COUNCIL OF A SI A N LIBER A L S A ND DEMOCR ATS
Message from the Outgoing Chair Dear members and friends, It seemed like only yesterday that I wrote this message as the incoming Chair of CALD. Now itâ€™s time to pen my missive as the outgoing one. Time flies when youâ€™re fighting despots. Much has developed in and around Asia in the interim, unfortunately, not all for the better. We continue to see the non-progress of democracy in the region. In fact the situations in Cambodia, with the continued persecution of Sam Rainsy; Malaysia, the ongoing trial of Anwar Inbrahim; and Singapore, the never-ending prosecutions and imprisonment of my colleagues and I, there is little to cheer about. Yet, as defenders of democracy, we persevere in our struggles and push on for that elusive goal of freedom and justice. In this regard CALD must now, more than ever, live up to its creed to support liberals and democrats across Asia in their quest for democracy not just in word but in deed. With the advent of the Internet and its fast-developing technologies, the ease in communication has increased manifold. It is thus even more important that members of CALD and our associates step up our efforts to strengthen that mutual support for each other. As we, the Singapore Democrats, commemorate our 30 years of existence as a party we pledge not to waver in our fight for democracy in our country and, in doing so, bring greater hope for freedom across the region. To this end, we look for continued support from our friends in CALD. I, perhaps, will go down in the record books as the only Chair of CALD never to have attended a CALD meeting in my brief tenure because of my political situation. But my pride of serving with all of you in this organisation of ours remains as strong, if not stronger, as the first day the SDP first joined it. It has been an honour serving as Chair. I wish all of you the very best and look forward to the day that I can see you in person again.
Chee Soon Juan
Message from the Incoming Chair
I am happy to contribute a message to the 2009 Annual Report of CALD. Founded over a decade and a half ago by a few young liberal political leaders from Asia, the organization has grown substantially over the years and now includes nine political parties, one official observer, and a number of distinguished individual members. It has also established itself as perhaps the most thoughtful and creative political forum in the region. Activities in the past year include the now regular workshops for the Womenâ€™s Caucus and in Communication Skills, and a very useful training program that brought home lessons from the Obama campaign. CALD also contributed to various national and international events, including the Liberal International Congress and Liberal Networks Meeting in Egypt in October. In political terms the Democrat Party of Thailand completed one year in government, and has moved far more swiftly than was anticipated toward political stability. In Taiwan the fortunes of the DPP were revived in by-elections after setbacks in the previous year, while the Liberal Party of the Philippines selected an exciting combination of young leaders to contest the 2010 Presidential election, and they have since rapidly emerged as the front runners.
In Singapore, Cambodia, and Burma our member parties continued to assert liberal values while in opposition; in Sri Lanka, the Liberal Party has supported the governing coalition that succeeded in eradicating terrorism, while contributing to political change that will develop a pluralistic society. On a personal note, the Malaysian Gerakan Party suffered a sad loss in the untimely demise of its vice president and principal link with CALD. We shall sorely miss Dr. S. Vijayaratnam, his commitment, his enthusiasm, and his sterling common-sense approach. CALD also suffered the loss shortly into 2010 of its latest individual member, former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid. His position as an eminent Islamic scholar who embraced diversity was invaluable in a period of transition in Indonesia. We welcome meanwhile the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) as our latest full member, and look forward also to closer cooperation with the Liberal Forum of Pakistan, our only official Associate Member. But we need to strengthen links with our other Observers. As the Chairmanship of CALD moves to South Asia, which only served in a brief interim capacity previously, we should look as well to developing liberalism as an intellectual and political force in this rapidly advancing region. The publication of Liberal Perspectives on South Asia by Cambridge University Press in Delhi will, we hope, help in this endeavor. I thank the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung for sponsoring that book, as it did its predecessor, but should note that that is simply a tiny example of the enormous support FNS has provided us with, from the start, and during the last year. We look forward to further cooperation, and hope too to develop our links with other like-minded bodies in the coming year. Let me also take this opportunity to thank my predecessor as CALD Chair, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, our Secretary General Neric Acosta, the rest of the staff at the CALD Secretariat in Manila, and also John Coronel, our former Executive Director, who made a welcome return to the office to help out when Neric was otherwise occupied. In wishing Neric well for his political future, I also welcome our new Executive Director, Lito Arlegue, and wish him and CALD a healthy and productive year ahead. Rajiva Wijesinha
CALD 2009 Annual Report
Table of Contents
MESSAGE FROM THE OUTGOING CHAIRMAN
MESSAGE FROM THE INCOMING CHAIRMAN
CALD PROJECTS FOR 2009
CALD Leaders’ Political Campaign Roundtable CALD 15th Anniversary Conference CALD Women’s Caucus Strategic Planning Meeting CALD 6th Communications Workshop 2009 CALD General Assembly
7 9 11 13 15
CALD 15th ANNIVERSARY MESSAGES
H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva John, Lord Alderdice Hon. Graham Watson, MEP Dr. Rainer Adam Dr. Chee Soon Juan
19 20 21 22 23
H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid
RESOLUTIONS, STATEMENTS AND LETTERS
Resolutions Statements and Letters
Red Carpet, CALD Manila Style A Party for Parties Festivities at the Sidelines And Gus Dur Makes Three The “Tweet” Stuff A Premier Visit SDP Now An LI Observer Party Two Reasons For Celebrating
33 35 36 37 38 39 40 40
CALD INTERN “SAYS NO”
CALD Leaders’ Political Campaign Roundtable Manila, Philippines 1-4 February
CALD 15th Anniversary Conference Bangkok, Thailand 27-30 March
A workshop organized with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and hosted by the Liberal Party of the Philippines (LP) that focused on two strategic areas that clinched victory for Senator Obama: 1) operations and organization building; and 2) messaging and communication. With the theme “Expanding Spaces and Opportunities for Alternative Political Campaigns and Interventions,” the roundtable discussion facilitated by Joe Hansen, a key democratic strategist in the Obama campaign, included 15 Members of Parliament, government officials and high-ranking officers/members of party headquarters from CALD member parties.
With the global economy in the midst of a severe crisis, the conference worked on the theme “Liberal Responses to the Global Economic Crisis” to create dialogue between policy makers and economists that focus on the policy responses needed today and to develop ideas on what a liberal policy response could look like – from both the government and the opposition. This conference was supported by FNF and hosted by the Democrat Party of Thailand.
CALD Women’s Caucus Strategic Planning Meeting Batanes, Philippines 18-22 May
CALD 6th Communications Workshop Hong Kong 2-6 September
2009 CALD General Assembly Manila, Philippines 26-30 November
With the theme, “Setting the CALD Women’s Caucus Agenda: Defining Action and Policy Initiatives,” this workshop aimed to identify how the Caucus could be further strengthened and developed as an institution that integrates a women’s focus in CALD activities and continues to identify key issues and concerns of women in politics. This workshop was supported by FNF and hosted by LP.
A workshop designed to understand Web 2.0 and the new technologies shaping political communication and campaign strategies. With the theme “Strengthening Political Communication and Campaigns: Asian Democracies in the Age of Web 2.0,” the event proposed to craft clear guidelines for new media and innovative communication strategies that member parties of CALD and CALD as an organization can adopt and use for party development and campaigns. This was supported by FNF and hosted by the Democrat Party of Hong Kong.
This biennial conference, supported by FNF and hosted by LP, is a gathering of CALD members, observers, and partner organizations with the purpose of providing a clear understanding of the current democratic challenges in the region and the necessary reforms needed to address these. The conference theme “Democracy’s Continuing Struggles in Asia: Countervailing Repression, Intolerance and Opportunism,” provided input beyond rhetoric and explored on the practical solutions to the problems of democracy in Asia.
TWO weeks after the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, CALD held its Leaders’ Political Campaign Roundtable that focused on the best practices and lessons learned in the Obama campaign.
CALD Leaders’ Political Campaign Roundtable Manila, Philippines 1-4 February
Obama, after all, became the first AfricanAmerican U.S. president primarily because of a campaign that most people described as innovative and groundbreaking. Forming the bulk of his machinery, for one, were volunteers in numbers unseen before. For another, funds were raised largely through individual donations in cyberspace. The Obama team also made it a point to encourage people to exercise their right to vote, an effort that helped lead to the largest voter turnout in U.S. history to date. Pulling all these together was a clear and strong message, which established the foundation of the campaign and inspired volunteers. Through the roundtable, CALD hoped to evaluate which Obama campaign tactics and mechanisms could be applied by CALD member parties in their own election efforts. By inviting members of parliament and other movers and shakers from its member parties and partners to participate in the event, CALD also aimed to jumpstart discussions on the general contours of a possible CALD political campaign strategy plan that could be developed further. No less than campaign strategist and U.S. Democratic Party consultant Joe Hansen was invited as main speaker for the two-day roundtable that had the theme “Expanding Spaces and Opportunities for Alternative Political Campaigns and Interventions.” Hosted by the Liberal Party of the Philippines and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), the roundtable was held at the CALD-FNF offices in Manila. Hansen did not disappoint, at first laying out the fundamental operational and organizational strategies used by the Obama team, and then explaining in detail each crucial factor that made the Obama campaign a remarkable success. He noted in particular the campaign’s simple yet empowering motto of “Respect, Empower, and Include” that he said strengthened and encouraged its volunteers to work for their cause and sustain the passion to participate. He added that the Obama team’s organizational strategy had it democratizing the process and empowering the volunteers to take control of the campaign.
There was, Hansen said, respect for the volunteers’ individual talents “regardless of what their background was.” This later led to a discussion among the roundtable participants on how parties in Asia would be able craft an effective campaign message given the varying political contexts and backgrounds they were operating in. Noting the innovative tactics and modern tools used by the Obama campaign to increase its grassroots reach, the participants concluded that each country, regardless of its political setting, has its own viable channels that could reach and connect leaders and platforms to the people. As CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta observed at the close of the roundtable, “Learning from the Obama campaign underscored a key lesson: that while every country has its own unique preconditions and systems, the narrative of hope and grassroots-driven democratic sea changes is universal. What we ought to focus on as liberal parties is the need to effectively engage people with fresh ideas, clear policy options, and great inspiration.” The roundtable participants included Nyo Ohn Myint, National Council of the Union of the Burma; Moe Zaw Oo, National League for Democracy-Liberated Area; Hon. Boonyod Sooktinthai, MP, and Nant Thananan, Democrat Party (Thailand); Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP, and Hon. Son Chhay, MP, Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia) ; Jayanthi Devi Balaguru, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; Franklin Drilon, Florencio A. Abad, Hon. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, MP, Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta, Liberal Party (Philippines); Henedina Razon-Abad, CALD Women’s Caucus chairperson; Jaslyn Go and Seelan Palay, Singapore Democratic Party; Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha and Kamal Nissanka, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka; Chih-Chien Liao and Hsiang-Jung Wu, Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan); and Siegfried Herzog, FNF Manila Resident Representative. Among the observers were Jose Miguel Luz, former Philippine education undersecretary; Ed Garcia, senior policy advisor for International Alert; Concepcion Asis, former LP Philippines director general; and John Coronel, former CALD executive director. The secretariat, meanwhile, was composed of CALD Program Officers Paolo Zamora and Carlo Religioso; Argee Gallardo, LP Philippines Deputy Administration Officer; and Narwin Espiritu, FNF Web developer. 8
CALD 15th Anniversary Conference Bangkok, Thailand 27-30 March
IT’S not easy marking a milestone in the midst of turmoil, but trust CALD to reconfirm its significance especially during a crisis. Indeed, for its 15th anniversary conference, CALD even chose to bring together policy makers and economists for a dialogue as governments across the world scrambled to cobble stimulus packages to rescue their faltering economies. The conference’s theme was to the point about the event’s aim: to come up with “Liberal Responses to the Global Economic Crisis.” Held at the renowned Chulalongkorn University in the Thai capital, the three-day conference was hosted by Thailand’s Democrat Party and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Welcome remarks were given by officials of the convening organizations while Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva formally opened the conference proper with a keynote address that cited his own government’s response to the economic downturn even as it tackled local political unrest and social concerns. A short ceremony was also held to formally recognize former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid as CALD’s newest individual member. Three sessions made up the core of the conference, with the first examining the structure of proposed stimulus packages in Asia and whether these packages were appropriate to the quality of governance in their respective countries. Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, international affairs head of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, chaired the session, while economics professor and former Philippine budget secretary Dr. Benjamin Diokno and research officer to the Selangor state chief minister Tricia Yeoh were the panelists. Reactors included Liberal Party (Philippines) President Florencio Abad and former Taiwanese finance minister Dr. Henry Ho of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. Session Two panelists Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy of the Sam Rainsy Party and
Dr. Jun-ji Shih, former chairperson of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan, discussed the challenges governments face vis-à-vis the pressure of providing populist projects and sustaining investments and enhancing productivity in the long run. Dr. Diokno and Dr. Direk Patmasiriwat of Thammasat University’s economics department were the reactors while MEP Jules Maaten of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe was session chair. By Session Three, the talks had turned to how liberals could help people maintain their trust in democratic processes even as they are battered by economic difficulties. Too often, the panelists said, discussions of stimulus packages and financial reforms leave out the impact of the crisis on ordinary citizens. Chaired by Maung Maung, secretary general of the National Council of the Union of Burma, the session had Tan Sri Dr. Chin Fook Weng, former senator from the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, and Dr. Mohamad Ikhsan Modjo, director of the Institute for Development of Economic and Finance in Indonesia as panelists. Reactors were Martin Lee, founding chairman of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and CALD individual member, and Thammasat University’s Dr. Direk. Various Thai officials were present at the conference, which was also graced by MPs and representatives from CALD member parties, partners, and friends. In the end, the conference provided an overview of how liberals can approach the challenges posed by the global economic crisis and how CALD as an alliance of liberal and democratic political parties could help provide sound alternative policies and responses. As Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, referring to CALD initiatives, said on Day One of the conference, “With determination and with liberal ideas and responses, we could contribute to the world at large and make liberal democracy to blossom fully.” 10
WOMEN’S work is never done, but at least members of the CALD Women’s Caucus got to accomplish their to-do list for the group’s 2009 strategic planning in a relaxing setting -- no less than Batanes, a lush, windswept island in the Philippine north. Indeed, even the observation that the three-year-old Caucus has become “reactive” rather than “proactive” failed to dampen the spirit of the meeting’s participants (which included men). The Caucus chairwoman and former Philippine MP Hendina Abad of the Liberal Party (Philippines), for one, expressed optimism that the organization’s next steps would create traction that would enable women in Asia to take greater strides in various fields.
