Institutional Reform Committee (IRC) Report: Why the Secrecy? HAKAM Forum dated 18 January 2020

“IRC Report: Why the Secrecy?” was the first HAKAM forum of 2020, held on 18 January 2020 at the KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. The well-attended forum started at 10:00 am and was led by a panel of distinguished guests, who all had been involved and well-informed of the IRC process; Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (IRC member and former President of HAKAM), Ms. Siti Kasim (Maju), and Mr. Sevan Doraisamy (Suaram) and the panel was moderated by Dato’ Dr. Gurdial Singh Nijar (HAKAM President). The presentations of the forum speakers were followed by a Q&A session, and the forum ended at 12:00 pm.

In October last year, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the confidential report by the IRC and its seven recommendations that have been passed to the quasi-official Council of Eminent Persons can only be made public once all Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties agree to it.

Key points from the forum on the issue of the release of the IRC Report to the public included:

  • Dato’ Ambiga suggested a pilot pilot project by “releasing just one set of recommendations [by IRC] and see whether the government falls down the next day.”
  • Dato’ Ambiga said she does not know the real reason why PH did not want it to be released but she would “charitably” assume that it is because of public and voters’ perception towards the already much-criticised administration.
  • By withholding the report, the government has denied the public and their own supporters the opportunity to be involved in making the country a better place, something that was promised by PH when they rolled out their election manifesto before 2018 election.
  • Siti Kasim pointed out that transparency is the cornerstone of good governance, hence the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should make public the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) report.
  • Sevan suggested that all CSO and NGOs who have contributed to the making of the report, can release their own recommendations to the IRC, which in effect is a major part of what the IRC has referred to in its process, and this way the public can have access to the institutional problems pointed out and recommended reforms.
  • Dato’ Dr. Gurdial mentioned that HAKAM has been following up the release of the Report with the PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and will continue to do so until the people can know the content of the report.


HAKAM wishes to thank everyone who came to the forum and the media for covering the event. See you all next time!

HAKAM Forum Media Coverage:

The Malay Mail Online



The Malaysian Insight

Sinar Harian


Public Forum on the Importance of a Strong Opposition for a Vibrant Democracy

Public Forum on the Importance of a Strong Opposition
for a Vibrant Democracy (9 June 2018)

The Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee and the Bar Council National Young Lawyers and Pupils Committee are co-organising a forum to discuss the importance of having a strong Opposition in order to build a vibrant democracy.

As Lord Acton observed, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  It is in the nature of human beings to become complacent if not checked.  We therefore need an effective Opposition in Parliament, to ensure that members of the Executive are made accountable to the people for all decisions they make.

The nation has seen a change of government for the first time since its inception.  A powerful Opposition was a key factor leading to this change.  However, the then-Opposition was also oppressed in many ways.

The public is watching the various developments with regard to the current Opposition, and to see how this Opposition will function, and be treated.

The details of the forum are as follows:

Date:                 9 June 2018 (Saturday)
Time:                10:00 am to 12:00 noon
Venue:              Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Wisma Badan Peguam (formerly known as Wisma Straits Trading), Unit 2-02A, 2nd Floor, 2 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur

Admission is free but advance registration is required.  To attend the forum, kindly register online here on or before 8 June 2018 (Friday).

The forum aims to:

(1)    provide a platform to hear a range of views on the importance of a strong Opposition;

(2)    discuss the requirements for a strong Opposition, and how the Government plays a role in ensuring that there is an effective Opposition; and

(3)    discuss the balance between the freedom of association, a functioning democracy, and the expectations of the public, in relation to party hopping.

The confirmed speakers are:

(1)    Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Founding President, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (“IDEAS”);
(2)    YB Maria Chin Abdullah, Member of Parliament (Petaling Jaya);
(3)    Dr Azmi Sharom, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya; and
(4)    Andy Yong Kim Seng, Gerakan Youth Deputy Chief.

Should you have any enquiries, please contact Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer, by telephone at 03-2050 2097, or by email at

Thank you.

