Proham acknowledges that in the BN manifesto there is a clear commitment to social, cultural and economic rights of all communities especially with the introduction of the Government Transformation Program and the Economic Transformation Program. This according to the manifesto will be continued and enlarged.Proham also notes that there is a reference to the abolishment of ISA, Restricted Residence Act & 3 Emergency Proclamations and the enactment of the Peaceful Assembly Act. This is most welcomed but these democratic freedoms and human rights compliance are stated in the BN Manifesto in the context of enhancing security and public safety which is thrust 9.
This approach to human rights is based on an old school of thought based on national security, public order and public safety. This old approach does not fully appreciate that human rights are inalienable human rights and not what the State or government decides to bestow on its citizens. The benchmark of human rights compliance is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Fundamental Rights of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.Proham calls on the Barisan National leaders during the GE 13 election campaign to lay down a clear road map as to how if elected to form the next Federal Government; they will be strongly committed towards safeguarding human rights in the next five years
Proham strongly recommends that enhancing democracy and human rights must be made the 18th thrust agenda in addition to the current 17. This will be in line with Malaysia’s current position as member of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and also a positive indication for the global review through the Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR) which Malaysia will undergo at the UN..Proham makes the following suggestions for the BN to consider incorporating as its commitment to the Nation if elected over the next Five years :
· To establish a National Human Rights Action Plan which is adopted by the Government after discussion with civil society, government agencies and parliament
· To ratify all the core human rights conventions such as the International convention on economic, social and cultural rights, the International convention on civil and political rights, International convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, International convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
· To strengthen Suhakam by ensuring that the Annual Report of Suhakam is debated in Parliament and that a permanent parliamentary select committee on human rights is established to review the options of recommendations by the various government agencies and ministries
· To establish a special customary land tribunal to review all the land rights cases highlighted in the Suhakam special report on the land rights of indigenous people based on the recently completed national enquiry of indigenous land of the natives of Sabah, Sarawak & Organ Asli
· To establish an Independent Police Complaints Commission especially to investigate on death in custody, death by shooting and other complaints on the Police force as recommended by the Royal Police Commission in 2005.
· To review all the current legislation and remove ‘the ouster clauses’ which restricts judicial review. This is especially needed to review section 9A of the Election Act and especially those that impact fundamental liberties.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (Chairman) & Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Secretary-General) April 8, 2013