• Office of YB Wong Chen

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights

12th November

I am in sunny Bali but am locked in an aircon conference room with some 40 ASEAN MPs. We have 2 more discussions today and 3 more sessions tomorrow. Its been a lively debate on the future of human rights in ASEAN. I gave a speech on 3 main points; (a) making a case for human rights as a cultural and traditional Asian value, (b) to increase prompt cooperation and response to anti human rights developments, and (c) engaging corporations and implementing human right certification into corporate culture.


13th November 

The human rights conference is continuing this morning. Its a cloudy morning here in Bali. We had lively discussions with MPs from Cambodia and Thailand last night. I find it interesting how the nature of politics and the life of politicians are not very much different from country to country.

The gathering is for the more cerebral and idealistic MPs. You have to be idealistic to want to fight for better human rights in this region where human rights is given very low consideration. So we as like minded MPs laughed and shared experiences in dealing with internal power struggles, prima donnas, conmen, corruption, abuses of powers and general stupidity of many, many politicians.


The ASEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (APHR) is funded partly by the Swedish and Norwegian governments. It has 57 members and this is my second meeting with the group.

This second meeting is a breakthrough of sorts for me. Eventhough I am primarily interested in policy matters, this gathering showed that APHR has an action based approach too. Last year, several members went to visit Rohingya villages and also visited Cambodian villages affected by a hydro dam. They did impact surveys on displaced persons. We are now determined to find ways to pressure, influence and weaken the link between corporations and governments.

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