CALD Women’s Caucus Strategic Planning Meeting Batanes, Philippines 18-22 May
The four-day meeting, which had representatives of CALD full member-parties in attendance, aimed to give the Caucus a substantive framework that would help fulfill its vision to encourage greater participation of women in leadership roles. Divided into four sessions, the meeting kicked off with Abad giving a brief history of the Caucus and stressing the importance of organizing women leaders so that persistent restrictions on women’s political participation would be lifted. The meeting then went on with the participants sharing experiences and exchanging notes on the problems facing women in their respective countries. For instance, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia National Women’s Wing Secretary General Jayanthi Devi Balaguru recounted how the Shari’a law far too often is manipulated and turned into a “tool” against women in cases regarding custody, inheritance, divorce, and other issues. MP Ly Srey Vyna of the Sam Rainsy Party, meanwhile, said that in Cambodia, women steeped in leadership qualities are often unable to take on important roles in governance simply because of a prevalent view of their gender as the “weaker” sex.
Session II took the discussion on challenges facing women further, with participants later agreeing that women share the burden of struggling to achieve self-worth not only as a mother or as a family member, but also as a professional or member of the domestic workforce. And yet, the participants observed, there are barely safety nets provided for women, with their needs ignored or looked over in many official policies, including those concerning migrant workers. By Session III, the meeting’s participants were drawing up and presenting concrete initiatives on how they could help the Caucus, individually and as a party, achieve its objectives. The last session saw them presenting ideas on how CALD could help promote the Caucus, as well as its aims. By the meeting’s end, it was decided that the Caucus would set up, with the aid of the CALD Secretariat, a website of its very own. Volunteering to liaise for videos of Asian women leaders that would be uploaded on the website was PGRM’s Balaguru. The plenary also discussed the possibility of having a women’s desk/ secretariat to coordinate the Caucus’s projects and initiatives and centralize the work to be done. One important development was Caucus Chair Abad’s nomination of the SRP as the organization’s next chair party, from which the Caucus’s next chair would be chosen. Ingrid Liao, director of the Women’s Development Department of the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), seconded the motion, and the plenary approved it. It was agreed that the Caucus chair would have a two-year term, with a maximum of two consecutive terms. Fundacion Pacita, a charming lodge that was once the home of the late acclaimed Filipino artist Pacita Abad, was the participants’ address during their stay in Batanes. Pacita Abad was the sister of former CALD Chairman Florencio Abad (husband of Henedina Abad). Aside from Henedina Abad, Balaguru, Ly Srey Vyna, and Liao, the other participants were MP Vanchan Tok, SRP; Jaslyn Go, Singapore Democrat Party; Shalini Senanayake, Women’s Wing Coordinator of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka; and Evelyn Maduro and Roscoe Santana of the LP in Batanes. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta and Friedrich Naumann Foundation Manila Resident Representative Siegfried Herzog were facilitators in the meeting. Providing additional support were CALD Program Officers Paolo Zamora and Carlo Religioso. 12
FAILURE to communicate still happens even in this Age of the Killer App, which is why CALD has made it a point to keep members of its Liberal family updated and connected. Its annual communications workshop is one of the ways it does that, and the sixth that was held in Hong Kong in early September was no different. With the theme “Strengthening Political Communication and Campaigns: Asian Democracies in the Age of Web 2.0,” the four-day workshop aimed to have participants understand the new technologies shaping political communication and campaign strategies, as well as to asses the capacity of CALD member-parties in using the latest innovations to craft their own communication plans and develop their respective organizations.
CALD 6th Communications Workshop Hong Kong 2-6 September
An introduction to new media tools that straddle the modern/decentralized and traditional/ hierarchical means of communication was the focus of Session One that was moderated by Friedrich Naumann Foundation Manila Resident Representative Siegfried Herzog. Filipino multimedia writer Manuel L. Quezon III, one of the speakers, pointed out some of the intelligent tools online that CALD member parties can use as part of their communication strategies. Dr. C.K. Law, policy division head of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong (DPHK), meanwhile explained how the latest web developments could supplement the traditional means of political communication, and noted the significance of having a presence in cyberspace to reach out to the youth. Session Two, moderated by DPHK central committee member Dr. Mark Li Kin Yin, was essentially a sharing of experiences among political parties. DPHK Vice Chairperson Emily Lau Waihing, JP, for instance, recounted the challenges her party faces in a political system struggling for democracy. Liberal Party (Philippines) Director General Chito Gascon, for his part, admitted that while his party knows that the Web can be an effective means of promoting its message and agenda, the LP has been responding “gradually” to the fast-paced transformation of communication and media. The third session, moderated by DPHK communications committee convenor Andrew Fung Wai Kwong, brought the challenge back to CALD and its members. DPHK founding chair and CALD individual member Martin Lee said that CALD parties must safeguard freedom of expression – and especially when they get into power. CALD, particularly its members, should continue to protect democratic gains and not waver in keep-
ing the CALD mandate of promoting freedom and democracy, he added. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta later echoed Lee’s thoughts, saying, “The technologies and cutting-edge innovations of the Web 2.0 offer us boundless possibilities for the strengthening of this mandate of safeguarding democracies in Asia and in ensuring that we build our bonds of friendship.” But he also observed that while there has been a surfeit of e-communication tools, these cannot replace the power of imagination and the hope that drive people and nations forward. The workshop participants were from 12 countries representing CALD member-parties and partners, among them Nyo Ohn Myint, National Council of the Union of Burma; Hon. Keo Phirum and Hong Sok Hour, Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia); Chan Ka-Wai, Florence Chan, Au Nok-hin, and Jacky Lee, DPHK; Hendra Kusumah, Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan; Daniel John, Nation Awakening Party of Indonesia; Chia Ting Ting, National Wanita Beliawanis Bureau; Ooi Bee Leing, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia; Anna Roxas Ojeda and Maria Sophia Domingo, LP Philippines; Chong Kai Xiong and Jarrod Luo, Singapore Democratic Party; Suraj Romesh Fernando and Ananda H.Stephen, Liberal Party (Sri Lanka); Ping-ya Hsu and Ruei-ju (Shannon) Cheng, Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan); Kamonchanok Katinasamit and Ketkanya Phaoborom, Democrat Party (Thailand); Vera Jasini Putri, FNF Jakarta Office; Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, FNF Regional Office, Thailand; and Paolo Zamora, Carlo Religioso, and Ralph Martini Santos, CALD Secretariat. Belinda Winterbourne, resident program manager of CALD partner the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), also attended the workshop, which marked the first time CALD held an event in Hong Kong. It was also organized in cooperation with the DPHK, whose chairperson, Dr. Albert Ho Chun Yan, gave a brief talk on the workshop’s first day. The DPHK also hosted a farewell dinner at a popular seafood restaurant for the workshop participants and CALD executive committee members. CALD visited the DPHK headquarters the day after the workshop for a brief dialogue with the party’s leaders. FNF provided support for the workshop. 14
THE last two decades have seen profound political changes taking place all over the world as totalitarian governments tumbled down one after the other and democracy was restored in areas where freedoms were once tethered. But many say it was in Asia that the changes began, particularly in the Philippines circa 1986, where a housewife went up against a dictator and emerged triumphant. The region itself soon saw democracy once more taking root in countries that had been in the grips of strongmen, including Thailand in 1992 and Indonesia in 1998. In 1987, direct presidential elections were restored in South Korea, marking the beginning of that country’s gradual return to democracy. In 2002, the newly independent Timor Leste became the world’s youngest democracy.
2009 CALD General Assembly Manila, Philippines 26-30 November
Yet as these countries and many others have since found out, democracy needs to be nurtured and protected for it to grow and flourish. Indeed, even now, the clamor for reform and genuine change continues as ordinary citizens themselves put pressure on their leaders to build stronger democratic institutions, freer markets, and more representative and accountable governments. And while the process has been painful, no one doubts that democracy is worth all the effort. For its 2009 General Assembly, CALD thus chose the theme “Democracy’s Continuing Struggles in Asia: Countervailing Repression, Intolerance, and Opportunism.” Held in Manila, Philippines in late November, the four-day conference attracted about 40 participants from at least 12 countries in Asia and Europe. In organizing the conference that was hosted by the Liberal Party of the Philippines and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, CALD aimed to provide a clear understanding of the current democratic challenges in the region and the necessary reforms needed to address them. At the same time, CALD had noted that three nations were to hold national elections in 2010: the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Burma. It was hoped that the conference would provide a venue for a timely discussion on the significance of these exercises vis-à-vis the role of CALD and its members. On hand to formally open the conference were MP and LP Secretary General Joseph Abaya, Singapore Democratic Party Chairperson Gandhi Ambalam, and FNF East and Southeast Asia Regional Director Dr. Rainer Adam, all of whom gave welcome remarks. MEP Hans van Baalen, the new president of CALD partner Liberal International, also showed solidarity with CALD via a videocast. Before buckling down to work, however, the plenary first observed a moment of silence in memory of democracy icons former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and former Philippine President Cory Aquino, both of
whom had recently passed away. “Promoting Tolerance to Counter Dogmatism: Indonesia’s Democratic Gains” was the topic of Session One, which was facilitated by former ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta. Dr. Luthfi Assyaukanie, deputy executive director of the Freedom Institute in Indonesia, provided an overview of growth of democracy vis-à-vis the challenges of the government and the society. He also explained the dynamism of democracy in Indonesia by discussing Islam democracy, pointing out the local traditions and the diverse perspectives that go with it as factors that influence democratic progress. Assyaukanie observed as well that the growth of political freedom is dependent on the how the state and society address issues on corruption and press freedom. In reaction, Hasto Kristiyanto, deputy secretary of the Electoral Winning Body of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said that Indonesia is a living proof that Islam and democracy can co-exist. He also said that tolerance and pluralism are guaranteed in his country. Session II, chaired by Dr. Chang Fu-Mei, Foreign Policy adviser to the Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, focused on the democratic challenges in Burma as a closed society and in Cambodia as a façade of democracy. Maung Maung, secretary general of the National Council of the Union of Burma, took on the task of discussing the present state of affairs in Burma. The country, he said, continues to be a closed society despite attracting external economic investments. Political activists and opposition leaders are still detained and the state’s economic gains are misappropriated for weapons at the cost of education, institution-building, and modernization. According
to Maung Maung, Burma’s forthcoming election is a burden to the military junta due to pressure from the United Nations, European Union, and ASEAN governments for it to release all political detainees and to hold talks with the opposition parties. The opposition, he added, is against the poll because the constitution it is operating within is not transparent and not representative of the Burmese people. Maung Maung then called on liberals in governments to organize a more coordinated approach to help bring change in Burma. Cambodian opposition MP Mu Sochua next gave a presentation on behalf of Sam Rainsy, head of the Sam Rainsy Party. One of the MPs from SRP who had been stripped of parliamentary immunity, Mu Sochua said that this practice – which she said had become routine in her country – raised grave doubts about Cambodia’s democracy. Cambodia, she added, needed an independent judiciary in order to provide justice and to establish a more democratic society. Countervailing populism and political opportunism and the nature and extent of its damage to democratic institutions and processes, was the topic of Session Three, which was chaired by Seng Mardi, SRP president for Svay Rieng Province in Cambodia. Thai MP Anik Amaranand of the Democrat Party said that in Thailand, a breakdown in the rule of law still happens. In fact, she said, the DP government had been having difficulty restoring political stability as two potent forces continued to have sporadic clashes in the streets. Anik said, however, that the DP was introducing new and sustainable policies to address Thailand’s problems of extreme poverty and corruption. Dr. Joel Rocamora, a fellow of the Manila-based Institute for Popular Democracy, meanwhile talked about the reform process in the Philippines and the possibilities of reform in the coming years. He said
that when a party assumes power, party leaders should take seriously the task of reforming their parties and the electoral system. Reform constituencies that function as guideposts in campaigns should be well established when in power, he said.
him entertain the visitors were LP presidential candidate Senator Benigno S. Aquino III and LP vice presidential candidate Senator Mar Roxas, along with LP Campaign Manager and former CALD Chair Florencio Abad.
