Razali Ismail quits as Suhakam chief two weeks before term ends

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 4, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 4, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Former diplomat Tan Sri Razali Ismail has resigned from his position as chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) — two weeks before the expiry of his three-year term.

The announcement was made in a brief statement today by acting chairman Jerald Joseph who said Razali quit the commission on Monday.

“Tan Sri Razali helmed Suhakam for the past three years as a Commissioner and Chairman,

strengthening the Commission’s public profile and standing up for the principles of human

rights through his support for all the efforts and positions undertaken by Suhakam,” Jerald said.

He praised Razali's efforts to include Malaysia's accession to international treaties that would ensure the protection of human rights are embedded in law, as well as his tireless dedication in advocating for social and institutional changes necessary for the protection of equality and justice for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or creed.

“Tan Sri Razali’s experience on the international stage and as part of the United Nations, as well as his work with society at large has been indispensable to the work that Suhakam does,” he added.

Razali would have left Suhakam naturally on April 27 when his term ended.

The statement did not state the reason for Razali’s early departure.

Razali assumed chairmanship of the commission on June 21, 2016, succeeding fellow former diplomat Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

The 80-year old’s public service kicked off in 1962 when he entered the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

He has represented Malaysia internationally in various capacities, including as ambassador to Poland from 1978 to 1982, high commissioner to India from 1982 to 1985, and as president of the United Nations General Assembly from 1996 to 1997.

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