Suhakam wants Malaysia to ratify six human rights conventions, says minister

Waytha Moorthy said this was expressed by Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail and commissioners Datuk Lok Yim Pheng and Jerald Joseph during a discussion at his office today. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Waytha Moorthy said this was expressed by Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail and commissioners Datuk Lok Yim Pheng and Jerald Joseph during a discussion at his office today. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 21 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants Malaysia to ratify six United Nations treaties pertaining to human rights, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy.

He said this was expressed by Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail and commissioners Datuk Lok Yim Pheng and Jerald Joseph during a fruitful discussion in his office here today.

“Suhakam also feels that the government of the day needs to ratify these treaties for better human rights protection in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

In July, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah had pledged to push for the ratification of six international human rights conventions. 

The nation has yet to be a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Waytha Moorthy said other issues discussed at the meeting which needed to be dealt with urgently included those on land matters, death in custody, statelessness, migrant detention and minority religious obstacles.

“Suhakam also aired its concern on the use of laws like the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) to detain individuals for a prolonged period.

“It felt that these laws were causing psychological and economic distress to the families of those detained and, at the same time, depriving the person detained fair justice through the courts,” he said, adding that Suhakam receives over 800 complaints annually from the public. — Bernama