PM to launch National Human Rights Action Plan in March – Azalina


Source: Malaysiakini

The government is set to launch the much-awaited National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) in March this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said today.

Speaking at her annual address to the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) in Putrajaya, Azalina thanked the division for its achievements in 2017 and anticipated that the launch of the NHRAP would be another milestone.

“Prime Minister (Najib Abdul Razak) will launch the National Human Rights Action Plan and my target is either early March or the end of February.

“The setting up of this National Human Rights Action Plan will be a success, as we know this is the PM’s legacy.

“(This is) so that the rakyat will understand that human rights issues are very important in our country,” she said as she addressed members of the 13 agencies parked under the division.

First approved by the cabinet in 2012, the NHRAP was tasked with contextualising international human rights standards to Malaysia, offering a guide to what the “Malaysian mould of human rights” would look like.

The NHRAP is to include five core features comprising civil and political rights, economic, social, religious and cultural rights, the rights of vulnerable groups, the rights of indigenous peoples and global responsibilities.

When completed, the plan is set to be implemented by government enforcement agencies as standard operating procedure (SOP).

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) previously questioned when the NHRAP would be complete while judges have asked for a seat on the drafting table.

Najib open to law reform

Meanwhile, Azalina lauded the Najib administration for being “open and progressive” towards reforming the law.

“The government under the leadership of the PM has been very open and progressive in transforming the law, including studying outdated laws (to make them) in line with the times and the needs of the people.

“He always makes a way for every law reform suggested,” she added.

Last April, Parliament passed the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017 and later set up a special court to hear sexual crimes against children.

It also amended the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) to allow judges the discretion to mete out life sentences to convicted drug traffickers, rather than a death sentence.