A substantive blend of academic and political views was provided in Session Four, which took up “Strengthening Political Parties vis-à-vis Threats to Democracy.” Capacity-building, policy advocacy, internal democracy, and the means on how parties become instruments for political and electoral reforms were discussed, as were the internal problems of parties and how these problems impede the growth of political parties and hinder opportunities for making them stronger and more responsive institutions.
Villacorta, who is head of the LP campaign foreign-relations team, was also present to give the LP progress report, while LP Secretary General Chito Gascon gave an overview of how LP was going about accepting newcomers and evaluating reform-oriented candidates for the 2010 elections. He also recounted how, following the death of former President Aquino, mother of the LP’s standard bearer in the 2010 elections, Filipinos relived the spirit of People Power Revolution of 1986 and restarted their search for leaders with the integrity and credibility to bring back the power to the people.
CALD Secretary General, Dr. Neric Acosta, moderated the last session which focused on the international liberal action plan for the 2010 Asian elections. Possible projects and missions were proposed involving voter education, grassroots organizing, women’s agenda, fund-raising, and cost-effective means of campaigning. Fittingly, prior to the conference proper, LP Philippines had briefed the assembly participants on the current state and dynamics of Philippine politics, focusing on the upcoming 2010 polls. The briefing had taken place at no less than the LP campaign headquarters, with LP Chairman Franklin Drilon welcoming the delegates. Drilon, a senatorial candidate in the coming elections, remarked that it was the most exciting time for CALD to be in Manila because LP was rising up to the call of the people for genuine change. Helping
The Philippine People Power story was probably still in the minds of the assembly participants on the conference’s last day, which included a wreath-laying ceremony at the Aquino Monument in Rizal Park. The event concluded with a cultural show and dinner reception hosted by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. The mayor’s brief remarks were followed by a response from Thai MP and CALD founding Secretary General Ong-art Klampaiboon, who extended his gratitude and appreciation to Lim on behalf of the whole CALD delegation. The mayor gave MP Klampaiboon the symbolic key to the City of Manila and Gerakan’s Ng Lip Yong, a former Malaysian MP and deputy minister, and Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka offered the mayor gifts in behalf of the international delegates.
H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva John, Lord Alderdice Graham Watson, MEP Dr. Rainer Adam Dr. Chee Soon Juan
March 25, 2009 Dear Fellow Asian Liberals and Democrats, It is my honor and privilege to be taking part in the 15th anniversary of CALD. Over the past 15 years, CALD has grown from being an ideal shared amongst a group of like-minded Asian Parliamentarian friends; to becoming a unified voice expressed on behalf of Asian liberals and democrats everywhere. Over the years, CALD has become an organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of democracy, not only on a regional level, but on a global level as well. CALD has been recognized as being a passionate defender of democracy and staunch opponent of tyranny, oppression, and dictatorship. It can be argued that silence and acceptance of wrongdoing is safe, polite, nonconfrontational and “Asian.” But that is not what CALD was built on, and that is not what CALD stands for. CALD is based on a fundamental belief and a simple principle: to defend democracy for those who are compromised. The principles of CALD and the underlying fundamentals on which CALD is built guarantee the continued success and stability of this powerful entity. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate CALD on its 15th anniversary and express my confidence that CALD will continue to be a unified voice for Asian Liberals and Democrats for many more years to come. I would also like to extend my warmest wishes and gratitude to all fellow CALD members for the support and friendship extended to the Democrat Party over the past 15 years…may our friendship and principles be our strength and bond. Best Wishes,
Abhisit Vejjajiva Prime Minister Kingdom of Thailand Leader of the Democrat Party
Dear Liberal friends, Let me begin by offering congratulations on the 15th Anniversary of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD). Over these past 15 years, Liberal International has watched with pride as the cause of Asian liberal democracy has been furthered by leaps and bounds. We have been proud to see CALD grow in promoting liberal democracy throughout Asia, and to rise to a level where other regional organizations can learn from it. It is my sincere hope that this momentum continues. The theme “Liberal Responses to the Global Economic Crisis” that CALD has chosen for its 15th Anniversary Conference is yet another clear demonstration that the members of CALD have always put forward the interest of their own citizens. Furthering democracy and human rights is intrinsically related to economic freedom and prosperity. The Conference will certainly offer a unique opportunity for discussions about a very serious situation that has provoked debates among Liberals on all continents. As the emerging global economic crisis creates a climate of uncertainty worldwide, we as liberals must stand strong and firm in promotion and protection of liberal principles in a critical time for economic and political freedom, which has been explicitly reaffirmed in the founding document of LI, the Oxford Manifesto (1947), “the suppression of economic freedom must lead to the disappearance of political freedom. We oppose such suppression, whether brought about by State ownership or control or by private monopolies, cartels and trusts. We admit State ownership only for those undertakings which are beyond the scope of private enterprise or in which competition no longer plays its part.” We look forward to the achievement of the Conference where we as liberals, in Asia and across the world, gather to share our reaction and perspective with the international liberal family and to create a dialogue between governments, civil society and other stakeholders to debate and develop liberal policies to the global crisis. Liberal International will continue to work with CALD to develop liberal ideas and democratic mechanisms throughout Asia and the world. We must strive to ensure that the basic rights of every citizen and every individual are protected and respected in times of prosperity and in difficult times of recession. Liberal friends, allow me to reassure you that in the Liberal International, as the international federation of Liberals and your political family, we shall put all our efforts to ensure that this is a struggle in which our ideas will yet again prevail against those aspiring to trample on the rights of their fellow human beings. Ever,
John, Lord Alderdice President Liberal International
CALD Anniversary Conference Endorsement In the 21st century, the world is more complex and challenging than ever. We have faster communications, greater knowledge, and more porous borders than at any point in global history. For pessimists, the diversity on our doorsteps is something to be scared of: for Liberals and Democrats, it is something to embrace. People who share our outlook see opportunity all around them, and they want to share it. As different as nations, communities, and individuals are, we believe that all human beings are created equal and that government and society should be open forums in which every man and woman is free to make the most of their potential and no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity. In 2009, the challenge for Liberals and Democrats around the world is to bring those sentiments to life amid the challenge of recession. There are those on both the left and right whose reaction to the global economic downturn is to retreat into the language of nationalism and populist protection. But their way is not our way. For us, rational debate and open markets are the way in which to keep this recession as short and shallow as possible, and ensure that prosperity flourishes once more. It is not an easy time to advance that cause, but these are the days in which we are tested hardest, and in which it is all the more crucial that we get our message across. In Asia, CALD is doing a superb job in promoting our shared values - freedom, fairness, and transparency. For many countries, these are mainstream ideals, but in others they are not and citizens suffer for that. That's why CALD is so crucial, advancing the frontline of Liberal and Democrat thinking to the benefit of everyday people throughout Asia. I am privileged to have followed the development of CALD since its early days and congratulate you warmly on this anniversary: your European partners in ALDE wish you a long and successful future.
Graham Watson, MEP Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
15 years of CALD – A Successful Journey On behalf of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, I would like to congratulate CALD on its 15th anniversary. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation is proud to have been a partner in CALD’s journey from the beginning and looks forward to many more years of partnership to come. This is not a donor-recipient relationship but a partnership based on shared liberal principles and objectives; on a realization that in this globalized world, political parties have to globalize, too; and on the conviction that a genuine Asian liberal political voice is needed in the regional and global discourse. CALD has come a long way to achieve this. It has been the first Asian party coalition that is based on shared political principles. It has engaged international liberalism, both in the form of Liberal International (LI) and the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), in an institutionalized dialogue process. Many CALD members have become part of LI, adding a distinctive Asian voice to the organization. CALD has made the first steps to influence the Asian political discourse. It has helped members who face repression and restrictions on political freedoms. It provides channels of communication between political elites. Its focus on skill development and party-management techniques has helped its members on the road to greater professionalism and modern political management practices. Liberals know that the pillars of a liberal society – participatory democracy, rule of law and human rights, a strong market economy – go hand in hand with an open, internationalist outlook. Yet much remains to be done. Despite the wave of globalization, political debate in most member countries remains almost exclusively local. International policy issues are treated with little interest in the public and the media. This widespread and systematic disconnect between some important international driving forces on the one hand and the public’s focus on the national and local levels is a serious problem for democratic discourse at the best of times. During global turmoil such as the one we are facing today, it is positively dangerous. Without a nuanced understanding of our countries place in the international political and economic dynamics, we will not be able to craft a successful response to the crisis. This is why CALD’s work will continue to be important, and the challenges will continue to be significant – especially in the current time of turmoil. Asian Liberals have a unique contribution to make. Ten years ago, they had to grapple with the severe Asian crisis, and commentators at the time expressed deep pessimism about the future of emerging Asian economies. Ten years later, we see that the Asian crisis has led to reforms that strengthened the Asian financial systems so that they withstood the current crisis remarkably well. This should give us the confidence to insist that the current crisis, bad as it is, will not spell the end of civilization, but that it can be mastered as well. Liberals believe in freedom. Freedom is a precondition for dynamism: dynamic societies need people to dream, and attempt the impossible. But freedom also means that sometimes, we reach too high, attempt too much, or fail to exercise self-restraint. Crises are the flip side of dynamism. We can mitigate them, and we can try to avoid the more obvious mistakes and abuses, but as long as we believe in human freedom, we have to live with human fallibility. And we need to remind ourselves that in systems that restrict freedom, those deciding about the restrictions are fallible, too, without being subject to checks and balances. This liberal insight should not be forgotten as CALD and its partners face the coming challenges.
Dr. Rainer Adam Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia
The Message Is Change, The Time Is Now The world is going through a financial and economic crisis the likes of which few have witnessed. It has caused an epochal shift in the way the world operates, and will likely to operate in the years to come. In response, liberals and democrats around the world can do one of two things: We can wring our hands in mortification and simply quake in our corners or we can demonstrate bold and creative leadership to deal with the turmoil that has hit us all. For too long, those who have championed the free market over freedom have used the excuse that for economic growth to take place, stability is needed. Hence, the crackdown on dissent. The Singapore government has led the way in such thought and held itself out as an alternative model to the democratic system. China, Vietnam, Burma, and even Russia have been keen students. Soeharto in Indonesia, Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia, and Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand have professed and practiced such rule at some stage of their political careers. To these autocrats, getting rich is the excuse to maintain their hold on power and to do as they please. They even derided democratic systems as political anachronism. The present crisis has stripped the mask off such sham justification as the once thriving economies come to a virtual standstill. At the very least it has shown up the lie that prosperity and oppression go hand in hand. Without investments and infusion of capital from richer (and more democratic) countries, the autocracies find their nakedness and rhetoric thoroughly exposed as the tide recedes. Worse they are unable to generate ideas to help the world get out of its slump because for too long they have depended on conformity, not creativity, to generate seeming prosperity. This is where Asian liberals and democrats need to step up to the plate. No longer must we remain reticent when we see freedom and democracy sacrificed at the altar of economic growth. We must seize this opportunity to ensure that even more attention and effort is paid to promote fundamental freedoms of the people in such countries. Without rights, these people will sink deeper into exploitation. The current global exacerbates the pain manifold. We must continue to work to ensure that elections are held in societies where they are not permitted, and where they are that they are genuinely free and fair, not just superficially practiced. The present economic crisis is also an opportunity -- an opportunity for democracy to come to the fore and take its rightful place in our part of the world. When we emerge from the other side of the current bleakness, we must be able to look back and say that while we had the chance, Asian liberals and democrats made this region a safer, more tolerant, and freer place to live in. This we cannot do if we remain timid and cocooned in our own worlds. The message is change, the time is now. Let us get to work. Dr. Chee Soon Juan Chair 23
H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid
â€œConsultation and Compassion in the Midst of Economic Turmoilâ€? Abridged version of keynote speech by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
President Wahid, Friends from Asian liberal and democratic parties, Ladies and gentlemen,
the 1997 financial crisis, and also at the same time try to grasp one of the best constitutions Thailand has ever had.
First of all, let me welcome you to Thailand. I know that we were supposed to have hosted this event back in December of last year. But as you all know, the political situation then meant that we could not host this event. And I said to our partner and organizers that maybe we should think of it as the longest celebration of our 15th anniversary. Now I welcome you here as the head of the Democratic Party and now head of the government of Kingdom of Thailand.
For many of you here, this is also familiar turf, where our societies continue to find the right balance between how to make sure that the market economy can continue to function when there is instability both in economic and political realm, and how we can still continue to apply the very principles and ideology that we all believe in, which is the right and freedom of our people to choose. So I hope that over the course of today we can come up again with a common agenda as to how we can move forward to protect our democracy, to make sure that the market system functions better, and how we can achieve peace and prosperity for our people.
