Thursday, May 2, 2013
Malaysia: Violence and Cyber Attacks Threaten Elections
Article Link: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/01/malaysia-violence-cyber-attacks-threaten-elections
Recently, there have been human rights violations in Malaysia, particularly in regards to the lack of freedom of speech and increasing violence. The Malaysian government will be holding elections on May 5, 2013. Because of this, there have been increasing amounts of election-related opposition and violence. The supporters of Malaysia's ruling party are using extreme measures to ensure that their party remains in power. The ruling party is Barisan Nasional and the opposing party is Pakatan Rakyat. Despite increasing violence, the leaders of the two parties have not put in any effort in alleviating the situation. People are getting attacked simply because of their political beliefs. The targeted groups are party workers, online news sources, and activists. Cyber attacks have been common; supporters of the ruling party limit the information that goes out into the public by using technical interference and hacks. This removes opposing opinions and limits the speeches relevant to the election. They have been attacking news websites and public radio stations by causing slow-downs, interruptions and denial-of-service. The political harassment and threats are preventing the citizens from voting for who they truly want in their government.
The human rights injustices occurring in Malaysia are unwarranted and unfair. It is surprising to learn about the restrictions the citizens have in expressing their opinions. In order to have a fair election, every citizen should have the right to vote for who they want and access information about all the political parties. It is difficult to try and imagine the lack of freedom of speech and expression, especially since we come from a democratic country with fair elections. The article asks the government to get involved and prevent the human rights injustices. The government should take action in investigating the cyber attacks and stopping election-related violence.