PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR 2015/2016 – Ambiga Sreenevasan


PresidentIt has been 28 years since HAKAM’s inception. Since then, HAKAM has been committed to promoting, defending and preserving human rights. In a climate of corruption and abuse of power, the deterioration of human rights continues unabated. HAKAM’s work has thus become more critical.

In October last year, Human Rights Watch produced a report titled “Climate of Fear”. The report details all the measures being taken by the present regime to silence critics including the countless arrests and detentions under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and of course the bizarre case of Zunar, a cartoonist facing 9 charges of sedition. We have had 206 investigations for sedition in 2015 alone. The government has indeed been effective in creating a climate of fear.

The last one year has been disastrous for human rights. We have seen the continuing introduction of repressive laws, threats to press freedom, environmental degradation, misuse of enforcement powers, last minute ‘secret’ executions, the suspension of The Edge, closure of The Malaysian Insider and the investigation, arrest and the unlawful detention of journalists including foreign journalists. Read more

PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR 2014/2015 – Ambiga Sreenevasan



HAKAM was pioneered, amongst others, by our own father of independence  Tunku Abdul Rahman, former Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and an  illustrious member of the Bar, Raja Aziz Addruse. What drove them to set up  HAKAM is set out in the declaration that was signed by them on 10 December  1988. It is worth reproducing a part of that declaration here.

“Whereas by Proclamation of Independence dated the 31st day of August,  1957 this  nation was proclaimed a sovereign democratic and independent  nation founded  upon the principle of liberty and justice ever seeking the  welfare and happiness of  its people and the maintenance of a just peace  among all nations.

“Whereas this nation, upon becoming a member of the United Nations Organisation, subscribed to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Whereas there has been a constant erosion of these principles.

“We hereby declare that there is a need to promote, preserve and defend these principles and hereby propose that there be established a national organization for that purpose.”

In the last one year, Malaysia has seen a continuing deterioration of human rights. We have amongst other things, seen the introduction of new and oppressive laws and continued abuse of powers. HAKAM is therefore as relevant today as it was when it was first established. This is a sad testament to the state of human rights here.

I would like to thank all members of the Executive Committee and members of HAKAM who have shown dedication and commitment in the last year towards enhancing our role as advocates of human rights issues. HAKAM has had a wonderful one year with several new initiatives and continuing programmes. Read more