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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Stop undermining Human Rights in Malaysia

PROHAM expresses its disappointment with the Government of Malaysia in its handling of the matters pertaining to SUHAKAM. This is totally unacceptable and unbecoming of a responsible government. Three areas of concern.

The first, is the provision of adequate funds for the work of SUHAKAM. It is totally unacceptable that the government of Malaysia is unable to find an additional RM5 million for SUHAKAM in 2016. The budget cut by 50% is unacceptable as a RM10 to RM12 million annually is a very small sum in light of the total federal spending. It is unbelievable that the government is unable to find the additional funds which it is obligated to provide.

Second, there is reference made recently that the geographical spread of SUHAKAM’s promotional and protection work is narrowed down to just the Klang valley. PROHAM calls the Minister referred to namely Dato Paul Low to verify and clarify the statement which is quoted as a written parliamentary reply. This too is totally unacceptable as the promotion and protection work must have a national coverage to all the states in the Peninsular as well as the states of Sabah and Sarawak.  

Third, we are once again in an unacceptable situation where there is a Commission without commissioners. It is the duty of the Federal Government that ensure that the appointments are made in due time of the expiry of the tenure of Commissioners. This failure to comply with human rights standards and obligations is reflective of the low priority placed on human rights by the current administration.

SUHAKAM was established in 1999 about seventeen years ago. Malaysia has previously played an active role in the United Nations both in the Security Commission and UN Human Rights Commission. It is of utmost importance that the work of SUHAKAM is not undermined but enhanced in accordance to international human rights standards.

Therefore PROHAM calls on the Federal Government to fulfill its obligations based on the SUHAKAM Act as well as Malaysia’s international obligations.

Issued on behalf of PROHAM by Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, PROHAM Secretary General
May 19, 2016

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