Malaysian organisations issue joint statement in solidarity with Jolovan Wham

Jolovan Wham

A total of 52 organisations in Malaysia from various fields of civil society and states have signed a joint statement to express solidarity with activist Jolovan Wham, who was recently charged in court for multiple offences.

The organisations said that they “refuse to keep silent when confronted with injustice” and praise Wham for being “…the conscience of Singapore who bravely speaks up for the voiceless, who opposes unjust treatment and policies towards the marginalized.”

Full statement reproduced below:

We are a group of concerned Malaysian citizens who are alarmed and disappointed by Singapore’s prosecution of the renowned social worker and activist Jolovan Wham.

Jolovan was charged with 7 offences under the Public Order Act, Vandalism Act, and the Penal Code for his peaceful and non-violent acts. He was alleged to have organized three unlawful assemblies, which involves holding a vigil outside Changi Prison for Malaysian death row inmate Prabagaran Srivijayan who was to be executed at dawn, organising an assembly without permit in a train and a forum involving Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong through skype.

In the alleged silent protest on an MRT train, Jolovan and eight others hold the book 1987: Singapore’s Marxist Conspiracy 30 Years On to commemorate “Operation Spectrum”, a security operation initiated by Singapore government in 1987. Jolovan faces a vandalism charge for sticking two A4 size papers on the train during the event. He also faces three counts of refusal to sign his recorded statement under the Penal Code.

Jolovan is a renowned social worker and activist. He bravely speaks up for the voiceless, the weak and the oppressed – no matter what race, class or gender. Jolovan was recognized for his excellent social work, for he received “Promising Social Worker Award” in 2011, and the award was conferred by the President of Singapore. When he was serving as the executive director of HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics), he fought for the rights of migrant workers in Singapore who suffered abuse and ill-treatment by employers. At the same time, he has been a staunch advocate of free speech and a human rights champion who speaks against death penalty and detention without trial.

Jolovan also initiated solidarity activities in Singapore to support social movements in other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong and Malaysia. For example, after the 13th Malaysian general election, he organized cross-border solidarity activities to support fair and clean elections in Malaysia, not to mention his support for Malaysia’s largest rally in recent years, Bersih. He also shows untiring supports for Malaysian death row inmates in Singapore such as Prabagaran Srivijayan.

We believe that Jolovan is the conscience of Singapore who bravely speaks up for the voiceless, who opposes unjust treatment and policies towards the marginalized. What is even more admirable of Jolovan is that, while fighting for minority rights in Singapore, he always goes beyond national borders and boundaries. His solidarity activities show that Singapore’s civic movement not only fights for Singaporeans, but also speaks for worldwide democracies and marginalized foreigners in Singapore. He demonstrates how Singaporeans and Singapore civil society can join forces and unite with democratic movements around the world.

The prosecution of Jolovan is a scare tactic to silence dissidents in Singapore. Non-violent and peaceful assembly is meant to raise awareness among the public to achieve a democratic society, and thus it is not reasonable for Singapore government to charge him with these criminal laws.

Recently, we find that Singapore government is acting more actively to suppress dissidents. Besides Jolovan, other individuals are facing arrests and investigation include editor of The Online Citizen Terry Xu and journalist Kirsten Han, who were investigated for participating the vigil activity for Prabagaran Srivijayan; activist Rachel Zeng also faces investigation for organizing the skype forum with Joshua Wong; and artist Seelan Palay, who was arrested for his performance outside parliament to commemorate the 32-year detention of Chia Thye Poh.

Singapore ranks No. 1 in the world in many sectors, but its disregard of freedom of speech and assembly and its harsh actions towards dissidents are utterly disappointing. We support Jolovan and other human rights advocates in Singapore, and condemn the use of draconian laws against dissidents. We urge the Attorney General of Singapore to drop the charges against Jolovan and cease all proceedings against him.

We also call for Singapore to review its law to protect freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, to show the world that Singapore government is committed to democracy and the protection of the rights of its citizens.

We refuse to keep silent when confronted with injustice. As issues of human rights and humanitarian ideals transcend national boundaries, we urge citizens of Singapore and Malaysia to stand in solidarity with Jolovan Wham.

The 52 organisations which signed the statement are:

1. Aliran
2. Amateur
3. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAMAN)
4. Baramkini
5. Buku Jalanan Shah Alam
6. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
7. Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4)
8. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
9. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
10. Community Development Centre (CDC)
11. Damn the Dams Action Group
12. ENGAGE
13. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)
14. Imagined Malaysia
15. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
16. Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
17. Kedai Buku Mak Ali
18. KLSCAH Civil Rights Committee
19. KLSCAH Youth Section
20. Lawyer for Liberty
21. Let’s Art At Sawit Center
22. Malaysia Christian for Justice
23. Malaysia Muda
24. Malaysia Youth & Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
25. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
26. Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
27. Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)
28. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)大
29. Meonet
30. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
31. National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
32. North South Initiative (NSI)
33. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
34. Perak Civic Forum
35. Persahabatan Semparuthi
36. Persatuan ALUMNI PBT USM Bahagian Utara
37. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatian Selangor dan KL
38. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
39. Persatuan Pendidikan Du Zhong Pulau Pinang
40. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
41. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
42. Pusat Komas
43. Pusat Sejarah Rakyat
44. Sahabat Rakyat
45. Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association Youth Wing
46. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
47. Sunflower Electoral Education Movement (SEED)
48. Tenaganita Womens Force
49. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
50. Thinking Society
51. Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
52. Yayasan Usman Awang

 

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17 Responses to “Malaysian organisations issue joint statement in solidarity with Jolovan Wham”

  • patriot of Temesak:

    A 3rd world developing into 1st world hopefully by 2020 according to the vision of Mahathir a Realist…is SHOWING a self PROCLAIMED 1st world what Freedom of Speech is all about…

    Unlike a Bastard of an ILLUSIONIST who Deceives and Destroys his people through LEEGal means claiming 1st world stature for an OPPRESSIVE State ruled by Pigs with TWO Legs!!!

