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Saturday, 30 July 2016


Our parliamentary democracy is built on the principle of ‘check and balance’ of the executive who have been elected by the people. Independent institutions have the role of preventing abuse of power in public office and taking appropriate action on wrong doers.  Public accountability and good governance are an integral part of human rights and citizens action which is guaranteed by our Federal Constitution.

Malaysian policies and legislation has established independent mechanisms which have a public duty to save guard and protect public interest. These institutions include the Attorney General, the Auditor General, the Inspector General of Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee. They are to undertake independent monitoring, investigation, inquiry, and assessment and identify wrong doers who are then must be prosecuted.     
PROHAM recognises that action or in action by the executive is weakening both parliamentary democracy and good governance in Malaysian society. Collective action is urgently needed to reverse this trend in the public interest.

As we reflect on three current issues in Malaysian society, PROHAM is deeply concerned for the state of democracy, human rights and public accountability in Malaysia society.

First, the civil action by the Department of Justice in the United States on July 20, 2016 raises questions to why similar actions were not undertaken by our national institutions which had been undertaking different enquires. The US DoJ has filed a civil lawsuit seeking to seize assets that it claims were embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad by certain individuals who have been named.

In contrast, the authorities in Malaysia are yet to take action on Datuk Shahrol Azral, the former CEO of 1MDB who had been singled out by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee as per the PAC report (2016:pg 105) which was released on April 7, 2016. Follow up action to the PAC report is urgently needed to restore public confidence and bring wrong doers to justice.

Second, the coming to effect of the National Security Council Act and its provisions have major restrictions to human rights in security areas. This too further enhances executive powers. There are already sufficient laws to ensure the safety and security of the nation.

Third, the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 will greatly impact the independence of the Malaysian Bar. This too is viewed as restricting fundamental rights to voice out the abuses by the executive.

PROHAM calls on the Malaysian executive to adhere to international governance standards and compliance to fundamental liberties. An immediate stop must be put on any action or inaction which will compromise the integrity of the independent institutions. Failure to do this will see a further erosion of public confidence both nationally and globally of the current administration of Malaysia.  

Issued on behalf of PROHAM by Datuk Kuthbul Zaman (PROHAM Chair) & Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (PROHAM Secretary General).

July 30, 2016

Friday, 29 July 2016

OHCHR concerned by the entry into force in Malaysia of the National Security Council (NSC) Act on 1 August

The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) said on Friday it
was concerned by the entry into force in Malaysia of the National Security
Council (NSC) Act which gives the Prime Minister sweeping security powers
and could restrict civil liberties.

The Act, which comes into effect on 1 August, establishes a National
Security Council to handle matters related to national security and will be
headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Through the Act, the Prime Minister
will have the power to declare, upon the advice of the NSC, a “security
area”, defined as being a location “seriously disturbed or threatened by
any person, matter or thing which causes or is likely to cause serious harm
to the people of Malaysia, or serious harm to the territories, economy,
national key infrastructure of Malaysia or any other interest of Malaysia”.
The declaration is valid for up to 6 months, and can be renewed an infinite
number of times.

Forces operating in a “security area” will be given sweeping powers,
including the capability to arrest and search persons, enter and search
premises, and seize property without a warrant. Furthermore, they will be
allowed to use force against persons, including force amounting to death,
as they deem reasonable and necessary in the circumstances “to preserve
national security”. Moreover, the Act grants immunity to members of
security forces and personnel of other Government entities for their acts
in any “security area”.

“These provisions run counter to the requirement to investigate wrongdoing
and hold institutions and their personnel accountable in the case of human
rights violations,” said Laurent Meillan, OHCHR’s acting regional
representative in Bangkok. “We are gravely concerned that the immunity
provisions in the Act may encourage human rights violations.”

Meillan expressed concern that the Act could also be used to impose unjust
restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly.
“We call on the Government to revise the Act to bring it in line with
international human rights norms and standards. Furthermore, we encourage
the Government to allow for an open and transparent consultation process on
the provisions in the Act with all relevant stakeholders,” he said.

* The National Security Council Bill 2015 was presented in Parliament on 1
December 2015. It was passed by the Lower House on 3 December 2015 and the
Upper House on 22 December 2015.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


Date:                           August 11 (Thursday)

Time:                           2.30pm – 7pm

Venue:                         Brickfields Asia College, PJ campus

Admission                   Free & we invite human rights volunteers who like to play a role in monitoring human rights issues and concerns in Malaysia

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a peer review system introduced by the United Nations where every member state will undergo review of its human rights situation. Malaysia underwent the UPR in 2009 and more recently in Oct 2013.

Join us and get to know how best to be part of this process of monitoring human rights in Malaysia. This is a good opportunity to be better equipped with the know-how, process, previous reports and future possibilities.


To build-capacity of CSOs to do monitoring and documentations of human rights conditions/violation in Malaysia, to prepare for UPR.

To focus specifically on the theme of Economic and Socio-Cultural Rights (ESCR).


2.30 pm                       Registration & refreshments - running tea/coffee/water

3pm                             Introductions

3.30 to 4.30pm            Understanding the UPR process- Dr Lin Mui Kiang (Former United Nations Coordination Specialist / PROHAM)

4.30 to 5.30pm            Review of past monitoring and reports- Mr Rizal Rozhan (Advocacy and Documentation Officer, EMPOWER

5.30 to 6.30 pm           Specific aspects of ESCR monitoring- Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (PROHAM /KITA-UKM

6.30pm                        Concluding reflections

7pm                             Dinner

Register by August 5, 2016 and with   PROHAM -  

& Mr Koh Henry- Email :