KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is already on the right track in protecting human rights with the establishment of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999.
Chief Judge of Malaya, Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said the Act had set out the powers and functions of such a commission for the protection and promotion of human rights in Malaysia.
He said amongst the functions and powers of the Commission were to promote awareness and educate the public on human rights and to advise and assist the government in formulating legislation and administrative directives and procedures, as well as recommend the necessary measures to be taken.
He was speaking at a session of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) Judicial Colloquium titled “The Future of Judicial Cooperation on Human Rights Protection in Asean – Recommendations and The Way Forward” held at a hotel, here, today.
He said the Asean countries’ judiciary and AICHR, both held true the same value system, namely the rule of law and that human rights could not be protected without the rule of law.
“And there is no rule of law if human rights are not protected,” he said.
He also said that the judiciary of member states should all had provisions within the law such as judicial review and writ of habeas corpus to enable its citizens to challenge any form of abuse or infringement of basic human rights.
Zulkefli said the judiciary of member states could look forward to the establishment of Specialised Court to deal with cases of infringement and abuse of human rights.
He also said that judges in Aseanstates should be impressed upon them to be proactive on their role in dealing with cases on human rights.
“Infringement of human rights are often directed towards body of persons, governmental organisations and enforcement agencies exercising power and authority. There should be an avenue or established procedure to challenge such infringement of human rights,” he said.
More than 100 participants, including senior judges from the highest judicial branches of Asean member states, representatives of the Council of Asean Chief Justices and representatives of AICHR attended the three-day programme which began on Monday. — Bernama