KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruelty or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Uncat) by the middle of next year, says Uncat committee member Abdel Wahab Hani (pic).
"A reasonable time frame for the ratification would be between six and 18 months as Malaysia is prepared to be part of the convention against torture," he told reporters during a media briefing session at the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia here Thursday.
He said that Malaysia was a eyeing a seat on the UN Human Rights Council this October and is also up for the Universal Periodic Review on human rights in November 2018.
Abdel Wahab said it would augur well for Malaysia if it ratifies the convention but there were challenges to overcome, as caning is a common punishment under both criminal and syariah laws.
However, Abdel said that there have been instances where caning had been abolished in Muslim countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.
Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chief commissioner Tan Sri Razali Ismail said that Malaysia could not remain as one of the minority governments that had yet to ratify the 30-year-old human rights instrument.
Uncat was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984 and some 32 nations have yet to ratify the convention.
Other Asean nations such as Singapore and Myanmar have yet ratify the Convention as well.