There is an urgent need to review and revisit certain laws that seem to infringe upon an individual’s right to fundamental liberties as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, says Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
As such, a special committee is being set up by the ministry to review all laws under its purview with a view to protecting all citizens from any forms of violation of their basic human rights, he said in his speech at the opening of the workshop on the United Nations Convention Against Torture And Other Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment (UNCAT) with the Malaysian Islamic Community in Kuala Lumpur today.
His speech text was read out by the ministry’s deputy secretary-general Nadzri Siron.
“The cabinet has deliberated on this matter and as home minister, I strongly support this proposition. The abolition of capital punishment is also in line with the Pakatan Harapan manifesto for the 14th general election,” Muhyiddin said.
Among the laws were the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca).
Muhyiddin said that whilst Malaysia had yet to become a state party to the UNCAT, the country remained committed to supporting the global fight against torture and had taken a firm stand not to condone acts of torture or any forms of ill-treatment and culture of impunity among the public as well as the authorities.
“We seek to put into place effective monitoring mechanism, safeguards, and accountability for the prevention of torture.
“We are also aware of the issue concerning the compatibility of domestic laws, both civil and syariah, with the UNCAT provisions particularly the implementation of corporal and capital punishments to deter crimes which require a review of relevant laws,” he said.
Muhyiddin also added that the government recognised the need for gradual improvement towards acceding to the UNCAT, which aimed to uphold the dignity of all individuals and their fundamental rights to life and liberty as also enshrined in both Article 3 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.
The workshop was organised with the aim to promote better understanding among the Malaysian Islamic non-governmental organisations on the UNCAT.