We are facing a challenge that many people are saying is unprecedented â€“ not just for Thailand, but also for other countries in the world. The huge challenge presented by the financial meltdown on a global scale is taking place as our political challenges continue at home. You would have learned of this late, that over the last two to three years, Thailand has been struggling to find the right balance so that our liberal democracy can mature despite the huge differences among the beliefs of our people. My foreign minister has already said that over the last three months, the number one priority of my government has been to bring the state of Thailand back to normal. And I think we have come a long way to achieve that, certainly with the hosting of the ASEAN Summit in the beginning of the month. Our ability to push through a number of significant measures and policies throughout is testament to the fact that the Thai government is back in business, functioning and swiftly moving to respond to the global financial crisis. In many ways, we are again back on familiar ground, just like the last time the Democratic Party in Thailand was in power. We will face it and take chances, just as we responded to
For us here in Thailand, and for the Democratic Party of Thailand, what this crisis means in terms of the need for response is that we should at least set two immediate tactics: the first is that the economic crisis must not be allowed to lead to a social crisis or a political crisis. We know how social tension and disruptions can follow an economic crisis of this scale. Secondly, as has been mentioned more than once this morning, in every crisis there is enough opportunity. Some of the restructuring, some of the reforms, and some of the changes that have been long overdue in our region should also be implemented to make sure that we emerge out of this stronger. That is the key guiding principle; that is why I ask my government to address this concern. So the first thing that we do when we assumed office, in terms of coming up with an economic package for the immediate term, is to make sure that we protect our least fortunate people and our most vulnerable. We do this in the belief that it is the only way to prevent social tension and
disruptions. And we do this with the thought that often when times are good or when the economy is booming, governments tend to overlook the need to create an appropriate and a comprehensive welfare system that protects the people who most deserve such protection. One of the messages that I would certainly be taking to the London Summit is that the developed economies must be aware that the impact of this global downturn will be felt hardest by the poorest in the world – because in South societies and many countries in this region, there is simply not an adequate social protection system in place. And if there has been so much anger and a feeling of injustice on Main Street in the United States -- that through no fault of their own, ordinary people are suffering from the sins of Wall Street -- well, just imagine how we should feel on the other side of the globe. Most countries in this region, through no fault of their own, had already undergone very painful adjustments only a decade ago to make sure that their financial institutions and system returned to good health. And yet, we are probably now suffering more than the Western economies where the financial crisis originated. Over the last couple of months, many of our economies – very open economies – have been in suffering a bit of contraction in exports and tourism. A decline of 20 to 30 percent is now expected monthly. The effect of that contraction is clearly felt in our factories where there are layoffs and unemployment. That is why we need to make sure that the immediate response is to protect the people who have been affected by this crisis. Whether we call ourselves liberals or democrats or liberal democrats, the crisis brings challenges to the way we see and do things: first, in our belief of the market
system – because it is based on the right of our people to choose, we have to make sure that such system does not lead to chaos, volatility, and instability. How do we reconcile the principles of intervention or regulation with our basic belief that people will make the right choices? Secondly, with the impact having socio-political dimensions, we have to make sure that in our response to the crisis and in carrying out the reforms, we do not forget to make further advances as far as liberal democracy is concerned. That means all responsive policies and reforms must take into account and recognize the importance of recognizing human rights and the people’s participation.
urban areas, the people with the lowest income. Over the last two days, we have been handing out cash or checks worth two thousand baht to make sure that these people can get through difficult times.
For the Thai government, as far as the response for the financial crisis is concerned domestically, the following steps are being taken: first, we need to inject money from the public sector to do as much as we can to compensate for the losses following the contraction in exports and tourism. And the way do that, to make sure we get rapid response, is to try put money in the hands of our people, our consumers – typically the lowest income – as soon as possible.
At the same time, we are paving the way for setting up a more concrete and at the same time sustainable welfare system. Included in the stimulus package is the free education program – free basic education for 15 years. We also now pay income support for people over the age of 60. While the money we provide would surely not be enough for them to solely rely on, we are at least stressing the principle that these are deserving people and it is their right to receive support from our government. We must show the people that the role of the government must continue to include the protection of the most vulnerable, that we must show compassion when markets turn cruel. All these will be followed with second and third stimulus packages that would then move on to infrastructure investment.
Much of the money of the first stimulus package is being spent to make sure there is price support for key agricultural goods so that our farmers do not suffer from the severe drop in prices of commodities and agricultural products. We are also spending money to make sure that rural funds are set up, whereby we encourage the people in the villages to decide for themselves how best to invest that money. Particularly, we encourage them to invest in a model of sustainable development. We allow the money to be used to create local jobs, or to enhance agricultural productivity, or for projects that either protect the environment or conserve energy. We’re also providing money for the poor in
But that’s only the first step. We decided to do this because if we had engaged in traditional stimulus packages -- trying to invest in mega projects or some big investment in infrastructure -- the money would not be dispersed during the first half of this year simply because of bureaucratic red tape. Before any construction or real economic transaction could take place, it would be too late.
We hope to create hundreds, thousands of projects in rural areas because my country wants to base its future economy on the strong ability to produce food and alternative fuel in agriculture. We would also be investing to improve our competitiveness -- investing in education and health services 26
since we believe improving human resources is the best value for money for any country. Of course, while we are doing this, we have to be mindful of physical and monetary discipline. Over the next couple of years, I expect the debt-GDP ratio of most countries to go up by at least 10 or 20 percent; in many cases it might even be higher. We need to make sure that there is discipline so that we do not overspend. Otherwise the markets could react in ways that could lead to further destabilization of our economies. This is the challenge that we face, for which we have now crafted out this approach, which I believe is in line with our basic belief in liberalism. I should add also that in all these process, we are inviting participation of our people. I’ve already mentioned the case of the rural village fund, the local people will be deciding how the money is used. At the national level, we are opening a special website on all the stimulus package money, where it is going, and we’re inviting participation so that people can continue to monitor it and make suggestions. And given the changing provisions in our constitution, even though we seek loans from external sources, we now have to table the negotiating framework, as well as the contract for parliamentary approval. We invite such participation and consultation, not just from the parliamentarians but also from the local people. But the most important thing that we must recognize is that there is no way that we can get out of this crisis without coordinating action on an international or the global scale. I appreciate Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s attempt to make sure that the G20 meeting 27
will now be more inclusive. I’ve been invited as chair of ASEAN along with the heads of other regional groupings in the hope that we will provide voice for developing and emerging economies. Let me just briefly take you through the four key points that we will be presenting: First, all the countries are now undertaking fiscal and monetary policies in the hope to stimulate their domestic economies – that is greatly needed, but what matters is not just the size of these countries but how they are implemented, the timing, and the allocation of resources within package. I know that later on today, we will have a session on how the money should be spent. Significantly, we hope to see concrete coordination in terms of setting common targets for the global economy, for various regions, or even requiring some kind of minimum targets for individual countries. That’s the only way to make sure that the money that is being spent by the various countries will actually lead to a global target. And we will also make the observation that sometimes, spending that is part of the stimulus package is not helping on the global scale, particularly when money is pouring into specific industries as subsidies. The second message that we will be taking is that we must all help to fight protectionism because if individual countries slip into protectionist mode, everybody will lose in a global scale. Actually, we should learn from the 1930s, we should learn from various instances in the past, where protectionism led to worldwide recession or even depression. The third message is that we now need to rethink the role of the various global financial institutions. Facilities must be available for a number of countries when there is inadequate
protection to have access to counter cyclical policies, so that they can be financed without conditionality. In particular, while there are still a number of countries, especially in Asia, with services reserves, we should look for ways and means by which these reserves could be used to help the world get out of this global recession, perhaps with the IMF or the World Bank acting as providing guarantees in such reserves are being used. Finally, we cannot overlook the very important challenge of facing up to what has caused this latest round of crisis, which is the instability that follows financial deals --- how to strike the right balance between making sure that future financial transactions, particularly international transactions, are better regulated without being overregulated and how we can reconcile the fact that we now live in a single global economy, but without a global authority with the power to make sure that such regulations can really be enforced. I repeat, these are very challenging times and we are being tested severely. Yet I hope we can rise up to this challenge and pull through. And when we emerge from this crisis, not only will our economies be stronger, but a foundation would have also been set for stronger liberal democracy across the globe. Thank you very much.
“The Crisis of Democracy” Keynote address of Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, Hon. Jules Maaten of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Executive Committee members from CALD, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to you all. First and foremost, let me commend Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for providing us valuable insights in his speech, which complement very well the theme of our conference “Liberal Responses to the Global Financial Crisis.” We have certainly witnessed in the past months the economic, social, and political impact of this crisis, and given the volatility of the global economy, there is no guarantee that we will not experience them again in the future. I would like to concentrate, however, on what I consider as the fundamental challenge that confronts many societies in Asia, which Prime Minister Abhisit also hinted in his presentation – the crisis of democracy. I have been contemplating about this issue for a long time, and today, drawing from the experiences of Indonesia, let me offer a few thoughts that could give flesh to what the Prime Minister presented. In academic and policy circles, and even in my daily conversations with the people, I have always been confronted with the question of where do I think Indonesia is heading - a nation of more than 240 million people with so much diversity and potential. While
this question is undeniably not easy to answer, I believe that any response to this query necessitates true understanding of the deep problems and difficult challenges faced by Indonesia. Without a doubt, these problems and challenges bothered many Indonesians, and even disillusioned them. There were a number of instances before when people came to me expressing their disappointment with the slow progress or development in Indonesia, not only in the economic realm, but in politics as well. Despite the significant strides toward democracy that Indonesia has taken in recent years, it cannot be denied that there are still monumental challenges that it has to surmount to develop and institutionalize it. Indonesian democracy, in practice, still leaves much to be desired. There are still many impediments to the country’s democratic progress. For example, in a speech by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a couple of days ago, he asked the people to recognize that Indonesia now is on the path of development and democracy. Many Indonesians, however, received such statement with skepticism – and rightfully so. Elections in Indonesia, as in other parts of Asia, do not necessarily embody the will of the people. So the challenge for Indonesia and for many Asian countries is to follow the path toward genuine, honest and fair elections that truly empower
the people to make informed political decisions. These elections, however, are only the first step in treading the very difficult road to democracy. While another country’s experience with democracy may be instructive for transitioning countries like Indonesia, it must also be pointed out that outsiders should exercise extreme caution in prescribing a ‘one size, fits all’ democratic formula to these nations. The complexity of politics in Indonesia, for one, demands indepth study and analysis before it can be properly understood. It is in this light that international organizations like CALD play a very important role. By organizing conferences, seminars, workshops, and other activities, CALD has become an important venue to exchange ideas and opinions that widen and deepen our understanding of politics in the Asian region. That is why I accept CALD’s individual membership with pride. It is indeed a privilege to be part of CALD, and let me take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the CALD for welcoming me to your liberal family. I am certain that in the years to come, CALD will remain to be a vibrant force for democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law in the region and beyond. Let us continue to fight for democracy with all our strength and ability! Thank you very much. 28
Resolutions 2009 Resolution No. 1 S. 2009 Celebrates International Women’s Day; expresses support for the empowerment of women engaged in various sectors of society; and reaffirms the mandate of the CALD Women’s Caucus, which carries the global initiative of women empowerment through its advocacy of advancing women in politics through political party- and capacity-building. Issued 8 March Resolution No. 2 S. 2009 Calls for the immediate and unconditional restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Hon. Mu Sochua, MP, and Hon. Ho Vann, MP, both members of the opposition in Cambodia and who were stripped of such immunity by a vote of the Cambodian People’s Party-dominated National Assembly on 22 June. Issued 23 June Resolution No. 3 S. 2009 Expresses deep condolences to the Aquino family and the Filipino people for the untimely demise of former Philippine President and Asian Icon of Democracy Corazon C. Aquino; calls on all Filipinos and freedom lovers worldwide to keep her legacy alive through the steadfast commitment to justice and human rights, freedom, and democracy. Issued 3 August Resolution No. 4 S. 2009 Expresses deep sadness for the untimely demise of former South Korean President, Nobel Laureate, and CALD co-founder Kim Dae-Jung, who was known for his initiatives in establishing a more peaceful, open, and globalized society. Issued 19 August Resolution No. 5 S. 2009 Condemns the 11 August guilty verdict issued by a criminal court in Rangoon against Nobel Laureate and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung Suu Kyi that also carried a three-year jail sentence (reduced to 18 months of house arrest); and demands her immediate and unconditional release. Issued 24 August Resolution No. 6 S. 2009 Commends Hon. Graham Watson, MEP, who finished his term as head of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in June, for his remarkable leadership of ALDE and for his exceptional service to the greater cause of democracy worldwide. Issued 5 September Resolution No. 7 S. 2009 Asks for the immediate and unconditional restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP and Cambodian opposition leader, after he was once again stripped of such by the Cambodian National Assembly on 16 November. Issued 17 November 29
