Among other issues HAKAM has fought for are the abolition of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), the recognition of Orang Asli Land Rights, and the preservation of the rights to freedom of expression and religious freedom in Malaysia. HAKAM continues to defend these rights, and more.
While we have had some success, achieving key milestones through a range of efforts since 1991, human rights are still in jeopardy today! And so we must continue our work to educate the public on human rights and to undertake efforts to speak out against and to stem violations of the same in Malaysia.
The Continuous Fight to Repeal Repressive Laws
Let us also not forget that HAKAM has always been consistent in voicing out against draconian and undemocratic acts that violation our human rights. HAKAM has seen some success, and it has also met with some failure, but more importantly, it has never given up in this fight.
Tags: Repressive Laws, ISA, Sedition Act, PPPA, Emergency Ordinance, violation, fundamental liberties
The Continuous Call to Ratify UN, International or Regional Instruments on Human Rights
As a member of the United Nations, Malaysia adopts The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 (UDHR).
Stemming from the UDHR, there are 9 core international human rights treaties, of which Malaysia has signed and ratified 3, which are:
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 1979 – Ratified in 1995 with reservations (for Gender Equality, created on 18 Dec 1979);
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1989 – Ratified in 1995 with reservations (for Children’s Rights, created on 20 Nov 1989); and
- The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) 2006 – Ratified in 2010, with reservations about Articles 15 and 18, but has not signed the Optional Protocols to this Convention (for Rights of the Disabled, created on 13 Dec 2006).
However, she has yet to to sign many other equally important conventions. These include:
- The International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) 1965 (for Racial Equality);
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966 (on Civil and Political Rights);
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 1966 (on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights);
- The Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) 1984 (on Anti-Torture);
- The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (IMWC) 1990 (on Migrant Workers’ Rights);
- International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED) 2006 (against enforced disappearance); and
- The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 (on Refugee Rights).
Tags: Conventions, Covenants
Police Crackdown and Brutality
The police has been reported to beat up and manhandle peaceful protesters. It has arrested Members of Parliament, abused the remand process, and paraded elected representatives with handcuffs and without shoes like common criminals. It has arrested old retired people who have volunteered to patrol their neighbourhoods to maintain safety of the same. Unarmed and teenage boys are fired with multiple gunshots. Suspects in custody get beaten up if they are lucky and lose their lives if they are not.
Our authorities, who are supposed to protect us, seem to be turning against us today. What’s worse is that there is neither accountability nor apology whatsoever, only grandstanding arrogance under the pretense that they are ‘protecting society’.
Tags: Police crackdown, policy brutality, police accountability
We see a government that is threatened by cartoons and nerdy academicians.
Not only that, they are struck with fear even in the atmosphere of valuable peaceful discourse. They don’t want you to speak up on abuses. Freedom of expression is the precursor to other rights, without it we are just lambs for slaughter, cowed into submission.
Tags: Sedition, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly
Restricting of Fundamental Freedoms through more Repressive Laws
During the Parliamentary session of April 2015, the Dewan Rakyat debated several bills tabled by the government which would in effect lead to further limiting of fundamental freedoms guaranteed by our Federal Constitution. The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) bill and bills amending the Sedition Act 1948 as well as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 were hurriedly pushed through by the Lower House despite attracting intense debate and arguments against the same.
The consequences of these draconian laws (as amended where applicable) remain a major concern to HAKAM. The government may still yet introduce more restrictions via amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, and other existing legislation. Hence, the full extent of the government’s push for repressive laws has yet to be completed.
Tags: Repressive laws, ISA, POTA, Sedition Act, SOSMA, CPC
Sources of Information
- Aliran’s Crackdown Watch, UN websites