Saturday 14 April 2007

In Praise of Dr. Syed Husin Ali, Deputy President, Parti Keadilan Rakyat

From Letter to Editor, Malaysiakini: Read here


".. He is the only living politician in whose hands I would be prepared to put my life in and that is saying a lot..."
- Chew Swee Yoke,
Former Secretary, Bar Council Human Rights Committee
by Chew Swee Yoke

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Prof. Syed Husin Ali, Deputy President of Parti Keadilan Rakyat

I have known and observed Prof Syed Husin Ali since the 1970s including when he was detained for six years under the ISA.

When I first got to know of him, I was secretary of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, and we collected information on all ISA detainees in our efforts to get them released.

Before I even met him, from what I read of him including appeals from various persons on his behalf to the committee asking the committee to intercede with the Home Ministry, I distinctly remember feeling great respect, humility and wonder for a person who had been unjustly detained for six long years (he became the longest in detention by the time I became secretary) could still remain so unvindictive, forgiving and at peace with himself and the world.

When I finally met him after he was released, I also learnt he had a perennial sense of humour including at his own expense which I thought showed great self-confidence and stature.

I now believe that he is the quintessential ‘intellectual politician’ which Confucius said should be involved in leading any government.

He is the only living politician in whose hands I would be prepared to put my life in and that is saying a lot.

It means I view him as a person with no barrier of race, religion or creed and someone I can absolutely trust to make judgment calls based only on unshakeable ethics, good principles and wisdom.

God knows the world today needs more of such intellectual giants in politics - not the present lot of political dwarfs including those in the US and Great Britain.

Keadilan is indeed fortunate to have such a rare entity in their midst. Syed Husin Ali is not only an asset to his party but also a tremendous role model.

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