Statements and Letters
VIOLENCE and a continuing culture of impunity across South and Southeast Asia had CALD issuing strongly worded statements in 2009. In January, for instance, CALD expressed “deep concern over the increasing civilian casualties as a result of the ongoing conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).” Fighting for independence on behalf of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, LTTE was the only group that rejected an accord negotiated between the Indian and Sri Lankan governments in 1987, and had pressed on with a civil war that had already claimed 70,000 lives by 2008. In its 28 January statement, CALD echoed the United Nations’ call for the LTTE to meet its “international responsibilities and guarantee free movement and appropriate assistance” for the civilians trapped within the war zone. At the same time, CALD called on the Sri Lankan government “to continue to provide food and social services” to these civilians “while advancing a political solution” that would lead to “a pluralistic and democratic Sri Lanka.” More than three months later, CALD was again expressing its deep concern, this time over the possible lifting of the parliamentary immunity of Cambodian opposition MP Mu Sochua, who had filed a defamation suit against Prime Minister Hun Sen. In its 7 May statement of support for the embattled legislator, CALD called on the Cambodian parliament to “weigh the facts first and allow sound and impartial judgment to prevail before deciding on the fate of a parliamentarian’s immunity.” In addition, it urged the Cambodian court to demonstrate its independence by upholding “the highest respect in the rule of law upon deciding” on the case. May also saw CALD issuing a statement urging the immediate release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other political prisoners in Burma. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, was then on the verge of finishing a term of house arrest, but an incident involving a trespasser in her Rangoon home had raised the possibility that she would be meted additional detention time by the authorities. CALD said that it was “gravely concerned” that the Burmese military junta had “undermined the national reconciliation effort” and betrayed the ideals of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In its 26 May statement reiterating its call for international action to secure the release of Burma’s political prisoners, including Daw Suu Kyi, CALD also urged the country’s military junta to take “the next essential steps of building genuine peace and democracy.” 30
A statement CALD issued later in the year, however, was prompted by some good news for a change. In Singapore, a group of opposition leaders and human-rights activists were acquitted in a case in which they were accused of violating Rule 5 of Miscellaneous Offenses (Public Order and Nuisance/Assemblies and Processions). According to District Judge John Ng, the 16 September candle-lit walk conducted by Gandhi Ambalam, John Tan, Chee Siok Chin, Charles Tan, and Chong Kai Xiong from Speakers’ Corner to Queenstown Remand Prison “did not cause inconvenience to the public, affect traffic flow or make noise (that) disturbed the public peace.” CALD’s 8 October statement welcomed Judge Ng’s decision, which it said looked “into the merits of the case.” But CALD also expressed regret that Ng “did not categorically rule that the Government’s complete ban on outdoor political activities contravenes the Singapore Constitution, which guarantees the right of citizens to freedom of speech, association, and assembly, except in emergency conditions.” The statement in addition expressed firm support for the resolve of the SDP – of which Ambalam and company are part -- to safeguard the rights of Singaporean citizens as stated in the country’s charter. CALD noted, too, that “democracy’s strength lies in greater political spaces of freedom of expression, respect for human rights, tolerance of legitimate dissent, and the independence of the judiciary.” The year also had CALD taking on the sad task of writing letters of condolences to the families and friends of three Asian leaders who passed away (See In Memoriam). Fortunately, achievements by CALD partners and friends kept the organization busy writing letters of congratulations as well throughout the year. On 13 January, CALD congratulated H.E. M. R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra of Thailand’s Democrat Party for his election as Bangkok governor. Noting that Sukhumbhand is a former CALD chair, the organization said that it was optimistic that “the democratic values that CALD upholds” would coincide with the new governor’s vision for the Thai capital. On 21 May, it was the turn of Hon. Keo Phirum of Cambodia’s opposition Sam Rainsy Party to receive a CALD letter of congratulations. In celebrating Keo Phirum’s election as councilor in Sihanoukville province, CALD said that it trusted the new local official would be able to put in place “sound policies for good governance.” CALD sent its next congratulatory letter outside of Asia – to Europe, in fact, and specifically to Hon. Graham Watson of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Watson had been reelected as member of the European Parliament; in its 15 June letter to the European legislator, CALD expressed pride in Watson’s work and leadership and said that it looked forward to greater collaboration and stronger partnership with him, as well as with ALDE. A 9 December missive to CALD members and partners meanwhile acknowledged SRP’s Mu Sochua as the new chairperson of the CALD Women’s Caucus. In the letter, CALD said that under the leadership of Mu Sochua, a former Cambodian women’s affairs minister and current SRP women’s wing head, the Caucus would be able to “carry out the agenda of liberal women in Asia and advance CALD’s mandate of fostering the growth of societies based on personal liberty, personal responsibility, social justice, the rule of law, and free-market economy.”
Red carpet, CALD Manila style A party for parties Festivities at the sidelines And Gus Dur makes three The â€œtweetâ€? stuff A Premier visit SDP now a LI observer party Two reasons for celebrating
challenges it faced, would continue to be part of CALD initiatives and projects.
Red Carpet, CALD Manila Style
CALD’S Manila office usually hums with activity, but it bustled and practically lit up with the coming of special visitors from Taiwan, Thailand, and Burma (by way of the United States) during the first two months of 2009. On 18 January, the joint offices of CALD and FNF became the venue for a meeting of representatives from two CALD founding memberparties: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party and the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Headed by DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, the delegation from Taiwan included DPP Culture and Information Department Director Cheng Wen-Tsang, Social Development Department Director Shen Fa Hui, Chang Hsieng-hwei, and Carol Teng. In welcoming the visitors, MP and LP Secretary General Jun Abaya expressed hope that the collaboration between the DPP and LP would be strengthened further, and thanked the DPP for the chance at a dialogue, however brief. LP director Chito Gascon would later echo this, adding that the CALD Secretariat and LP headquarters are always open to receive any DPP staff who would want to work to promote and advance the partnerships of liberals in the region. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta, for his part, thanked the DPP for all the support the party has given CALD. He also said that he was optimistic the DPP, regardless of whatever 33
On hand to receive the visitors as well was FNF Manila Resident Representative Siegfried Herzog, who said that his organization is also willing to cooperate with DPP in terms of providing its officers and staff with political training through the FNF seminars and workshops in Germany. DPP’s Tsai thanked LP, CALD, and FNF for the warm reception they gave to her and the rest of the visitors. She said that the dialogue and the presentations given by all three had enabled her to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Philippines. She also realized, she said, that the DPP and the LP had gone through the same difficult path for the sake of freedom. Tsai then commented that Philippine-Taiwan relations should be seen more as more than just about trade and business. “Economic gains may not be sustainable without democracy,” she remarked. Also present to receive the DPP officials and members were former MP and then CALD Women’s Caucus chairperson Dina Abad, National Institute for Policy Studies Director Lambert Ramirez, LP Administration Deputy Director Argee Gallardo, CALD Program Officers Paolo Zamora and Carlo Religioso, and FNFManila web developer Narwin Espiritu. Just a few weeks later, Thai Foreign Minister H.E. Kasit Piromya made special adjustments to his busy schedule in Manila and made time for CALD, as well as the LP. Kasit’s visit at CALD saw him having a relaxed and informal discussion on Thailand’s unfinished democratic saga and the plans of the current administration there to bridge the widening divide in Thai society. According to Kasit, the Democrat Party – another founding CALD member-party – is considering an across-the-board consultation that would
include even the opposition and civil society to reunite Thais and rebuild national solidarity. He also said that the Thais’ trust in the current government could only continue to grow as it crafted better policies and protected basic freedoms. Kasit said that among other things, the Abhisit government was hard at work developing parliamentary participation and processes, improving the Thai-Burmese border situation, and pursuing the call and consensus on a stronger benchmark for human rights. Among those who welcomed Minister Kasit at the CALD offices on 8 February were LP Chairman Franklin Drilon, Abaya, Abad, and Gascon, as well as CALD Secretary General Acosta, Zamora, Religioso, and former CALD Executive Director John Coronel. The next day had CALD up bright and early for the visit of Dr. Sein Win, Burma’s Prime Minister-elect in exile, and Dr. Thaung Htun, representative for UN Affairs of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. Sein Win was actually in Manila to attend the Focus on Burma workshops together with Burmese legislators in exile and international donors and groups that support the Freedom for Burma initiative. Nevertheless, the U.S.-based Burmese official saw it fit to drop by at the CALD office to express his appreciation for all the assistance liberal friends have extended to those like him and the rest of the Burmese network to achieve freedom and peace in his homeland. He also said he was pleased that CALD Secretary General Acosta invited him to CALD’s anniversary conference in Bangkok, and would try to find a way to attend. He has been barred from entering Thailand since 1990. Aside from Acosta and the Burmese visitors, CALD Program Officers Zamora and Religioso were present at the breakfast meeting.
NO one doubts how hard CALD works, but it is no believer in all work and no play. Just like political discussions and endless strategy planning, social gatherings are part of CALD’s life – the better for its friends and partners to bond with one another and expand their network of contacts.
A Party for Parties
And so on 3 February, CALD found itself in a party hosted by former CALD chair and current Liberal Party (Philippines) Chairman Franklin Drilon. The gathering -- actually a farewell dinner for the participants in the CALD Leaders’ Political Campaign Roundtable – was held at Drilon’s Manila home, which is a favourite venue for caucuses and get-togethers of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta took the opportunity to thank those who contributed to the success of the roundtable. Together with Boonyod Sooktinthai, deputy speaker of the Royal Thai Parliament, and Cambodian MP Saumura Tioulong, Acosta presented tokens of appreciation and gratitude to Joe Hansen, main speaker at the roundtable, as well as to FNF’s Dr. Rainer Adam and Siegfried Herzog for the support given by their organization to the event, and to Drilon for hosting the party. LP leaders and party officials were present to forge stronger ties and partnerships with sister-parties from South, East, and Southeast Asia whose key people had participated in the roundtable. Among the LP stalwarts who attended the dinner were Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for government service Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, along with LP MPs Joseph Emilio Abaya (also the LP secretary general), Erin Tañada, Alfonso Umali, Neil Tupas Jr., and Proceso Alcala. Former MPs Florencio Abad and Henedina Abad, as well as Concepcion Asis, former LP director general, were also in attendance. Drilon, a former president of the Philippine Senate, was among the participants of the CALD roundtable.
JUST like in any conference they set up and attend, members of the CALD family had their sleeves rolled up during the organization’s series of seminars on the global economic crisis that was held in Bangkok in March. But this was in celebration of CALD’s 15th anniversary, so festivities bookended the conference and had CALD members, friends, and partners unwinding before and after they got down to business. First up was the welcome reception for the conference delegates that was hosted by CALD founding member Democrat Party (Thailand). Held 27 March at the elegant Sukhothai Hotel, the dinner was graced with key DP figures such as Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra. Among the special guests was former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, who was to be officially recognized as CALD’s latest individual member the following day. Wahid gave tokens of appreciation to the DP and CALD’s principal partner, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
Festivities at the Sidelines
In his welcome remarks at the dinner reception, Kasit said that he hoped that members and friends of the CALD family would use “the liberal and democratic ideals and change our respective societies.” He said that now that the Democrat Party is in power, “we would like to continue to work with you not only as a political party, not only as a member of CALD, but also as a government that would push for changes.” Sukhumbhand, for his part, congratulated CALD on reaching its 15th anniversary. The former CALD chairperson also said, “I’m sure CALD will go on from strength to strength. I’m very confident that over the years to come, CALD will perform its chosen task of promoting liberal and democratic values and networks of institutions, political parties, and individuals.” The next evening saw CALD taking its turn as host at a dinner reception at Bangkok’s Four Seasons Hotel, with the guests including representatives of CALD member parties, individual members, partners, and friends. Among the highlights was the presentation of a special multimedia production showcasing the history of CALD and interviews with liberal friends across the globe.
Dr. Chin Fook Weng, national spokesperson of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, meanwhile remarked, “We think there is a great future for CALD. We think there is a great need for CALD. We think that a forum like this will enable many of the young leaders of this region to interact with one another and advance the ideals of liberalism and democracy.”
The 28 March reception, which had Bi-Khim Hsiao of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party and CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta of the Liberal Party (Philippines) taking on host duties, was actually the conclusion of the CALD 15th anniversary celebrations. Guests took turns toasting CALD, among them MEP Jules Maaten of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, who declared that CALD had become “family.”
National Council of the Union of Burma Secretary General Maung Maung, for his part, expressed sincere gratitude to CALD, explaining, “We’re still in a situation where we are still not able to organize in our own country. But we are very encouraged and very proud that we have been part of CALD – that we have been given space. We are new to this political process and we are ready and willing to learn. Happy 15th birthday!” 36
And Gus Dur Makes Three
FORMER Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid officially became CALD’s third individual member on 28 March, with his acceptance as such one of the highlights of CALD’s 15th anniversary celebrations in Bangkok. Originally scheduled to take place in December 2008, the ceremony was postponed to three months later, along with the rest of the anniversary celebrations. During the ceremony, CALD cited Gus Dur – as Wahid was fondly called – for his “lifetime achievement in the service of his country and people and for his exemplary and selfless leadership embodying the highest ideals of liberty and the promotion of democracy and human rights in Asia and beyond.” In his keynote address at the Bangkok conference, Gus Dur noted that while countries in transition like Indonesia usually face seemingly endless challenges on their path toward democracy, they must resist the temptation to take a shortcut and copy another nation’s system wholesale. There is no “‘one size, fits all’ democratic formula,” he added, and even wellintentioned countries must resist the temptation to impose their own model of governance on another nation without studying the latter thoroughly.
