Suhakam wants more govt commitment on human rights issues at United Nations

  • Nation
  • Monday, 05 Nov 2018

The defendants listed are Tan Sri Razali Ismail(pic), Datuk Tan Say Jim, Datuk Seri Shahbuddin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin, Datuk Hamdan Mohd Hassan, Datuk Eow Kwan Hoong, Chan Feoi Chun, Syed Abdullah Syed Abd Kadir, Datuk Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid and Datuk Nik Azman Mohd Zain.

PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan Government should show genuine commitment to human rights issues at the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva this week, after the Foreign Affairs Ministry had failed to do so in the last two cycles.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail (pic) said that the ministry has not seized the opportunity to adopt a comprehensive and people-centric approach to the UPR and human rights issues despite having the mandate to uphold the country’s international standing.

“The inter-ministerial coordinating and tracking committee for the UPR suggested by Suhakam for the last four and a half years has not been set up.

“It is vital for the coming years to (enhance) the depth, knowledge and commitment of those dealing with human rights issues in the Government.

“We are not convinced about the competence and commitment of those dealing with human rights, as well as the civil service in the overall Government structure,” he said in a statement Monday (Nov 5).

This is the third UPR, as the second one will end this year. Each UPR is for four-and-a-half-years.

Razali said the Malaysian delegation will appear before the Human Rights Council on Nov 8 (Thursday) at 2.30pm Geneva time.

“Suhakam will be present in Geneva like it has in previous cycles.

“Back home, we will co-host a live screening of the review at Co. Bangsar at 9pm Malaysian time,” he said.

Razali noted that Malaysia’s human rights performance will face intense scrutiny during the review.

“Therefore, this is an opportunity for the Government to inform the international community of the human rights situation in Malaysia and its plans to improve.

“The new government has invigorated opportunities to comprehensively address longstanding human rights issues in the country, and a chance to present genuine commitments to human rights.

During the UPR, each member country will be given one minute and five seconds to give their feedback on Malaysia’s performance since the first review in 2009 and to offer their respective proposals.

“With the changed political circumstances in Malaysia, Suhakam hopes that the Government will respond thoroughly to the recommendations for the genuine progress of human rights, leaving no one behind,” added Razali.

He also noted that Suhakam is equally concerned about the lack of commitment of the media on human rights, despite them being in a better position to join hands to reshape the understanding of human rights in the society.

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