect us to believe that MCA will ever reform to champion for justice. And they will remain subservient to UMNO. Isn't that why they have chosen to remain silent on the ISA and refuse to support a parlimentary debate on ISA? Shall we then conclude that MCA together with UMNO and the other BN component parties, are supportive of the suppressive use of ISA, and are indeed an enemy of the Rakyat?

bujai said...

she deserves the rights to deliver her speech at UM... just like tony blair. why bar her entry and why must you practice double-standard? even al gore - once one of the most disgusted names to malaysians - is allowed to do his things here.

cummon laaa.... be sensible!

Anonymous said...

weird. the views of foreign students come first in malaysia. looks like the higher education institutes in malaysia are channeling their best efforts into appeasing foreign students at the cost of knowledge and education of the locals.

Anonymous said...

If you study Iran revolution 1979 involving the King Shah and General Khateimi, you know whats the condition now in Iran. Same old politics that cover injustice with the Islam or anti western cloth.

Lots of Iranian professional are in UK and dont want to return.

So i think Malaysia is doing well to stick to secularism but have religion freedom.