This is where international organizations like CALD can contribute, he said – by providing the “venue to exchange ideas and opinions that widen and deepen our understanding of politics in the Asian region.” And that, said Gus Dur, was why he was accepting the CALD individual membership “with pride” and considered being a part of the organization “a privilege.” The charismatic Gus Dur headed Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, which draws its support of at least 30 million members from Muslims in the rural areas of Java, Indonesia's main island. But that position as a moral leader was transformed when he and his supporters formed the Nation Awakening Party, PKB, following the dramatic fall of President Suharto in 1998. A political maverick, Gus Dur was chief executive of Indonesia only for a short while – from 1999 to 2001. Unfortunately, he was able to enjoy his individual membership in CALD for an even shorter term, passing away just months after the Bangkok event. (See In Memoriam) Other CALD individual members are Martin Lee, founding chairman of the Democrat Party of Hong Kong, and his party mate, former MP Sin Chung Kai.
MEMBERS of the CALD family always make it a point to keep in touch – something that has become easier since 2008, when the organization joined millions in Facebook. But keeping up with CALD has become even simpler with Twitter, a free microblogging network that lets users provide – and get – quick updates on whatever they are interested in. One of the latest innovations in mobile messaging, Twitter enables users to exchange “frequent answers to one simple question: what’s happening?”
The “Tweet” Stuff
by way of 140-character posts on the author’s profile page and which are delivered to the author’s “followers.” CALD, which officially began tweeting on 7 August, has 104 followers so far. It has 233 fans on Facebook. The CALD Secretariat has described the move as part of the organization’s communications strategy. “Facebook updates in real time,” it explains, “so we just feed our news in it so members of our Facebook account and friends in their respective networks can also read the uploaded news in real time. Facebook also helps in gathering updates and breaking news from member-parties that broadcast their news online.” Twitter enhances news delivery by acting as an alert and providing a quick summary of whatever is breaking at the moment. Some of the more active users of Facebook and Twitter in the CALD family are the Singapore Democratic Party, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, Democrat Party of Thailand, and the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Many individual members of these organizations also often share their views on national issues and activities through these e-networks, as do CALD partners like the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and Liberal International. 38
IT was just a one-day visit to Manila, but Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva still found time to meet with CALD and leaders of the Liberal Party of the Philippines at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Among those who greeted him at the hotel on 14 August was Philippine Senator and LP Vice Chairman Benigno Aquino III, who said it was “an honor for CALD” to welcome Abhisit and other partners and colleagues from the Democrat Party of Thailand. CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta seconded this, saying that Abhisit’s visit “further strengthens CALD’s role in democratic processes and dialogues among member parties.”
A Premier Visit
The CALD Secretariat updated Abhisit, who was in Manila as part of an official series of trips around Southeast Asia, about its projects in the last quarter of the year. The DP has already chaired CALD twice – in 1993-95 and in 2002-04. Aquino also took the opportunity to personally thank the Thai premier for the message of condolences Abhisit sent to his family and the Filipino people after his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, passed away two weeks earlier. Present as well at the meeting were MP Erin Tanada, LP spokesperson at the House of Representatives; ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta; Chulalongkorn professor Dr. Carina Chotirawe; CALD Program Officers Paolo Zamora and Carlo Religioso; and Mai Mislang, Aquino’s communications officer.
SDP Now An LI Observer Party
CALD’s chair-party, the Singapore Democratic Party, officially became among the newest observer parties of CALD partner Liberal International, along with six other organizations: the National League for Democracy-Liberated Areas (Burma), Civic Will Party (Mongolia), El Ghad Party (Egypt), the Liberal Democratic Party (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and SLS (Kosovo). Participants at LI’s 56th Congress in Cairo, Egypt unanimously approved the applications of all seven parties during the event’s administrative session on 31 October.
The SDP is the latest among CALD member parties to become LI observer parties, following in the steps of Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party and the Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia). CALD founding member-parties Democrat Party (Thailand), Liberal Party (Philippines), and Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), meanwhile, are among LI’s full members. Founded in 1947, LI is a global federation of liberal political parties. Its objectives include the promotion of liberalism and the strengthening of liberal parties.
Two Reasons For Celebrating
EXECUTIVE committee meetings could be tedious at times, but CALD’s Execom was decidedly in good spirits during the one it held on 27 November. Included in its agenda for that gathering, after all, was the formal acceptance of the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Penjuangan (PDI-P) or the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle as the newest member of CALD. PDI-P, which is said to have 10 million members, adheres to the pancasila (five principles) and aims for an Indonesia that is “independent, sovereign, united, democratic, just, prosperous, civilized, and strong.” PDI-P Electoral Winning Body Deputy Secretary Hasto Kristiyanto attended the Execom meeting to convey his party leaders’ approval for the move. Formal ceremonies to mark the full membership of the Indonesian party in the first regional alliance of political parties in Asia was scheduled to be held during CALD’s 2011 conference.
Another pleasant task that the CALD Execom accomplished during the same meeting was its official acceptance of the appointment of Cambodian MP Mu Sochua as the new chairperson of the CALD Women’s Caucus. A tireless advocate for women’s rights and victims of injustice, Mu Sochua was appointed by the Sam Rainsy Party in November to lead the Caucus. The 2005 Human Rights Global Leadership awardee currently heads the SRP Women’s Wing. In her letter to the CALD Execom, Mu Sochua thanked the committee’s members for officially accepting her appointment. “(It) is my intention,” she also said, “to follow through on the issues raised during the (Caucus’s workshop in May) by adhering to the vision of liberal women leaders: strengthening women’s role in promoting liberal values and enhancing political parties.”
CALD Intern “Says NO”
THE global scourge called child sex tourism became the focus of CALD’s sole intern to the European Parliament in 2009, with Mai Mislang from Manila, Philippines working specifically on a campaign spearheaded by MEP Jules Maaten of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Mislang, who is the chief communications officer of Liberal Party Senator Benigno Aquino III, even arrived in Brussels, Belgium in early April with the main aim of helping ALDE advance the efforts against the trade in child sex using as few resources as possible, especially during a costly election season. With the rise of the Internet helping child-sex trafficking all the more rampant and widespread, international organizations, governments, and activists have been on a mad scramble trying to fight it. Cooperation beyond borders have thus become crucial in the battle – and which Mislang herself experienced during her internship. Coming from a country that is emerging as yet another child-sex tourism hot spot, Mislang would say later that the internship gave her a means, however small, to influence leaders in the developed world by using her nation’s own experience with the problem. Then again, she made sure she prepared well for her tasks at 41
the EU, and first studied the existing program materials for both the anti-trafficking and ‘stop child sex tourism’ campaigns. Mislang later presented her suggestions on how to improve the ‘Say No’ website of ALDE to Maaten and his team, as well as her supervisor, Sylwia Remiszewska, and Guna Rudzite, ALDE-Communications project leader for this cause. She also worked on the revision of other communications tools, such as brochures and letters to celebrities tapped to endorse the campaign. ALDE organizes the annual internship program at the EP for CALD member parties with the International Political Dialogue of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
Corazon C. Aquino 1933 - 2009 Kim Dae Jung 1925 - 2009 Abdurrahman ad-Dakhil Wahid 1940 - 2009
IT was not only the Liberal community that grew a little dimmer in 2009 with the passing of three former Asian leaders during the year. Indeed, the whole world mourned the loss of three of the brightest lights of democracy whose ability to inspire others proved powerful even beyond the borders of their own nations: Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino of the Philippines, Kim Dae Jung of South Korea, and Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia. Aquino took her leave first, the news of her death from colon cancer on 1 August, at age 76, plunging an entire nation in profound grief. Just four days later, tens of thousands of Filipinos would line the streets as her remains were brought from the Manila Cathedral to her final resting place. Chanting her name over and over again, the people would keep her funeral cortege in a slow crawl, seemingly unable and unwilling to let her go. The widow of assassinated Philippine opposition leader Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr., Cory Aquino had been leading a quiet life raising five children when a public clamor for a credible leader to go against strongman Ferdinand Marcos swept her into the messy world of Philippine politics. She ran in the snap elections of 1986, which the Marcos government said she lost. But a botched military coup against Marcos was soon transformed into a popular uprising that declared Aquino as the only acceptable leader for the nation and led her to become the first female President of the Philippines. In 1987, 43
she received the Prize for Freedom from CALD partner Liberal International -- just one among many other recognitions that would come her way. Aquino’s six-year tenure was marred by at least seven coup attempts, which sabotaged much of the economic and political reforms her government had implemented. Aquino, however, was able to offer her people a new constitution, a restored bicameral Congress, and rebuilt state institutions, among other things. She resisted suggestions for her to stay in power beyond six years, but she remained a potent voice for the people even as a private citizen. In a short essay written while Aquino lay in her sickbed, CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta explained who Cory was to her people, and especially to his generation. He said: “Having come of age at the twilight years of the Marcos dictatorship and bearing witness to the return of democracy in 1986, my own personal sense of the country’s history is closely tied to the persona of Cory Aquino and what she represented for all of us. I believe that the deep melancholy of a country that comes from seeing such a historic icon fall ill and fight for her life mirrors a people’s own longing for an era when they tapped into their own wellsprings of goodness and giftedness.” “When President Cory passes on,” he wrote, “a part of us and the sense of purpose that defined our ‘people-power’ generation will
In Memoriam also pass on. That is why there is a deeper national pathos this time. It is more than seeing a beloved leader bowing out of life. It is about a people, at a time of malaise and widespread social distrust, mourning for many of the lost possibilities that Cory’s bravery and example had awakened in us over two decades ago.” “Cory and 1986 formed a generation of martial law babies who finally came to see a sea change in government, a monumental transition from dictatorship to freedom,” Acosta also said. “But it has been Cory’s unassailable integrity, her unyielding commitment to making the ways of democracy work through the independent functioning of its institutions, which bear their mark in a people’s consciousness.”
that have helped South Korea emerge as one of the world’s most vibrant economies. His political reforms also led to a more stable South Korea and established it as a democracy to reckon with despite having spent decades under authoritarian rule. In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000, Kim made it a point to underscore the importance of prioritizing rights before economic well-being. “I believe that democracy is the absolute value that makes for human dignity, as well as the only road to sustained economic development and social justice,” he said. “Without democracy the market economy cannot blossom, and without market economies, economic competitiveness and growth cannot be achieved. A national economy lacking a democratic foundation is a castle built on sand.”
Many of these traits could also be claimed by Kim Dae Jung, who was even said to have been inspired by Aquino’s slain husband Ninoy in deciding to return to his homeland from exile in 1985. Unlike Cory Aquino, however, Kim was a veteran politician who began his long political career in 1961. He would spend several years under house arrest and in jail in separate instances, and would also dodge several assassination attempts before finally winning the presidential elections in 1997.
Kim, however, was best known for his ‘Sunshine Policy’ that saw South Korea renewing ties and reestablishing dialogue with communist North Korea. And while those ties began to unravel years after he stepped down from power, news of his death from pneumonia on 18 August elicited messages of condolences from Pyongyang, which would even send senior officials to attend his funeral days later. Kim was 85 at the time of his death.
Kim, who occupied the Blue House until 2003, put his country firmly on the path toward economic recovery, implementing changes
In his eulogy, South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo called Kim “a great leader of modern history.” 44
In Memoriam "Your sacrifices, dedication and devotion allowed freedom, human rights, and democracy to fully blossom in Korea,” he also said, “making our country today a proud and respected nation in the world." A day before 2009 drew to a close, yet another Asian leader would pass away. On 30 December, news spread that 69-year-old former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid had been unable to survive a surgery he was undergoing. Even the White House was moved to quickly send a message of condolence, which called Wahid “a pivotal figure" in Indonesia's transition to democracy who would be "remembered for his commitment to democratic principles, inclusive politics, and religious tolerance." Wahid became Indonesia’s first elected president after dictator Suharto, clinching a surprise win in October 1999. Then more known as an influential Muslim cleric who headed the Nadhlatul Ulama, one of the largest Islamic organizations in the world, Wahid proved to be a colorful political figure who left both supporters and critics befuddled with his moves and pronouncements. Nevertheless, he was able to achieve significant accomplishments during his less than two years in power, among them curbing the influence of Indonesia’s formidable military on his government.
