In conjunction with Human Rights Day on 10th December 2019, HAKAM urges the Government to expeditiously fulfill its manifesto promises in respect of human rights reforms.
There is no doubt that the Government has achieved praiseworthy progress on the human rights front. Some of these include:
- lowering the voting age to 18;
- automatic voter registration;
- abolishing the Anti-Fake News Act 2018;
- amending the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012;
- creating the environment for a relatively freer press;
- appointing independent & credible judges to key positions in the Judiciary;
- tabling SUHAKAM report for debate in Parliament for the first time in 19 years; and
- establishing a Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights & Constitutional Affairs and a Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender Equality & Family Development;
But the Pakatan Harapan Government was elected on 9th May 2018 by an electorate which expects more substantial human rights reforms and cementing of the rule of law. It has been 1 ½ years since the Government was elected into power, yet there is much more that needs to be done.
HAKAM hereby urges the Government to quicken its pace and to steadfastly carry out the following human rights reforms in Malaysia:
- Establish an effective Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Commission (IPCMC);
- Abolish the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA);
- Abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA);
- Abolish the Prevention of Crime Act 1959;
- Abolish the Sedition Act 1948;
- Abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984;
- Abolish the National Security Council Act 2016;
- Abolish the death penalty in all forms; and
- Enact a Freedom of Information Act
There will no doubt be forces which will resist such reforms. But all of these reforms are promises which were made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto. The Government must be bold and resolute in fulfilling the same.
Rest assured that civil society and many segments of the rakyat will be behind the Government in carrying out such reforms.
Lim Wei Jiet
Secretary-General of HAKAM
Source: FMT News
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal to declare the National Security Council (NSC) Act as unconstitutional.
A three-man bench chaired by Rohana Yusuf said Anwar should have gone straight to the Federal Court as he was challenging the competency of Parliament to pass the law.
The ruling affirmed the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in October last year.
Justice Hanipah Farikullah threw out the case as the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Anwar, today submitted that the NSC Act was unconstitutional for two reasons. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
Boo Su-Lyn is a feminist who loves reading fiction. She tweets at @boosulyn. Pic from the MMO.
DECEMBER 30 ― This year has seen widespread human rights violations in Malaysia, including attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, native rights, and the right to privacy.
The government appears to be increasingly intolerant of dissent and resorted to investigating trivial matters like the posting of “insulting” photos of leaders on WhatsApp, posting a video of a press conference, and various Facebook posts and tweets.
If Malaysia is serious about achieving developed nation status by 2020, then the government must acknowledge and respect basic human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Without the space to express ideas and opinions, society cannot progress.
These are the top 8 human rights violations in the country in 2016, in no particular order: Read more
Source: FMT News
Pick taken from FMT News.
PETALING JAYA: Umno minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has come under fire again for wanting to blacklist companies that allegedly sponsor the Bersih 5 rally planned for next month.
This time, the criticism has come all the way from Sarawak, with PKR’s Baru Bian calling Rahman “immature and arrogant”, adding that the statement also exposed a dictatorial streak which seemed to run through the veins of most Umno politicians, The Borneo Post reported.
The Ba Kelalan assemblyman warns however, that this latest threat could also be part of a tactic to heighten tensions, enabling the government to use the National Security Council Act (NSC) against Bersih during the rally, scheduled for Nov 19.
“If this should happen, it would only confirm to Malaysians and the rest of the world that the Barisan Nasional government has gone to the gutter, and that Umno is cracking at the seams,” Baru was quoted as saying by the Sarawak-based daily. Read more
Source: FMT News
Former prime minister says people’s movement would appeal again to the King and all the Rulers as the signatories to the Citizens’ Declaration are their subjects. Pic taken from FMT News
PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today admitted that he had failed to convince the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, on the Citizens’ Declaration during an audience with the King recently.
Speaking at a press conference, his first following the meeting at the Istana Anak Bukit in Kedah last month, Mahathir said he spoke to the King on the demands made by the Citizens’ Declaration, which carried more than 1.4 million signatures.
“Unfortunately, we could not get a positive answer,” he said about the meeting, which lasted an hour and 10 minutes. Read more
Source: The Star Online
The bad guys: A file picture of members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group operating in southern Philippines. In 2014, the Abu Sayyaf declared allegiance to the Islamic State. Pic taken from The Star Online.
