KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Malaysia’s bid for a seat in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council was further dashed by Myanmar and North Korea’s refusal to fulfil their promise to back the country, Putrajaya said today.
Foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said several countries were also unable to extend their quid pro quo support for Malaysia’s new bid for the 2018-2020 term, after Malaysia deferred its attempt for the previous term.
“Countries which had agreed to quid pro quo arrangements with Malaysia for the term 2017-2019 were unable to extend their support for Malaysia’s new bid as they had already promised their support to a another candidate.
“To further exacerbate the situation, countries such as Myanmar and North Korea renegaded [sic] on their promise to support Malaysia’s bid for the term 2018-2020 due to the unfortunate strain in ties,” Anifah said in a statement.
Myanmar had criticised Malaysia this year for being vocal on the Rohingya refugees issue, while ties with North Korea was severed after the murder of Kim Jong-nam.
Anifah also rebutted DAP’s veteran statesman Lim Kit Siang who claimed that Malaysia’s loss was a reflection of its sliding human rights conditions, pointing to several positions held by Malaysia in UN groups.
“Malaysia having secured two terms at the Human Rights Council previously in itself is a great achievement and a recognition of Malaysia’s human rights status,” he said.
“ What is more, we now have friends in the Council who are willing to raise and discuss common human rights issues which affect us all, irrespective of our differences in political ideology.”
Earlier this week, Malaysia lost its bid to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council after a five-year absence from the council, after emerging as the only country to miss out on a seat among 16 countries vying for 15 seats worldwide.
Malaysia sat on the Human Rights Council consecutively between 2006-2009 and between 2010-2013.
Malaysia was one of six countries which initially vied for the four Asia Pacific vacant seats on the council, though Maldives later withdrew their candidacy.
All the other candidates in the region — Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and Qatar succeeded in their bid, with Qatar being re-elected.