Published: Wednesday October 24, 2012 MYT 5:16:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday October 24, 2012 MYT 7:51:55 PM
Malaysian Bar gets UN award for promoting democracy and human rights
BY FLORENCE A.SAMY
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar has been awarded the United Nations Malaysia Award for its role in promoting democracy and human rights.
The Organisation of the Year Award was presented Wednesday in conjunction with the UN's 67th anniversary celebrations here.
The United Nations was founded on Oct 24, 1945.
UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia Kamal Malhotra said the tribute was a fitting one given its "significant and long-standing contribution to an environment that promotes the protection and effective fulfilment of democracy and human rights."
"The UN in Malaysia has no doubt that the Malaysian Bar will continue to uphold its democratic values and norms and its traditions, and indeed its duty, of speaking up against injustice and unjust laws and practices," he added.
The UN Person of the Year Award was also posthumously awarded to the late Prof Khoo Kay Jin in recognition of his lifetime of outstanding achievement, Kamal said.
Prof Khoo was the lead author of the 'Millennium Development Goals at 2010' report by the UN and Government and also worked on a joint UNDP and Economic Planning Unit initiative to identify strategies to eradicate poverty and improve employment and equity restructuring in Sabah and Sarawak until his passing in December last year from cancer.
"He was a brilliant social scientist, a leading public intellectual and an out-of-the-box thinker.
"Malaysia today is a much poorer place without the insights of a leading intellectual luminary such as Khoo Khay Jin," Kamal said when reading the citation.
The UN Malaysia Award has been awarded since 1998 in recognition of outstanding contributions by individuals and organisations in promoting human rights, social justice and equality.
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki Moon in his UN Day message said it was imperative to continue to combat intolerance, to save people in conflicts and establish lasting peace especially in this period of turmoil, transition and transformation.
"No single leader, country or institution can do everything. But each of us, in our own way, can do something.
"On this UN Day let us pledge to be one family to create a better world for all." The UN Day is celebrated in 189 countries around the world.