KUALA LUMPUR: The new chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail wants the Government to have greater human rights reforms which he says are still lacking.

Razali said despite the nation’s development and economic progress, there was still room for human rights improvements.

“As Malaysia makes reasonable strides in becoming a high-income and developed nation, there needs to be an equal level of progress in the promotion and protection of human rights.

“However, this is not the case,” he said when introducing the new Suhakam line-up at a press conference here yesterday.

He lamented that Malaysia, a signatory to nine international human rights treaties, had only ratified three.

“Suhakam appeals to the Government to rectify this somewhat embarrassing situation soon,” he said.

Razali added that the present “status quo was not an acceptable option”.

“Status quo is not enough; staying on as we are places our country as one that has resorted to tokenism,” said the former Malaysian UN Permanent Representative.

He cited instances at which Suhakam’s recommendations were met with “paltry results” despite its role as adviser to the Government.

“We are bewildered and saddened that Parliament does not truly take cognizance of our annual report.

“That our funding has been drastically slashed is disappointing and can emasculate our work,” he said.

However, Razali said Suhakam would continue to work closely to “plead and cajole” the Government for greater human rights reforms.

Razali was appointed chairman for the term 2016-2019 on June 22.

Others appointed to the eight-member commission were Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia law professor Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, former Sarawak deputy attorney-general Francis Johen, former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng.

Also appointed were former Sabah deputy state secretary Datuk Godfrey Gregory Joitol, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia senior lecturer Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh and Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat’s Anti-Racism and Non-Discrimi­nation Programme member and adviser Jerald Joseph.


By The Star Online