Enumerating his achievements as president, the respected BBC also cited Wahid’s efforts to liberalize “Chinese cultural and religious expression” and his release of political prisoners.” In addition, said the BBC, Wahid “explored trade relations with Israel and agreed a memorandum of understanding, albeit briefly, with the separatist movement in the Sumatran province of Aceh.” The partially blind Wahid, though, was most lauded for standing up against those who bent on having Islam take an institutionalized role in the state. Shortly after becoming president, he was quoted as saying, "If the new parties want Islam to be a moral or educational force in politics, that's ok. But if they want to tinker with the laws of this country, then we must resist that." At Wahid’s memorial, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would say that the former leader had made Indonesians "realize and respect the diversity of ideas and identities brought about by differences in faiths, beliefs, ethnicity and locality." "Whether we realize it or not,” he added, “really, he was the father of pluralism and multiculturalism in Indonesia." Jakarta Archbishop Julius Darmaatmadja also remarked, “He was Muslim, but he became a blessing to all faiths.”
Asia Europe North America
ASIA Burma Dr. Sein Win Prime Minister-elect in exile Dr. Thaung Htun Representative for UN Affairs National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma Mr. Maung Maung Secretary General, National Council of the Union of Burma Secretary General, Federation of Trade Unions Burma Mr. Nyo Ohn Myint Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee National Council of the Union of Burma Cambodia Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Cambodian opposition leader President of the Sam Rainsy Party Hon. Mu Sochua , MP Former Minister for Women’s & Veterans Affairs Chair of Women’s Wing, Sam Rainsy Party Incoming Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP Sam Rainsy Party Mr. Seng Mardi President of the Sam Rainsy Party for Svay Rieng Province Hong Kong Hon. Martin C.M. Lee, QC.,SC. Founding Chairman Democratic Party of Hong Kong CALD Individual member Hon. Emily Lau Wai-hing JP Vice Chairperson Democratic Party of Hong Kong
Hon. Albert Ho Chun Yan Chairperson Democratic Party of Hong Kong Hon. Sin Chung-kai Vice Chairperson Democratic Party of Hong Kong CALD Individual member Mr. Fung Wai Kwong, Andrew Convenor, Communications Committee Democratic Party of Hong Kong Dr. Li Kin Yin, Mark Central Committee Member Democratic Party of Hong Kong Dr. CK Law Head, Policy Division Democratic Party of Hong Kong Indonesia K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid Former President Republic of Indonesia Dr. Luthfi Assyaukanie Deputy Executive Director Freedom Institute Hon. Hasto Kristiyanto Former Member of Parliament Deputy Secretary of the Electoral Winning Body Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Dr. Mohamad Ikhsan Modjo Director Institute for Development of Economic and Finance
Ms. Tricia Yeoh Research Officer to the Selangor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Selangor State Government, Malaysia Philippines Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III Senator of the Republic of the Philippines Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party of the Philippines Former Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Franklin Drilon Chair, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former Senate President, Republic of the Philippines Former Chair, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Alfredo S. Lim Mayor of Manila Liberal Party of the Philippines Hon. Florencio “Butch” Abad Campaign Chairman, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former CALD Chairman and LP President Former Education Secretary and Member of Parliament Hon. Henedina Abad Former Member of Parliament Former Vice President for Sectors, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus
Malaysia Tan Sri Dr. Chin Fook Weng Former Senator Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Hon. Dato Seri’ Ng Lip Yong Chairman of the International Affairs Department Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Former Member of Parliament
Hon. Joseph Abaya, MP Secretary General Liberal Party of the Philippines Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta Former Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Former Chair of the National Institute for Policy Studies (NIPS) Liberal Party of the Philippines Hon. Benjamin E. Diokno Former Budget Minister Professor, UP School of Economics Hon. Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, Esq. Director General, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former Undersecretary of Education and MP Mr. Siegfried Herzog Resident Representative Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Manila Mr. Manuel L. Quezon III TV Host and Blogger Assistant Managing Editor, Philippine Free Press Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer Dr. Joel Rocamora Fellow, Institute for Popular Democracy
Thailand H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva Prime Minister Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Kasit Piromya Foreign Minister Kingdom of Thailand Hon. Boonyod Sooktinthai Deputy Speaker Royal Thai Parliament
Dr. Jun-ji Shih Former Chairperson Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
Hon. Anik Amaranand, MP Democrat Party of Thailand Sri Lanka Hon. Ong-Art Klampaiboon, MP Democrat Party of Thailand Dr. Rainer Adam Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Sri Lanka Secretary of International Affairs and former President, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka
Dr. Direk Patmasiriwat Faculty of Economics Thammasat University
Dr. Ing-wen Tsai Chairperson Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
Hon. Hans van Baalen, MEP President, Liberal International
Dr. Chee Soon Juan Secretary General Singapore Democratic Party
Dr. Chang Fu-Mei Foreign Policy Adviser to the Chairperson Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Former Chairwoman of the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission
Ms. Jaslyn Go Central Executive Committee Member Singapore Democratic Party
Dr. Henry Ho Former Finance Minister Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
Mr. John Tan Assistant Secretary General Singapore Democratic Party Thailand
Hon. Bi-Khim Hsiao Former MP, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Vice President, Liberal International Former CALD Secretary General
Mr. Gandhi Ambalam Chairman, Singapore Democratic Party
Hon. Liu Shyh-Fang Foreign Policy Adviser to the Chairperson Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Former Secretary General of the Executive Yuan
Hon. Jules Maaten, MEP Member of ALDE Bureau Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe United Kingdom Mr. Emil Kirjas Secretary General Liberal International
NORTH AMERICA United States of America Mr. Joe Hansen Campaign Strategist/ Consultant Democratic Party
RED LIBERAL DE AMERICA LATINA
RED LIBERAL DE AMERICA LATINA
Full Member Parties Associate Member Parties Individual Members Partners About CALD
FULL MEMBER PARTIES Democrat Party of Thailand The Democrat Party has the longest history of all political parties in Thailand and has built a record of commitment to democracy. Founded in 1946, it spent many years after that as a major opposition party, playing a key role in building a democratic consciousness in the late ‘40s and into the ‘50s. Thailand plunged into dictatorship from 1958-68; thereafter, in the interim between dictatorships, the Democrat Party shifted between being the major opposition and being the ruling party. Throughout the 1980s, the Democrat Party grew stronger in tandem with Thai democracy. When Thailand’s most recent military coup occurred in 1992, the Democrat Party was a crucial part of the “People Power” movement. Address: 67 Setsiri Road, Samsen, Phyathai, Bangkok, 10400 Thailand Tel: +662-2700036 Fax: +662-2796086 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.democrat.or.th Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan On September 28th, 1986, the DPP became the first opposition party created during the period of martial law enacted by the Kuomintang (KMT). Founded mainly by family members and defense lawyers of political prisoners held by the KMT, the DPP consisted of political activists who risked their freedom and their lives to transform Taiwan’s political landscape. The arrival of the DPP initiated a new era of rapid democratic change to a nation forced to endure the one-party authoritarian state established by the KMT. The DPP has since evolved into a party dedicated to ensure social and political justice within Taiwan. The DPP has championed social welfare policies involving the rights of women, senior citizens, children, labors, indigenous peoples, farmers, and other disadvantaged sectors of society. On the political front, the DPP has won many battles for free speech, free press, the freedom of association, and respect for human rights. In 2000, Taiwan entered a new period of democracy when the DPP became the first ruling party in Taiwan other than the KMT. The eight years in government proved to be a valuable experience for the young party, with which we will continue its efforts to represent the will of the Taiwanese party as the current major opposition party. Internationally, the DPP strives for advocating the values of democracy, human rights and good governance as it continually works to establish and preserve alliances with other democratic countries. It is a member of Liberal International and a founding member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. It also represents Taiwan in the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation. Address: 10/F No. 30, Pei-ping East Road, Taipei, Taiwan Tel: +886-2-23929989 Fax: +886-2-23930342 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.dpp.org.tw
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle PDI Perjuangan (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan - Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) ideology is based on 1st June 1945 Pancasila (Five Principle), which is derived from the old indigenous Indonesian philosophy and way of life. Pancasila reflects Indonesian nationalism, humanity and internationalism, democracy, social justice, and belief in one God. PDI Perjuangan faces a constant challenge to become the uniting power of Indonesia and always in the forefront of supporting social diversity in Indonesia. Equality among citizens is the basic foundation of our diversity in the unity. In the current Indonesian democracy, PDI Perjuangan plays it role to fulfill people and state sovereignty by strengthening democratic institutions, mechanisms, and political practices. It also aims for a self-sufficient economy in the globalization era to bring prosperity and social welfare to the people. A nationalist party, PDI Perjuangan maintains a political stand for pluralism, social welfare, and the sovereignty of the people. Address: Jl. Raya Lenteng Agung No. 99, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia Tel: +62-21-7806028; 7806032 Fax: +62-21-7814472 Website: http://www.pdi-perjuangan.or.id Liberal Party of the Philippines The second oldest political party in the Philippines, the Liberal Party (LP) is considered an institution in the country’s sociopolitical life. Formed after World War II by President Manuel A. Roxas, it has consistently provided the nation with strong leadership, especially in times of crisis. The LP’s history is filled with sacrifice; its members and leaders have been known to give their very lives just to see freedom and liberty reign in the Philippines. During moments of moral ambiguity in Philippine politics, government officials and the media often look toward where the LP will go as an indication on what may be the right decision or stand on an issue. Its presidential and vice presidential candidates are currently leading in the 2010 national elections. Address: 2F Matrinco Bldg., Chino Roces Ave., 1231 Makati City, Philippines Tel: +632-8937483; 8936304 Telefax: +632-8930218 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.liberalparty.ph
Liberal Party of Sri Lanka The Liberal Party began as a think-tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy,’ the first institution to criticize the all-embracing statism of the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Liberal Party, opposed both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now in theory in favor of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched there is still need of coherent liberal activism. Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, who led the party since 1996, assumed the post of Secretary for International Relations in 2007 while Mr. Kamal Nissanka was elected leader in 2007. The party supported Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse’s candidacy in 2005 presidential election with the belief that he would end the separatist terrorism in Sri Lanka. The party, again, supported Mr. Rajapakse in 2010. However, it maintains its original policies such as market economy, devolution and ethnic harmony, individual freedom etc. Address: 88/1, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. Tel: +94-11-2691589 Website: http://www.liberalparty-srilanka.org National Council of the Union of Burma The National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) works on democratic principles to achieve a democratic federal system in Burma. Equality for all can be achieved only through transparent and inclusive participation. It has already been 14 years, since the National Council of the Union of Burma, NCUB was formed on September 22, 1992 at Marnerplaw. At the beginning NCUB was formed with 4 big Organizations such as NDF, DAB, NLD(LA) and NCGUB and now MPU is working on behalf of the NCGUB. It was originally aimed for NCUB to perform both the responsibilities of the united front, as well as, the Parliament. During this 14 years period, as individual members whole heatedly strive to strengthen their respective organizations, it has also been collectively striving for the strengthening of NCUB as a whole. As NCUB, being conceived and gave birth at Marnerplaw, could extend its Organization (Western Region Committee). It could also appoint its corresponding representatives to some of the Countries. NCUB is also an appropriate Vance of the resistance movement against SLORC/ SPDC for the Democratic forces and Ethnic Nationality forces, to meet, to Co-operate and to build mutual trust and understanding. NCUB is marching straight forward, without vacillation, towards its political objectives that had been laid down since it was formed, for the extermination of the Military dictatorship and the establishment of peace, Democracy and genuine Federal Union. Address: P.O Box (40), Mae Sot, Tak, 63110, Thailand Tel: +66 55 542 089 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.ncub.org
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Since its founding in 1968, the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) has seen growth and strength despite external constraints and internal problems. Through sincere leadership, pragmatic strategies, and non-communal approaches, PGRM obtained mass support to strive for an egalitarian united Malaysia characterized by racial harmony, social justice, economic equality, political democracy, and cultural liberalism. PGRM’s receptivity to people’s criticisms and advices and its sensitivity to their needs and aspirations are two major factors that contribute in making it a dynamic and resilient political force in Malaysia. Address: Level 5, Menara PGRM, No. 8 Jalan Pudu, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +60-3-92876868 Fax: +60-3-92878866 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.gerakan.org.my Sam Rainsy Party Cambodia’s main opposition party is a political organization with a vision and commitment dedicated toward genuine reform. The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) is fully committed to building roads for a peaceful transition toward a liberalized democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Address: 71 Sothearos Blvd., Phnom Penh, Cambodia Telefax: +855-23-217452 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.samrainsyparty.org Singapore Democratic Party The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was constituted in 1980. It believes in, and is working towards restoring human, civil, and political rights in Singapore; fostering a vibrant and dynamic society based on pluralism and diversity; cultivating a transparent and accountable political system; establishing an economic system based on free competition and equal opportunity for all; removing all policies and practices that discriminate against the less fortunate, women, and minorities; and cooperating with democratic parties and organizations in Asia to achieve peace and sustainable development in the region. It is the first opposition party in Singapore to have a youth wing (Young Democrats) and to deploy internet as alternative media. It uses blogging, political videos and online forums to reach out to the people. The Central Executive Committee (CEC) governs the party with Mr. Gandhi Ambalam as its chairman and Dr. Chee Soon Juan its secretarygeneral. SDP will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010. Mailing Address: Yishun Central P.O. Box 0025 Tel: +65-6456-4531 Fax: +65-6459-8120 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://yoursdp.org
ASSOCIATE MEMBER PARTY Liberal Forum Pakistan LFP (Liberal Forum Pakistan) has been trying to promote liberal values in Pakistan’s polity and creating political awareness amongst the masses. It attempts to accomplish these objectives by publishing and disseminating literature about liberalism throughout the country; and by holding consultations on various related issues. It also takes out a quarterly magazine on liberalism which is the only regular publication on this issue in this region. The membership of the organization is open to all, subject to approval by the Membership Committee. It holds functions in various districts with the help of its chapters and members. The overall supervision of the organization is in the hands of a Board of Directors which is headed by a Chairperson who is also the Chief Executive of the organization. The four provinces are headed by provincial presidents. LFP also has a youth wing by the name of FYG (Future Youth Group) which holds activities similar to LFP amongst the younger segments of the population. Both LFP and FYG have their websites which give up to date information about the liberal developments taking place. Address: No S1, Second Floor, Rawal Arcade, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan Tel: +92 51 225 6458/ 225 6459 Fax: +92 51 225 6459 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.lfp.org.pk
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Martin Lee Martin C.M. Lee (Lee Chu Ming) is the founding chairman (1994 - 2002) of the Democratic Party, which is one of the largest and most popular political parties in Hong Kong. Prior to the founding of the Democratic Party in October 1994, Lee was chairman of the United Democrats of Hong Kong -- Hong Kong’s first political party that won the first-ever democratic elections to the territory’s Legislative Council in 1991. Since its incorporation in 1994, the Democratic Party has done well in every set of elections held in Hong Kong and has received wide public support for its stance that Hong Kong must develop democratic institutions and preserve freedom, human rights and the rule of law if the territory is to continue to prosper as part of China. Address: 704A, Admiralty Centre, Tower I, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-25290864 Fax: +852-28642829 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.martinlee.org.hk
Sin Chung-kai Sin Chung-kai has served as a Member of Legislative Council since 1995. He is well-known as a strong advocate for transforming Hong Kong into a leading digital city that enjoys human rights, rule of law, fair competition, free flow of information, democracy, and economic prosperity. Address: Room 410, 4/F., West Wing, Central Government Offices, 11 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852-25093211 Fax: +852-25371469 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.sinchungkai.org.hk Abdurrahman Wahid H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid served as the fourth president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation from 1999-2001. He was an important figure among religious groups and political movements during the restoration of freedom and democratic rights after 32 years of the Suharto dictatorship. More popularly known as “Gus Dur,” he showed fellow Indonesians his lifetime commitment to public service and the promotion of liberal democracy and staunchly defended human rights, ethnic minorities and Indonesia’s secular tradition. Wahid headed the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. However, his position as a moral leader was transformed when he and his supporters formed the National Awakening Party (PKB) following the dramatic fall of President Suharto. He became the Chairman of its Advisory Council and its official presidential candidate in 1999. Though dominated by NU members, Wahid promoted PKB as a party that is non-sectarian and open to all members of society.
