PROHAM expresses shock over the drastic cut in Suhakam’s budget by 50% from RM10, 986,200 to RM5,509,400. This is unacceptable and could be constructed as giving human rights work low priority by the Federal Government. We recognise that Suhakam has been vocal on human rights issues especially in the promotion and protection of human rights
Proham calls on the Federal Government to ensure that Suhakam is adequately funded to carry out its duties as stipulated by the Suhakam Act (597). In clause 19 (1) it reads “the Government shall provide the Commission with adequate funds annually to enable the Commission to discharge its functions under this Act”. There is a restriction in clause 19 (2) stating that “the Commission shall not receive any foreign funds”. However the Commission could receive funds for awareness and educational work as indicated in clause 19 (3).
With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals and commitment to a human rights approach to development and ecological sustainability the Prime Minister who is also Finance Minister must recognise that RM10 million annual budget is relatively small compared to the millions being spent on so many other aspects of federal government expenditure.
Therefore as a clear mark of commitment to Human Rights in Malaysian society the government is urged to restore Suhakam to its full allocation as previous years.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Secretary General, Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria
Nov 10, 2015