Its parliamentary secretary Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Government was concerned about human rights issues and would con-
tinue to to protect the human rights of Malaysians.
“Two treaties that Malaysia has ratified out of seven were the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 1995,” he said in reply to Dr Wan Junaidy Abd Wahab (BN - Batu Pahat).
Ahmad Shabery also said the Geneva-based Human Rights Commission understood
why Malaysia could not ratify all seven conventions.
He admitted that Malaysia’s delay in ratifying the conventions had caused several problems to the country’s image.
“They understand that Malaysia has certain reasons and there is no point for us to ratify the conventions if we cannot implement their terms,” he said, adding that Malaysia needed more time before being able to ratify the conventions and implement them.
He noted that there were many issues that needed to be looked into, like the Malays’ special privileges that were protected by the Federal Constitution and the call made under several provisions in the treaties to abolish whipping as a form of punishment.
On refugees, Ahmad Shabery said the Government did not plan to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on Refugee Status 1951 and Protocol 1967, because Malaysia would otherwise attract refugees based on its strategic location in the region.
“However, the Government will help those in need on a case-by-case basis on humanitarian policy and not generally,” he said, adding that the ministry and other government agencies had always cooperated with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
On another matter, in replying to Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (BN - Pulai), Ahmad Shabery said the upgrading of Japan's defence forces was not a threat to Malaysia.
He said Malaysia welcomed the Japanese Government’s move to upgrade the status of its defence forces from an agency to a ministry.
“We do not think the upgrading is to make war. Instead, Malaysia and Japan can work together on defence and peace missions under the United Nations,” he said.