LETTER | The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) extends its appreciation to the government for debating its 2018 annual report in the third sitting of Parliament in 2019 for the first time.
Suhakam has been calling for the debate of its annual report since the commission’s formation in 1999.
Debating the annual report signals the government’s commitment to the improvement of human rights in the country, which also fulfils part of Promise 26 of the Pakatan Harapan's manifesto to 'make our human rights record respected by the world'.
It is also in line with the recommendation made by the Parliament select committee on human rights and gender equality in March 2019.
The annual report not only brings attention to challenges in the various areas of human rights, but also underlines solutions and possible steps that can be taken to remedy these problems.
This is in addition to work done by Suhakam in line with its functions and mandate under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999.
Key areas highlighted by the 2018 Suhakam annual report include:
- Human Rights Education
- Children’s Rights (including alternatives to detention)
- Orang Asal/Asli
- Persons With Disabilities
- Death in Custody & Health in Prisons
- Public Inquiry into Enforced Disappearances of Individuals
- National Human Rights Action Plan
- Legal Reforms (including amendments to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999)
Suhakam also thanked the 13 MPs who participated in a lively debate which brought into focus topics such as citizenship rights of children, protections for children, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and the land rights of the Orang Asli.
The debate also helped strengthened Suhakam's aim to fulfil its mandate, and the importance of making human rights a recurring topic in Parliament, among others.
Suhakam will continue to work closely with its partners in the government, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations to realise human rights work in the country.
The commission also looks forward to closer collaboration with the government and for future yearly debates on Suhakam's annual reports.
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