Friday, May 15, 2009

My Unused Draft Speech

I was supposed to prepare a speech for a conference in Tehran, Iran sometime in February 2009. Before I could submit the oh-so-politically-difficult task, the conference was postponed to April. By then, the big boss, not knowing that I have drafted a small portion of the speech, requested a Court of Appeal Judge to prepare the conference speech. That lifted quite a heavy burden of my shoulders.

Then I realized that I still have my draft incomplete speech. Since the conference is over and I'm back here in my office, I'll just post it up here for all to read. It is left hanging as I don't see the point of completing it just yet...

Surveying Efficient Judicial and Legal Mechanism of War Crimes and Genocide in Gaza” - Not used draft speech

1. On 27th December 2008, the Israel launched Operation ‘Cast Lead’ upon the Palestinian territories in Gaza. The result was disastrous. Up to 21st January 2009, the Palestine Health Ministry reported a total of 1314 casualties including 416 children and 106 women. Another 5230 were wounded and out of this figure, 1855 were children and 795 were women.

2. Operation ‘Cast Lead’ wounded Gaza with an estimation of one and a half million tons of explosives dropped within 20 over days. Not much was spared. Hospitals, schools, public buildings, UN convoys, humanitarian missions, homes, mosques were among the material targets. More importantly, the many innocent lives in the said material targets were also annihilated. Apart from using conveantional bombs and high explosives, allegations of unconventional weapons ranging from a few categories lingers.

3. On 8th January 2009, the Security Council passed Resolution 1860 (2009). The resolution stressed on the urgency to ceasefire.

4. Malaysia stands firm to its position that there is no excuse for the disproportionate, indiscriminate and excessive of force in Gaza and totally rejects the collective punishment imposed by the Occupying Power on the Palestinian people.

5. Even Islam teaches us that when the enemy pursue for peace, we must react positively. One of the verse in the Quran deals with proportionate retaliation is in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:190), I reproduce the translation as follow:

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.”

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, in his commentaries, had this to say about the fight in the cause of Allah:

“War is permissible in self-defence, and under well-defined limits. When undertaken, it must be pushed with vigour (but not relentlessly), but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of Allah. In any case, strict limits must not be transgressed: women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, nor trees and crops be cut down, nor peace withheld when the enemy comes to terms”

6. Many a times, the peace treaty offered may not be favourable to one of the contracting parties. This is where we must know how to negotiate. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) did it; at Hudaibiyah. The Prophet was successful in the end.

7. Malaysia believes that a negotiated outcome is the only way to ensure long-term peace, security and stability in the region. Malaysia also calls for a final, just and comprehensive settlement with the realization of two states, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, based on the Roadmap and the relevant United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, in particular UNSC 1860(2009).

8. The Israeli attack on Gaza completely disregards international law and is in violation of the United Nation Charter. This act is considered as a war crime and crime against humanity, and its perpetrators should be brought to justice. The international community should support efforts in imposing a durable and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and for immediate establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Gaza to enforce the ceasefire and prevent the outbreak of new hostilities.

9. It is also critical for all border crossings of Gaza be opened in order to allow humanitarian aid and basic supplies to enter Gaza. There is no point in closing the borders for fear that there might be illegal guns and ammunition be smuggled into Gaza when the real attack with far superior weapons are not impeded.

10. Back home in Malaysia, our Federal Constitution enshrines most, if not all of the basic tenets of human rights. The closest that we have in fighting war against terror is a preventive Act which is known as the Internal Security Act (ISA).

11. In Malaysia, the Penal Code prescribes death sentence for murder. Comparing this penal prescription to international war criminals, it seems easier to accommodate a criminal who murders at a small scale than it is in a bigger scale. Many a times we see international war criminal be subject to house arrest.

12. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad[1], in his opening speech at the ‘Forum For Palestine’[2] had this to say regarding the war in Gaza:

"War is inhuman and war should be made a crime. People should stop killing people to settle their conflicts. But far worse than the killing in war is the murder of people who have been deliberately deprived of the means to defend themselves, to save their lives.

This is not a religious war. The Jews have been living in Muslim land for centuries. In fact they seek refuge in Muslim land from the oppressions and pogroms of the Europeans. But if the Jews reward their Arab hosts by seizing their land then they and their European invaders will have to pay the price."

Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi, in his biweekly column in Reflecting On The Law had this to say about the recent tragedy in Gaza:

Finally, there must be an impartial, international investigation into widely reported violations of the laws of war by both Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Israel cannot be suckled with immunity after each horrendous crime against the Palestinians just because Jews were butchered by Europeans. On no principle of justice can Arabs be held vicariously responsible for European crimes against the Jews.[3]

14. Article 51 of the United Nation Charter reads as follows:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

15. In a message to world leaders, Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah, who is UNICEF’s (the United Nations Children’s Fund) Eminent Advocate for Children, said:

Our humanity is incomplete when children, irrespective of nationality, are victims of military operations. More than 70 dead children, close to 600 injured,” referring to the Gaza death toll. “What does the world tell their mothers? That they are collateral damage? That their lives don’t matter? That their deaths don’t count?”

[1] Prime Minister of Malaysia 1981-2003
[2] Held in Kuala Lumpur on 5th February 2009

By the way, Isfahan, which used to be the capital of Iran until it was changed to Tehran, IS SOOO BEAUTIFUL!!!
No. Isfahan is not some girl that I have met when I was there.

View from my room in Tehran

Yes, Iran allowes Mut'ah marriage (temporary marriage) but I did not pursued it. Although I did enquire about it from some Iranian dude..

Tuan: You have Mut'ah marriage here?
Iranian Dude: Yes, we do.
Tuan: I'm here for only a few days, you have Mut'ah for 2 nights max?
Iranian Dude: Hahaha. You are funny.
End of conversation...

Blog adjourned.

2 obiter dictum:

Twiggy said...

temporary marriage...hmm.. what if it leaves you with a child... does that mean the child-yet-to-be-born would temporarily take your last name?

*garu daru*

two_one said...

I suppose the child does get the-temporary-husband's last name. I'm not sure of the exact mechanism for mut'ah... let's google it!!!

*garu dahi*