KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — The government will not table a motion to debate the findings of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) annual report this year as there is not enough time, said de facto law minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
Takiyuddin added that although Section 21 of the Suhakam Act (Act 597) stipulates the annual report must be presented to Parliament, there is no provision that the House should debate it.
“The government does not plan to table a motion to debate this report as government affairs are the priority, based on the standing order. There also isn’t enough time.
“If any member of parliament (MP) is interested in discussing it indirectly, they can quote the report at an appropriate time during a debate,” he said, answering a question from Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) during Ministers’ Question Time today.
The 2019 Suhakam report was tabled in Parliament on November 4 as a Statute Paper (ST.88/2020).
The previous 2018 Suhakam report was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on April 11, 2019 and debated on December 5, 2019.
In a written reply provided afterwards, Takiyuddin added that if the 2019 Suhakam report were to be debated, it must be submitted through a motion by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in accordance with Meeting Rules 27 (3) of the Dewan Rakyat.
“In this case, the government needs to take into account the remaining sessions on December, 16 and 17, 2020 as well as Bills that will follow and are related to the Supply Bill 2021,” he said.
Fahmi then took to his Twitter account to share Takiyuddin’s answer and expressed his concerns that the decision could be seen as a sign that the Perikatan Nasional government is not committed to human rights issues.
“This sends a regrettable message about the government’s commitment to efforts at strengthening all aspects of human rights,” he tweeted.
MQT.1) Menteri @takiyuddin61 berkata Kerajaan tak berniat membawa usul bahas laporan tahunan @SUHAKAM seperti tahun lalu, atas alasan tiada masa & urusan Kerajaan didahulukan— Fahmi Fadzil #BantahDarurat (@fahmi_fadzil) December 1, 2020
Ini beri mesej yg kurang baik terhadap komitmen Kerajaan kpd usaha tambahbaik aspek Hak Asasi Manusia pic.twitter.com/vU3uaIwPf0