Suhakam wants less red tape in way of tabling rights report

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) asked the government today to remove the “unnecessary procedures” for the tabling of its annual report in Parliament, saying this would enhance the agency’s independence.

The commission noted that the report intended for Parliament’s consumption currently must be presented to the Cabinet for executive approval before it may be presented to the legislature.

Removing the bureaucracy would also allow the commission to expedite the tabling of the report and give the document a chance to be debated in the first session of a new parliamentary term for the first time in 16 years, it said. Read more

Suhakam to continue reminding Pakatan Harapan government of its CRPD obligations

Source: Borneo Post

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. Read more

No evidence to prove missing activist was murdered: Police

Source: The Sundaily

Norhayati Mohd Ariffin says she is disappointed with the way the authorities are handling her husband’s case. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Police today maintained there was no strong evidence in the case of missing Perlis activist Amri Che Mat to classify the case as murder.

ACP Roslan Ramli told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) inquiry that the case could not be classified as a crime without the account of a reliable witness.

He said police had categorised the case under missing persons because there was no eyewitness which could say for sure that Amri was kidnapped.

Roslan, who was the Criminal Investigation Department chief at the Kangar police headquarters before being transferred to the Perlis contingent police headquarters, said the evidence produced was in his opinion, not strong enough evidence of a crime.

“If it was a murder, a body was needed, and if it was a kidnapping, a ransom note would be required,” he said. Read more

Suhakam is committed to protect press freedom — Razali Ismail

Source: Malaysiakini

By Razali Ismail, SUHAKAM

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) renews its commitment to protect and promote press freedom in Malaysia and reiterates that freedom of the press is a fundamental component of democratic governance.

Suhakam values the important role of the media and recognises the influence of the media in shaping public opinion. In the context 14th general election, there is an expectation that the media will play the role of fair arbiter, provide an open platform for broader public deliberation, represent a plurality of opinions; and accordingly provide election coverage that gives voters comprehensive, balanced and accurate information.This is critical in enabling the public to make informed choices. Read more

Malaysians distrust electoral process, report shows

Source: Free Malaysia Today

The report by Suhakam and the Kofi Annan Foundation also says many questions have been raised regarding the transparency and impartiality of the EC.

Malaysian electoral votes being taken for counting — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PETALING JAYA: A regional report on democracy has revealed Malaysians’ distrust of the electoral process and their belief that the Election Commission (EC) lacks independence.

The report, entitled “Democracy in Southeast Asia: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects” presented by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and the Kofi Annan Foundation, also called for an improved framework and sound regulations for political financing.

It said this would promote greater transparency in the political arena and enhance confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.

Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail, who presented the report at a conference at the Bar Council auditorium here today, said the key role of civil society in promoting systems was to regulate political financing.

“Civil society organisations have a major role to play to educate the public on political corruption, political financing and money politics. And I believe that the regulation of political finance must be a priority in Malaysia,” he added.

Razali also said many questions had been raised regarding the transparency and impartiality of the EC. Read more

Suhakam: Questions about EC’s impartiality ‘legitimate’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

An Election Commission officer, Haziyatul Amirah shows an Indelible ink bottle (L) during a demonstration at the Election Commission offices in Putrajaya on May 2, 2013. Electoral reform groups expressed concern over reports that ink to mark voters could be washed off, heightening fraud fears in what are expected to be Malaysia’s tighest fought polls ever. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today there was validity to public doubts about the ability of Malaysia’s poll regulators to act fairly and without bias.

In remarks emphasising the importance of a properly functioning democracy, it said the EC’s demonstrable neutrality and impartiality in this area were vital to preserving public confidence in the country’s polling process.

“Suhakam accepts the legitimacy of these questions and understands the declining public confidence in the EC as the redelineation of electoral boundaries was widely seen to be unfair, biased and disproportionate,” it said in a statement.

“Suhakam found that there was insufficient information on the effect of the redelineation and a lack of meaningful public consultation on the exercise, in breach of the right to freedom of information.” Read more

How did maid abuser get light sentence, asks Suhakam

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) is perplexed as to how a woman was given a light sentence for abusing her domestic helper.

Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail said the commission was dissatisfied with the sessions court that has sentenced Rozita Mohd Ali to only be placed on a good behaviour bond for five years.

“A migrant worker has suffered severe physical mistreatment and violence at the hands of her employer.

“This decision raises questions of not only the injustice and inadequacies in the protections afforded under Malaysian law for migrant domestic workers, but apparent bias towards employers,”   he said in statement today. Read more

Suhakam: Repeal Sedition Act, review Peaceful Assembly Act

Source: Free Malaysia Today

These are among nearly 30 recommendations for the government to implement to restore human rights conditions in the country.

Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail says the commission will strive to improve Malaysia’s human rights situation. Image from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has urged the government to repeal the Sedition Act and review provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

It said there had been an alarming escalation of arrests and prosecutions under the Sedition Act.

As for the Peaceful Assembly Act, it said intimidation and unjustifiable arrests of assembly participants still occurred during certain public assemblies.

It called for a review of the law in three areas: prohibition of street protests and the organisation of assemblies by persons below 21 years old; strict requirements for 10-day notification prior to the assembly; and specified prohibited places of assembly.

These were among nearly 30 recommendations covered in its latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Stakeholder Report released today. Read more

Give us more bite, says Suhakam

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph says the government is legally obligated by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 to provide adequate funding for the commission to carry out its work. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, March 16, 2018.

THE Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is pushing for a parliamentary select committee on human rights to allow a legislative mechanism to address a “multitude” of significant issues.

In such a committee, findings and recommendations on human rights breaches can be formally presented to lawmakers in Parliament, which will then possibly followed by debates and possible amendments to the law.

Suhakam, a government body, has not had its annual reports debated in Parliament despite having submitted them since 2002.

“There are certain issues that should be discussed in Parliament,” said Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph.

“A parliamentary select committee on human rights is the proper way to find space (for our) agenda,” he said at a dialogue with civil society groups in Kuala Lumpur today.

Present were Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail and commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, with over a dozen representatives from civil society groups. Read more

Appeal to advance women’s rights in Malaysia — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MARCH 7 — On International Women’s Day 2018, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) would like to reiterate that the government take concrete steps to advance fully women’s rights in Malaysia and to treat gender mainstreaming as a matter of national priority, which the government delegation indicated is not the situation during Malaysia’s recent review by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), despite gender equality being a key component of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Although considerable progress has been made in improving the situation of women in Malaysia, developments have been uneven, and there have also been many setbacks. Making matters worse was Malaysia’s poor performance during the review by the committee composed of 23 experts, including Muslim experts on women’s issues.

Malaysia faced a barrage of challenging questions which it failed to adequately address, and this in Suhakam’s view is an indication that Malaysia is clearly out of step with internationally accepted norms in regard to women’s rights and non-discrimination. Read more