Andrew Khoo Chin Hock and Surendra Ananth
Constitutional Law Committee

Khaizan Sharizad Ab Razak
National Young Lawyers and Pupils Committee

Forum on Administration of Islamic Law in Malaysia and Its Challenges

The Bar Council Syariah Law Committee is organising a forum entitled “Administration of Islamic Law in Malaysia and Its Challenges”.

The forum is timely, since the civil-Syariah jurisdictional conflict remains an unsettled issue, as reflected in recent cases.


(1) To raise awareness regarding the existence and management of hybrid cases, ie those that involve an overlap between civil and Syariah jurisdictions; and

(2) To discuss how to move such hybrid cases forward while upholding the Federal Constitution.


• Gopal Sri Ram Former Federal Court Judge; Member of the Bar

• Mohamed Haniff b Khatri Abdulla Member of the Bar

Moderator: Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari Chairperson, Bar Council Syariah Law Committee

Date & Time: 14 Apr 2018 (Saturday) | 8:30 am to 12:30 pm


8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am Welcoming Remarks by Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, Chairperson Bar Council Syariah Committee

9:15 am Talk by Fahda Nur Ahmad Kamar, Member Bar Council Syariah Law Committee

10:00 am Case Discussion — Indira Gandhi Mutho vs Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak & 2 Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 01(f)-17-06/2016(A)]

(a) Gopal Sri Ram, Former Federal Court Judge; Member of the Bar

(b) Mohamed Haniff b Khatri Abdulla Member of the Bar

11:30 am Question-and-Answer Session

12:00 noon Closing Remarks

12:30 pm End


Click here to view poster and download registration form. Please return completed registration and make payment directly to the organisers.

Rule of Law : Police Accountability and The Way Forward

Source: Eliminating Deaths And Abuse In Custody Together – EDICT

Taken from EDICT’s Facebook Page

A public forum discussing on specific topic on police accountability and what it is related to the rules of law in our country.

This forum is co-organised by EDICT, SUARAM, ALIRAN & Penang State Task Force on Deaths in Custody.

The forum will be officiated by YB Prof Ramasamy,
Deputy Chief Minister 1, Penang

Dr. Prema Devaraj (ALIRAN)
M.Visvanathan (EDICT)
Khalid Ismath (PSM)

Yohendra (EDICT)

Public Forum on Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Malaysia — Promotion of Tolerance, Inclusion, Unity and Respect for Diversity

Public Forum on Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Malaysia — 
Promotion of Tolerance, Inclusion, Unity and Respect for Diversity

In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Bar Council Human Rights Committee and Pusat KOMAS are co-organising a public forum entitled “Eliminating Racial Discrimination in Malaysia — Promotion of Tolerance, Inclusion, Unity and Respect for Diversity”.

Details of the public forum are as follows:

Date:                 21 Mar 2018 (Wednesday)
Time:                9:00 am to 12:30 pm (Registration begins at 8:30 am)
Venue:              Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Wisma Badan Peguam Malaysia (formerly known as Wisma Straits Trading), Unit 2-02A, 2nd Floor, 2 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050Kuala Lumpur

Admission is free of charge but advance registration is required.

The forum will begin with the presentation of the Malaysia Racial Discrimination Report 2017, followed by presentations by four panellists who will speak on issues relating to racial discrimination in Malaysia, and the promotion of tolerance, inclusion, unity, and respect for diversity.

The forum aims to:

(1)    raise awareness on trends relating to racial discrimination in Malaysia;
(2)    create an opportunity for an open dialogue and strategic partnership between various stakeholders on the issues of racial discrimination in Malaysia, towards finding possible solutions to overcome the challenges; and
(3)    foster discussion on advocacy to urge the Malaysian Government to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (“ICERD”).
The speakers are:
(1)    Prof Ulung Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Director, Institute of Ethnic Studies (“KITA”), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (“UKM”);
(2)    Dr Ananthi Al Ramiah, Social Psychologist (Independent Scholar and Consultant);
(3)    Jerald Joseph, Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (“SUHAKAM”); and
(4)    Mansoor Saat, Co-Chairperson, Bar Council Human Rights Committee.
Stefan Priesner, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia and United Nations Development Programme (“UNDP”) Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam, will officiate the public forum.