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  • Bystander:

    Amazing, do we really need foreign Organisations to protest on Sinkies’ behalf to protect our own social activist?
    Singaporeans are really without balls, as compared to our cousins across the Causeway, and we accept anything being trust down our throats without even a whimper.
    What a pitiful country.

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  • Bapak:

    It is a shame to all Singapore organisations. Malaysians’ awareness in recognising talents is crystal clear. Singaporeans are blur sotongs, kiasi, kiasu, kia chenghu, kia own shadow, dat boleh lah! A hopeless country without soul, only walking deads.

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  • Lifelong learning scam:

    Singaporean only talk big everyday but are without balls . they need malaysians to speak up for them . Despite having higher education , singaporeans are just like north koreans

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  • Pretending through time:

    You can bluff some of the people all the time; bluff all the people sometimes. But you can’t fool everyone all the time.

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  • HarderTruths:

    IN the future the rotten island will fade away after all the wealth and people have been used up and there is no rejuvenation.

    Malaysia (and other Asean countries) look after their people and have real rule of law. Remember MY and SG are both from UK common law system – but MY has chosen to keep the judiciary and parliament intact to ensure a real democracy. SG has cannibalised its judiciary and parliament to serve despots. MY has done away with ISA. SG has increased ISA.

    The country with democracy will always win the longer term battle – economically socially and morally – from a communist one.

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  • rukidding:

    Own brother , Sis in Law and Nephew also “don’t give chance”….what is there to say about Ordinary People ?

    Even our Religious Leeders ….”dare not rub any salt”???

    No need to say about NGOs.

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  • Malaysia also have its woes:

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/12/05/singer-sheila-majid-laments-high-cost-of-living-and-weak-ringgit/

    Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T

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  • asd:

    so scared people say . .. if no fire there is no smoke .. .

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  • Gillian C.B. Yeo:

    The Malaysian organisations dare to make noise because they are not in Singapore and are not under Singapore’s jurisdiction. Do you notice the foreigners in Singapore all keep quiet guai guai diam diam like the locals? Come here all act the same way.

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  • Hey you:

    Malaysia also have its woes:
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/12/05/singer-sheila-majid-laments-high-cost-of-living-and-weak-ringgit/

    Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T Popular singer Sheila Majid caught the attention of netizens today when she lamented the high cost of living and the weak ringgit in a post… … T

    At least in Malaysia, their celebrities can criticise their politicians without getting arrested. Try that here and see what happens.

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/04/10/chef-wans-chat-with-penang-taxi-driver-an-eye-opener/

    Barisan Nasional component parties can openly disagree with the rest of the party.

    https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/19/mca-seeking-details-about-ruu-355-says-liow/

    State governments can also openly disagree with the Federal government.

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/09/17/najib-assures-sabah-sarawak-of-rights-under-ma63/

    Here, PAP has full control. There is no royal institution or strong pressure groups to monitor them too.

    Is this your idea of true democracy???

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  • Malaysia also have its woes:

    Malaysia have Fake milk powder .

    How many kena ?

    Side effects from too much Associating with China ? OROB good to send more milk powder to our neighbor ?

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  • Soon to be history:

    This rotten system will soon be over. When the rest of the world totally ignore this place

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  • AnT:

    Unless Sgreans and Msians join hands to free themselves from the dictatorship of Official No.1 and Dishonorable Son, there will be no reprieve from social injustice.

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  • Dinners are just dinners:

    AnT:
    Unless Sgreans and Msians join hands to free themselves from the dictatorship of Official No.1 and Dishonorable Son, there will be no reprieve from social injustice.

    It is true the political climate for democracy in SE Asia is in the midst of a winter. The question is how long the winter will be. Spring is not in sight/

    In Malaysia, the opposition coalition and Bersih are only preaching to the converted in urban areas instead of heading for rural Sarawak and Sabah. They are also overly dependent on a handful of well-know individuals.

    In Singapore, the next GE will again see too many Indian chiefs on the opposition side, all preferring to head tiny weak parties than to work together and accept that not everyone can be on the opposition front bench sitting next to the leader of the opposition, let alone be that leader himself. Under the GRC system that unfairly discriminates against small parties, opposition can at best only win 1 or 2 GRCs.

    In both countries, the media and civil society is heavily controlled or policed.

    Social injustice – what’s that? Mainstream media just pretends it does not exist here. Easier just to talk about the worst situation other countries like Myanmar than to look in one’s own situation.

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  • Uncle Lim:

    Awesome! Awesome!

    Terima Kasih.

    Please ban PAP leaders and MPs from Malaysia. In particular, ban them from JB. Malaysia should not host the dictator in any way.

    Appeal to Johore Sultan to do that and it’ll gain greater publicity that there is a dictator at JB doorstep.

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  • Uncle Lim:

    Yet another grand sounding appeal which Leegim scoffs at.

    A new approach is called for like sanctions against Leegim leaders and their families. For example, denial of tourist visa, further studies etc.

    Any dictator ever listened to such appeals tell me.

    Hahaha, can you hear the dictator derisive laughter?

    Please protest when PAP Ministers visit JB or KL.

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