KUCHING: Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will continue to remind the Pakatan Harapan-led government of its international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Its commissioner Francis Johen Adam hoped that the new government would be more serious in taking legislative, administrative and all necessary measures to comply with provisions of the convention or amendments to existing laws and policies so as to streamline them with the CRPD.
“Suhakam believes this is an opportunity to redouble it efforts to protect and promote human rights as per its mandate under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 2009,” he said when contacted yesterday, to comment on the new government managing People With Disabilities (PWD) in this country and in Sarawak.
“In particular, there is a need to amend the With Disabilities Act, 2008 in order to strengthen its effectiveness, for example, to provide penalty provisions for violations of provisions under the Act and to provide redress mechanism or to appoint an officer (commissioner) with powers to receive public complaints for alleged discrimination or other violations of the Act against any disabled persons, and to initiate investigation into such complaints and take remedial measures on it if there is basis on the said complaint,” he added.
As a person with disabilities himself, Francis said the federal government had to consider signing the Optional Protocol (supplementary agreement to the principal Convention) to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to provide better monitoring mechanism at international level for any serious breach or violations of rights of persons with disabilities. As it is now, the issue is still unresolved at the domestic or national level or to allow Committee of Experts under the CRPD to carry out its own investigation into such complaints and provide advice (or general comments) to the government on such matters which affect the rights of people with disability.
“So far the government has yet to finalise its state report on the CRPD implementation in Malaysia to UN Human Rights Council, as required under Articles 35 and 36 of CRPD, which is long overdue (within 2 years of ratification of CRPD).
“Malaysia should also appoint an independent monitoring body to provide a monitoring mechanism on the implementation of CRPD as required under Article 33 of CRPD,” Francis said.