The forum will be moderated by Adli Zakuan Zairakithnaini, Programme Director of Pusat KOMAS.

To register, please contact Satha Selvan Subramaniam, Senior Administrative Assistant, by email to

Should you have any enquiries, please contact Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer, by telephone at 03-2050 2097, or by email at

Thank you.

Andrew Khoo Chin Hock and Mansoor Saat
Human Rights Committee

Forum “Tuntut Semula Ruang Kita”

Hari Wanita Sedunia PosterIn

Forum “Tuntut Semula Ruang Kita” ini dianjurkan oleh Jawatankuasa Perarakan Hari Wanita Sedunia (Women’s March MY) dengan kerjasama Malaysia Muda.

“Tuntut Semula Ruang Kita” merupakan slogan rasmi Women’s March MY tahun 2018. Hari Wanita Sedunia secara tradisinya, adalah hari di mana wanita turun ke jalanan untuk berjuang ke arah hak asasi dan kesetaraan. Hari Wanita Sedunia merupakan simbol perjuangan wanita selama lebih daripada 100 tahun. Wanita masih dilihat sebagai mempunyai status sosial yang lebih rendah berbanding lelaki cisgender. Wanita masih terdedah dengan keganasan mental dan fizikal setiap hari, akibat daripada status ini.

Forum ini akan membicarakan tentang ruang selamat, dan ruang untuk wanita dan gender lain mengekspresikan diri dan merealisasikan potensi tanpa dibelenggu stigma.

– Wakil daripada Empower, sebuah organisasi hak asasi wanita
– Wakil daripada wanita orang asal
– Wakil daripada Sentro, organisasi hak pekerja migran

– Ain Nasiehah (Malaysia Muda)

Forum ini adalah forum dwibahasa (Bahasa Melayu & Bahasa Inggeris)


“Tuntut Semula Ruang Kita” forum is organised by the Women’s March Malaysia Committee, in collaboration with Malaysia Muda.

“Tuntut Semula Ruang Kita” or “Reclaim Our Spaces” is the official slogan for Women’s March Malaysia for 2018. Traditionally, International Women’s Day is the day when women go down to the streets and fight for rights and equality. International Women’s Day is a symbol of women’s struggles, for more than 100 years. Women are still seen as having a lower social status, compared to cisgender men. Thus, women are still exposed to mental and physical violence every day.

This forum will discuss about safe spaces, and spaces for women and people of other genders to express themselves and realise their potentials, without being bogged down by stigma.

– Representative from Empower, a women’s rights organisation
– Representative from indigenous women
– Representative from Sentro, a migrant workers’ right group

– Ain Nasiehah (Malaysia Muda)

This is a bilingual forum (Malay & English).

Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia Forum

Taken from Facebook

Bar Council Malaysia is renewing its call to the Malaysian Government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, as was recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005.

The Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC in collaboration with SUHAKAM, SUARAM, HAKAM and PROHAM, is holding a public forum entitled “Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia”. The purpose of this forum is to look into the cases involving police shooting, and deaths in police custody, in Malaysia; the measures taken – or lack thereof – by the Enforcement Agency Intergrity Commission (“EAIC”) in addressing the situation; and the resulting need to set up an IPCMC.


2.30 PM- Registration

3.00 PM- Welcoming Remarks by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman B Bukhari Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

3.15 PM- Opening Remarks by YBhg Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman, SUHAKAM

3.30 PM- Keynote address by Roger Chan Weng Keng, Secretary, Malaysian Bar

3.45 PM- Slide Presentation by Sivaraj Retinasekharan, Member, Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC;

4.15 PM- Panel Discussion

5.45 PM- Closing Remarks by Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam, Co-Chairperson, Task Force on IPCMC

*Light refreshments will be served during the registration

List of panellists

1. Dato’ Dr. Profesor Gurdial Singh Nijar, Deputy President, National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
2. Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
3. Ivy Josiah, Secretary-General, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
4. Commisioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
5. M. Visvanathan, Founder, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse In Custody (EDICT)

Moderator : Dato’ Sri M. Ramachelvam