Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Global MPs agree strategy on hot issues

12:25PM Jun 16, 2015

By Terence Netto

Global MPs agree strategy on hot issues

The Malaysia chapter of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) will organise an event in November to publicise their campaign to abolish the death penalty.

This was decided last week after a visit by the campaign manager of the PGA, Maia Trujillo, who was accompanied by Mario Marazziti, a PGA luminary who is chair of human rights of the Italian Parliament.

Both campaigners from PGA got together with their Malaysian counterparts, led by the chair and deputy chair of the Malaysia chapter of PGA, Mohd Nazri Aziz and Nancy Shukri, who were joined by a slew of DAP and PKR MPs.

The group discussed strategies for dealing with the common objections to the abolition of the death penalty with a view to making its abolition a mark of mission civilisatrice, which literally
means ‘civilisising mission’.

This, of course, has pejorative connotations because it harkens back to an era when western colonial powers felt that their rule over possessions in Asia and Africa entailed a duty to bring civilisation to the peoples they found in those territories.

Though both Trujillo and Marazzitti would disavow the colonial antecedents of their mission to have the death penalty abolished, they maintained that its abolishment has become increasingly the mark of a civilised polity.

PGA Malaysia chapter chair Nazri (photo), who is Culture and Tourism Minister, and deputy chair, Nancy, who is the de facto Law Minister, assured the European campaigners that they have lobbied their government to have the death abolished.

Nancy said she had written to attorney-general Gani Patail to ask for the results of a government study on the issue and had received a reply as recent as June 9 that the matter was still under scrutiny.

Nazri took the opportunity during the meetings with the PGA visitors from Europe to praise the work of DAP MP M Kulasegaran in not only pushing for the abolishment of the death penalty but also in obtaining Malaysia’s accession to the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its signing on to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates the trade in conventional weapons.

The Malaysian cabinet had agreed in mid-2001 to become a member of the ICC, but AG Gani has raised a host of reservations which he said must be ironed out before Malaysia can join.

Similarly, Malaysia agreed to sign on to the ATT in 2013 but is now dragging its feet on completing the formality.

It’s a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh sporting goose pimples when it comes to signing on the dotted line.

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