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Friday, 16 May 2014

Regrets over the misperception of human rights – Suhakam

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) regrets that the concept of human rights has been misperceived as a form of new threat to Islam in which its core beliefs are based on "humanism, secularism as well as liberalism".

While the Commission recognises that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, it regrets that the universality concept of human rights has yet again been misperceived as "deviant" values that are confined to the promotion of the right to freedom of religion or belief as well as the rights of the LGBT groups in the context of rights claims.
This is not true as the universality concept, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which Malaysia as a responsible member of the United Nations is obliged to uphold, is the embodiment of values and principles that are subscribed to by the entire international community, including Islamic States which have also ratified or acceded to many of the core human rights treaties or instruments, with perhaps a small number of reservations that they are entitled to make, or with no reservations at all.

The Commission wishes to point out that in its efforts to comply with these universal principles and norms, Malaysia has participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process and accepted 150 out of the 232 recommendations made by Member States of the United Nations during the recent second UPR session.
At the same time, it is developing a National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), which is lauded by the international community.

Suhakam deems it important for all stakeholders to understand that human rights are the inherent rights and freedom to which all human beings are entitled, regardless of race, religion, sex, language, and any other status. It is the primary role of the State to ensure that human rights are fully enjoyed by its peoples without discrimination.
Suhakam is deeply concerned that this growing misperception about the concept of human rights will raise serious doubts on the position of Malaysia as regards its adherence to these universally accepted principles and will certainly hinder Malaysia from taking progressive steps towards realising its goal to become a developed nation by the end of this decade, as well as from being an exemplary nation in upholding human rights. – May 16, 2014.

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