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

Inquest into Penang schoolgirl Vasanthapiriya’s death on March 30

Source: The Malay Mail Online

GEORGE TOWN, March 16 — An inquest into the death of M. Vasanthapiriya, 14, who was accused of stealing a teacher’s smartphone, will start on March 30.

Penang police chief Commissioner Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the Coroner’s Court today fixed the date for the inquest.

“The attorney-general has last month instructed that an inquest be held to reveal the circumstances surrounding the student’s death,” he said.

He said the Coroner’s Court is expected to call in more than 30 people to testify in the inquest.

The inquest is expected to be held at a Magistrates’ Court in George Town. 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