OBSERVERS Democratic Party of Japan The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was created in 1998, when reform-minded politicians from a number of opposition parties came together with the aim of establishing a genuine opposition force capable of taking power from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, and former party Presidents Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan were among those instrumental in establishing the new party. Since then the DPJ has grown in size at successive elections. It was further strengthened by a merger with the Liberal Party, led by Ichiro Ozawa, in 2003. It is now the largest opposition party in Japan, with a total of 113 seats in the House of Representatives and 83 in the House of Councillors. Address: 1-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014 Japan Tel: +81-3-35959988 Fax: +81-3-35959922 Website: http://www.dpj.or.jp 56
Nation Awakening Party PKB is short for Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa or the National Awakening Party. This party was established in Jakarta on 23 July 1998, by the party decelerators who are Abdurrahman Wahid (Gur Dur), Munasir Ali, Ilyas Ruchiyat, Muchit Muzadi, and Mustofa Bisri. They are all famous Indonesian Islamic scholars from Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia. The party has a national, democratic, and open characteristic. It functions as a place to improve education and as an aspiration to materialize civil rights and political participation. PKB has taken part in two elections -- in 1999 and in 2004. In both elections, PKB obtained more than 12 million votes and came third behind the Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. PKB is also an aspiration for a few social organizations, such as Nahdlatul Ulama, IPPNU, PPKB, PMII, GP ANSHOR, MUSLIMAT and FATAYAT. Address: Jalan Kalibata Timur I No. 12, South Jakarta, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia 12740 Tel: +62-21-7974353 Fax: +62-21-7974263 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dpp-pkb.org
PARTNERS Liberal International Liberal International is the world federation of liberal political parties. Founded in 1947, it has become the pre-eminent network for promoting liberalism, strengthening liberal parties, and for the promotion of liberal democracy around the world. There are a number of common principles that unite all liberal parties from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe: human rights, free and fair elections, multiparty democracy, social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability, and a strong sense of international solidarity. Naturally, there is diversity among liberal parties owing to the application of these principles in different national circumstances. But all LI members adhere to the organization’s manifesto. Address: 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD Tel: +44-20-78395905 Fax: +44-20-79252685 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.liberal-international.org Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament brings together MEPs from liberal and democratic parties across the European Union. They share the common values and promote an open-minded and forward-looking approach to European Union politics. They stand for individual liberty, a free and dynamic business culture, economic and social solidarity, sustainability in taking actions, protection of the environment and respect, and tolerance for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Address: European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, B- 1047 Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32-2-2842111 Fax: +32-2-2302485 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.alde.eu Friedrich Naumann Foundation The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental foundation committed to promoting the value of freedom in dignity worldwide. FNF seeks to promote this core liberal value by working to strengthen: human rights and the rule of law, liberal participatory democracy and a free market economy. Funded by the German parliament, the Foundation supports a wide range of activities in 65 different countries. Its partners include parliaments, political parties, universities, think-tanks, research institutions, NGO’s, the media, business associations and community organizations. Its key tasks are civic education, policy dialogue and consultancy to help find liberal solutions for the problems facing our societies. The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit has worked in partnership with the Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) since 1993. They have collaborated to organize conferences, meetings, networking opportunities and publications designed to further policy dialogue and co-operation among like-minded Asian political parties. Address: 29 BBC Tower, 25th Floor, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110, Thailand Tel: +662-3650570; +662-3650567 Fax: +662-7148384 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.fnfasia.org Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy is not only a historical accomplishment for its twenty-three million people, but a landmark in the worldwide spread of democracy. Only after years of struggle and effort could this transformation take place. We must never forget this history, for it shapes the cornerstone of our continued commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Foundation was established with an inter-related, two-tracked mission in mind. Domestically, the TFD strives to play a positive role in consolidating Taiwan’s democracy and fortifying its commitment to human rights; internationally, the Foundation hopes to become a strong link in the world democratic network, joining forces with related organizations around the world. Through the years, Taiwan has received valuable long-term assistance and stalwart support from the international community, and it is now time to repay that community for all of its efforts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002. After much research and careful evaluation, the Ministry integrated the required resources from many sectors of society. In January 2003, the Ministry obtained the support of all political parties to pass the budget for the Foundation in the legislature. The TFD formally came into being on June 17, 2003, with its first meeting of the 58
Board of Trustees and Supervisory Board. At that meeting, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng was elected its first chairman. According to its By-laws, the TFD is governed by a total of fifteen trustees and five supervisors, representing political parties, the government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and the business sector. Address: No.4, Alley 17, Lane 147, Section 3, Sinyi Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan Tel: +886-2-2708-0100 Fax: +886-2-2708-1148 Website: http://www.tfd.org.tw National Democratic Institute for International Affairs The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Address: 2030 M Street, NW, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20036-3306 Tel: +1-202-7285500 Fax: +1-202-7285520 Website: http:/www.ndi.org Alliance of Democrats In an interdependent world faced by challenges, global responses are vital. This is the reason why the Alliance of Democrats, an international network of liberal democratic, centrist and progressive political parties from all five continents, was initiated by various leaders from the European Democratic Party and the US Democratic Party in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 the Alliance of Democrats, which now includes over 60 political parties, organized several meetings and international conferences for strengthening the political dialogue between like-minded democratic political parties with the ambition to build a common “Global Agenda.” The founding event was the meeting with the theme “Rebuilding Transatlantic Relations: a dialogue between US and EU Democrats” held in Rome on February 24-25, 2005 with the attendance of the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition of the US Democratic Party at the US Congress, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, François Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, Bronislaw Geremek and Graham Watson. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and EDP Honorary President, delivered the closing remarks. The conference participants agreed on the need for a stronger and more structured relationship between the EU democratic parties and the US Democratic Party, in order to strengthen the transatlantic political and economic relations. With this, the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and the Co-Presidents of the European Democratic Party, Francesco Rutelli and François Bayrou, a Manifesto on EU-US Relations calling for closer links between democratic parties on the two sides of the Atlantic, and agreed to establish the Alliance of Democrats. 59
Following its engagement to continue building closer relationships with other like-minded parties and organizations around the world, and especially to establish sound links with Asian democrats, the Alliance of Democrats promoted a conference with the theme “A New Europe/Asia strategic partnership: the future is now: A dialogue between Asian and European Democrats” on December 1-2, 2005. The Conference took place in Rome, with the participation of many Asian political leaders representing major political parties such as the Indian Congress Party, and members and observer-parties from the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. In a closed-door seminar, bringing together politicians and experts, focused on issues such as economic integration between the two continents, international security, energy, multilateral cooperation, and global democracy. The seminar helped set up a common political agenda and a permanent network between Asia and European Democrats. Promoting sustainable development, increasing international security while fighting terrorism, and promoting human rights and democracy were the core issues of the discussions. Participants committed themselves to strengthening political dialogue, increasing cooperation and integration between Europe and Asia, and acting in favor of a closer partnership and integration between the European and Asian economies. The Board of Directors consists of Francois Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli and Ellen Tauscher as Co-Chairs. Gianni Vernetti, Italian MP and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was appointed Coordinator of the Alliance of Democrats. Address: Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 16 Rome Italy 00187 Tel: +39 06 69532367 Fax: +39 06 69532206 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.allianceofdemocrats.org Liberal Network for Latin America RELIAL (Red Liberal de América Latina), the Liberal Network of Latin America, is a Latin America-wide network of currently 52 civil society organizations, political parties, think-tanks and research-institutes. RELIAL is forming the institutional frame for leaders and opinion makers, academics, intellectuals, business people and personalities from the region that share and profess the ideas of individual freedom, limited government, the market economy, the Rule of Law, and a free democratic system in the continent Address: Red Liberal de América Latina - Cerrada de la Cerca Nº 82 – Col. San Angel Inn - México DF 01060 Tel: +5255 5550 1039 Fax: +5255 5550 6223 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www. relial.org
RED LIBERAL DE AMERICA LATINA
ABOUT CALD The Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Koreaâ€™s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia. CALD was formed out of the recognition of leaders of like-minded political parties in Asia of the need for a dynamic forum in which trends and challenges affecting democracy in the region could be discussed. The chair parties of CALD since its inception to the present have been the Democrat Party of Thailand (1993-1995; 2002-2004), the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (1995-1997, 2004-2005), the Liberal Party of the Philippines (1997-1999; 2005 to 2007), the Liberal Party of Sri-Lanka (1999-2000), the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia (2000-2002), and the Singapore Democratic Party (2007-2010). The other members of CALD are the Malaysian Peopleâ€™s Movement Party (Gerakan), the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). The Liberal Forum Pakistan is an associate member while former Indonesian President, H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), and Hong Kong legislators Martin Lee and Sin Chungkai are individual members. The observers of CALD include the Democratic Party of Japan and the Nation Awakening Party (PKB). Through CALD, political parties, groups, and individuals have a continuing discussion on the developments occurring in the various countries of the region. The aim is to assess the possibilities for liberal solutions to problems facing Asian democracies. Accordingly, CALD organizes network meetings including those with its partners (Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Liberal International, Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Alliance of Democrats, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and Liberal Network for Latin America), international conferences on vital issues affecting the region, and regular workshops on communication, political management, and women in politics. It also sends missions for various advocacies, sponsors internship programs in its secretariat and in the European Parliament, as well as maintains a website, a social network group account and a bi-monthly electronic news letter. 61
Dr. Chee Soon Juan Chairman Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General CALD Secretariat 7-B Amorsolo Street Makati City 1223 Philippines Telephone 63 2 811 3151 63 2 752 7557 Facsimile 63 2 8101431 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cald.org
CALD 2009 Annual Report COORDINATORS Paolo Antonio A. Zamora Celito F. Arlegue EDITOR C.C. Balgos PROJECT ASSISTANTS Carlo Joseph F. Religioso Fatima Angela E. Marifosque LAY-OUT DESIGN Hervi I. Santos Michael A. Gadi CONSULTANT John Joseph S. Coronel
This is a summary of the conferences, workshops and meetings CALD has organized in 2009. This report includes photos and description of proj...
Published on Feb 25, 2010
This is a summary of the conferences, workshops and meetings CALD has organized in 2009. This report includes photos and description of proj...