Monday, April 2, 2012

Nurul buoyed by Suu Kyi's triumph in Burma

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar took delight in the triumph of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in elections yesterday while recalling a favour done her by that country's human rights campaigners 12 years ago.

While stumping before a keen crowd of her constituents in the upscale Bangsar district last night, Nurul referenced Suu Kyi's struggles to bring political reform to Burma.

NONEShe did so in response to questions from the audience, who after listening to their parliamentarian on current affairs had asked the young mother of two how long it would take for Malaysia to make the transition to a full-fledged democracy.

The 32-year-old Nurul's reply: "We have to strive for as long as it takes."

Nurul referred to Suu Kyi's decades-long struggle to bring political reform to her country, a travail-strewn path that saw this daughter of Burmese independence fighter, Aung San, spend long periods under house arrest.

"We have to keep striving ... it would help to have a sense of humour," quipped Nurul, in the course of describing the Sisyphean nature of the labour required in bringing political reform to Malaysia.

This was where the results coming in late yesterday in Burma's by-elections, especially reports of Suu Kyi's success in winning a seat in parliament, provided Nurul with grist for her optimism about the future.

Yesterday's elections in Burma signalled the isolated regime's desire to begin the transition from military despotism to democracy.

Gratitude to NGO Altsean Burma

Nurul paid tribute to the generosity and fortitude of the democracy movement in Burma, one NGO of which, Altsean Burma, had advised her closely on how to present her case in hearings before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 2000.
That year Malaysian NGO Aliran was slotted to make their deposition in the annual sitting of the commission that hears human rights cases from all over the world.
NONEAliran allowed Nurul, who at that time was travelling the world to highlight her jailed father's plight as a political prisoner, to take their place instead, in making a seven-minute deposition before UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson.
"The only Malaysian NGO recognised by the UN Human Rights Commission at that time was Aliran. Such recognition was a pre-condition for the submission of a deposition," said Nurul.
However, Altsean Burma whose representative Debbie Stothard, a Malaysian based in Bangkok, sympathised with the then-teenaged Nurul's peripatetic exertions on behalf of her incarcerated father, Anwar Ibrahim.
Stothard steered Nurul through the rigours of preparation of her deposition before a panel headed by Robinson.
Later, recalling details of her deposition before the UN body 12 years ago, Nurul told Malaysiakini that democracy's decades-old efflorescence in Asean was unstoppable.

[Source: Mkini]

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