THERE is nothing Islamic about the so-called “Islamic State militant group” – how many times have we heard this from terror experts, religious scholars and enforcement authorities?
Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has noted that the perverted ideology of IS has no place in Islam.
Unfortunately in Malaysia, we cannot escape from religion in discussions about radicalisation and violent extremism, said Nicholas Chan, research director with Iman Research.
As Chan pointed out at the recent Civil Society Conference on National Security in Kuala Lumpur, this is because Islam is entrenched in our security framework.
“National security in Malaysia has been defined largely in religious terms since the early 1980s (especially with the ulama takeover of PAS after party president Tan Sri Mohamad Asri Muda stepped down).
“And since our security is invariably linked to Islam, any discussion of security threats also goes back to the religion, despite our leaders, like the PM, trying very hard to disassociate Islam from groups like IS,” he said. Read more
Source: The Star Online
Public protection: Military and police personnel guarding KL Sentral. Pic taken from the Star Online.
Civil society groups vow to continue questioning the constitutionality of the newly enacted National Security Council Act 2016.
THE army is trained to kill (in combat). They are not trained to engage civilians….”
Former Royal Malaysian Air Force officer Lt-Col (Rtd) Mohd Daud Sulaiman warned of the dangers of using the military in internal security operations, as provided for by the newly enacted National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016.
“The use of the military in internal security operations must be done with care because the way the military is trained and carries out its business is not the same as other enforcement authorities,” he said.
Mohd Daud was one of the speakers at the Civil Society Conference on National Security in Kuala Lumpur held on 18 August 2016, organised by members of civil society, including Amnesty International Malaysia, the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), Institut Rakyat, Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Malaysia (Proham) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram). Read more
Zulkifeli Mohd Zin (right), chief of Malaysia’s armed forces, stands next to King Abdul Mu’adzam Shah during an inspection of an honor guard on the king’s official birthday celebration, in Kuala Lumpur, June 8, 2013.
A decision allowing Malaysia’s military chief to run the newly set up National Security Council underscores the government’s seriousness in combating the terrorism threat, officials say, but some experts believe the move violates the constitution and could result in human rights and other abuses.
In a surprise announcement last week, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysian Armed Forces chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin had taken over as National Security Council director-general as part of tough new security legislation that came into force about two weeks earlier.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, facing resignation calls after being linked to a multi-million dollar corruption scandal, had pushed the National Security Council Act through parliament in December. After legislative approval, the bill did not get the customary royal assent from Malaysia’s king, who had asked for some changes.
The legislation, among other objectives, enables the government to declare virtual martial law in areas deemed to be under “security threat.” Read more
Source: The SunDaily
KUALA LUMPUR, 18 August 2016: The provisions in the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 contravenes the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as it would allow the council to take command of the military.
Former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officer Lt Col (Rtd) Mohamad Daud Sulaiman said the Federal Constitution clearly states that the Agong and the royal institution are in command of the military forces.
“If we look at the provisions (in the NSC), it uses a lot of military terms and this is very dangerous.
“One of the explanations given about the NSC by the government is that the Agong does not have operational command of the military,” Mohamad Daud said during a Civil Society Conference on National Security held at the Renaissance Hotel here.
He was referring to the official Putrajaya Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) explanation on the law posted on the NSC’s official website.
Mohamad Daud said Malaysians must be aware of the dangers of allowing the military to enforce legislation passed in Parliament.
“When you ask the military to enforce the law, you ask for trouble. The military is not trained for that. They do not know the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC),” he said. Read more
Source: FMT News
There’s no mechanism to review any direction or order under the National Security Council Act (NSC Act). Pic taken from FMT News.
KUALA LUMPUR: It was Benjamin Franklin who said in 1755 that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”, recalled Suhakam Chairman Razali Ismail in the keynote speech at the “Civil Society Conference on National Security” in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Franklin’s simple phrase reminds everyone that the philosophy espoused by both rights and security advocates has been played throughout the centuries countless times, added Razali.
“Actors, be it from the Executive or Legislative, and certainly the participants of this Conference must play their part to ensure the balance does not tilt heavily towards the other end.”
The relationship between national security and human rights should always be in balance, he urged. “This is an important part of the Malaysian ethos.”
Suhakam, he said, advocates a mechanism of review as advocated by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism”. Read more