KUALA LUMPUR: Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged the new Pakatan Harapan government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission in its first term of office as outlined in its election manifesto.
In a statement, HRW’s Asia director Brad Adams said this would ensure that all allegations of misconduct are investigated in a fair and comprehensive way.
He added that such measures were critical to reforming the country’s police force.
Adams said the PH government, headed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, must also move swiftly to implement the human rights commitments set out in its election manifesto.
He said the organisation had written to Mahathir on the matter, adding that Malaysia could become a regional example of a protector and proponent of human rights and rule of law by fulfilling these promises.
“Prompt action to fulfil the coalition’s human rights promises would send a vital and positive signal that a new rights-respecting era has dawned in Malaysia,” he said.
HRW also urged the new government to prioritise its commitment to abolishing oppressive laws, particularly laws which had been used to suppress freedom of speech, assembly, and association.
It also called on the government to strengthen the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and raise the minimum age for marriage to 18.
In addition, it wants the government to carry out its pledges to ratify core international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Refugee Convention.
It also wants the government to permit refugees and asylum seekers access to health care that is on par with nationals, as well as free primary and secondary education.