COMANGO: The ideological battle of western thoughts and eastern values


“At the heart of human rights is the belief that everybody should be treated fairly and with dignity – no matter what their circumstances.
This means that nobody should be tortured or treated in and inhuman or degrading way.
It also means that nobody has the right to ‘own’ another person or to force them to work under threat of punishment.”

When we talk about human rights, many of us will always refer to the western views mainly on the subject of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of expression is the three most common topics associated with human rights. In the current socio-political climate of the world, human right is debated not only on the international level, but also are being discussed casually amongst friends and colleague. It is a topic most discussed by people of all levels. The question is do we understand the real meaning of “human rights” and can they be practice by all regardless of the country, race and religion of that particular person?

Many of us failed to understand that most ideas on human rights and human rights activism come from the west. The west meaning, the ideological stands of post-World War II allied countries on the rights and liberties of a human being.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the pinnacle of the human rights activism. It is regarded as guidance by most human rights activist. However, the problem with UNDHR is that they are only focusing on the intention and view of westerners.

And the views and thoughts of the westerners are adopted by COMANGO and many other eastern organizations without taking into consideration of eastern values. Specifically in the context of religion and eastern norms as organizations like COMANGO cannot force western ides in eastern values and culture.

COMANGO fails to understand the concept of eastern way of life and culture tries very hard to enforce western thinking by disregarding the majority thoughts on religion and cultural aspect in Malaysia. Their action of referring the Malaysian government to the United Nation is considered as unhealthy and must be stopped immediately as it is against the aspiration of the nation.

The inadequacy of the UNDHR to be a guideline for eastern countries such as Malaysia is the main reason why our government refuse to rectify the declaration and accept its ideas for the people of this country. As a melting pot of culture, religion and ideologies the government needs to tread lightly to ensure that the harmony and peace are well preserved amongst its people. The action of COMANGO is an insult not only to the country but also to their intelligent.

COMANGO and those who supports their movement clearly don’t understand that our eastern culture clearly cannot adopt the declaration as it was made only for the benefit of the westerners. Eastern cultures cannot accept the declaration as we ourselves have our own rules and beliefs that we follow. COMANGO and its supporters has clearly misinterpreted the UNDHR, they are the sad victims of the western concept of “Universalism”.

Universalism is a concept derived by the westerners to colonize the hearts and mind of easterners hence the same as the concept of globalization and the new world order.

It is clear that COMANGO consist of what the Chinese call a BANANA. “Banana” is a Singaporean slang which refers to a Chinese who had abandoned their tradition and think more of themselves as westerners rather than an Asian. Like a real Banana they are yellow (banana skin) on the outside, but white (Western thinking and culture) on the inside.