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New SUHAKAM chief calls for stronger human rights commitment

Graphic: Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaking with the media

The country’s former Permanent Representative to the UN has urged stronger human rights law enforcement and reforms.

The new Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) Tan Sri Razali Ismail has urged stronger human rights law enforcement and reforms, Malaysian Mail Online reported.

The country's former Permanent Representative to the United Nations said SUHAKAM acknowledged the Government's attempt to implement economic equitability, but found its pledge to uphold fundamental rights far from satisfactory.

"Economic growth and prosperity are vital for us as a nation, but a nation is truly proud and consolidated when its people by free choice can embrace human rights and dignity.

"In essence, the status quo is not an acceptable option," Razali said at the introduction of SUHAKAM's new members.

Razali will be SUHAKAM Chairperson from 2016 to 2019. He was appointed with six new Commissioners, while two were retained from the previous term.

Razali noted that the Government has continued to ignore many of the recommendations and concerns previously voiced by SUHAKAM on the state of civil liberties in the country.

"For instance, marginalised and disadvantaged groups such as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, women, children and especially those who are not Malaysian citizens including refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers and stateless persons, remain the most vulnerable to human rights abuses," he said.

Razali added that he saw no reason for the Government "not to take cognisance" of the Commission's recommendations and stressed that there is still perception within the administration that SUHAKAM's work is hostile to the Government.

This, he noted, has made it harder for SUHAKAM to fulfil its role to advise the Government on human rights matters.

"Responsible bodies need not fear that human rights will threaten security and that human rights condone and is weak towards irresponsibility that can affect our social fabric," Razali said in his speech.

Date: 14 July 2016

Source: Malaysian Mail Online


Image credits

  1. Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaking with the media - Human Rights Commission of Malaysia