Suhakam report to be debated, proposed solutions to be raised, says Azalina

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) 2020 annual report will not only be debated in Parliament, but the government will craft proposed solutions to all the issues raised, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) said the debate on the report will provide space and opportunity for all to have their voices heard through their respective representatives so the government can consider appropriate measures to address the issues that will be raised.

"The government believes that there must be a political commitment, with the necessary political will, not only to present the Suhakam report, but also debate and follow up with proposed solutions," she said in the Dewan Rakyat today (June 12).

She said that the Suhakam 2020 report consists of seven chapters that provide the details of activities carried out throughout that year, in fulfilling Suhakam's mandate, as well as detailed administrative and financial reports for the year.

Among the specific areas are Covid-19, human rights, Orang Asli, human trafficking, refugees, asylum seekers, human rights, and Islam.

"Various recommendations for each issue have been clearly reviewed and the political commitments are clearly stated in the report," she said.

She said that the debate session will serve as a platform for MPs to engage in mature discussion to strengthen the protection of human rights while identifying areas for improvement and adopting a comprehensive approach to address human rights issues in the country.

"This is not a fault-finding mission. The objective of the debate on the Suhakam report is to obtain feedback from responsible agencies as well as to gather input from MPs.

"We are also aware that the report has been prepared independently, without being directed or influenced by any stakeholders.

"All cooperation should be based on a respectful attitude towards the integrity of the government agencies while recognising our role as responsible lawmakers in upholding human rights," said the Pengerang MP.

Moving forward, to ensure the continued preservation of human rights in this country, the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) 2.0 is being considered for integration in various aspects including education, healthcare, housing, social services, administration, and others implemented by the government, added Azalina.

"For this purpose, on March 3, 2023, a more comprehensive engagement session was conducted to gather the views, feedback, and aspirations of the people regarding the existing National Human Rights Action Plan, in order to facilitate comprehensive and holistic improvements," she said.

At the same time, the government is also developing the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAPBHR) in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to ensure the respect and promotion of human rights in business practices.

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