KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 —The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should stop flip flopping on whether to recognise basic human rights in the country, said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) adviser Kua Kia Soong.
“When will the time be ripe for human rights to be realised in Malaysia? “After kicking out the old Barisan Nasional (BN) regime on May 9, the public will not put up with the same lame excuses for postponing the implementation of these basic human rights,” he said at the launch of Suaram’s Human Rights Overview Report 2018 today.
Kua said it is incumbent upon Malaysia’s civil society to carry on the struggle for a truly progressive new Malaysia in which human rights are respected and real reforms that uphold those rights are realised.
The human rights group’s executive director Sevan Doraisamy also said their main concern is the government’s failure to engage with civil society.
“They should build public discourse prior to the announcement of “policy plan” which have led to substantial backlashes such as those relating to International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the abolition of death penalty.
“The answer to the backlash has thus far has been a ‘u-turn,” he said.
Sevan said the current administration should review its policy and decision-making procedures and implement processes for a more inclusive engagement with civil societies and the public.
“This is ensure that the public is aware of the stakes involved and to de-escalate the on-going campaign or misinformation that may derail the human rights reform that Malaysia sorely needs,” he said.
The non-governmental organisation has closely monitored developments relating to human rights in Malaysia and has published the 100-day “report card” on the new PH government.
Kua said since the 14th general election, the government has expressed its commitment to the ratification of human rights treaties and promised to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights.
“However, beyond those promises, the PH administration has wavered on several key promises relating to human rights from their ‘Buku Harapan’ manifesto,” said Kua.