Monday, June 24, 2013

SUHAKAM is back - 3 old members retained, and 3 new one - but people with HR and CSO history reduced

In the last SUHAKAM, we had 3 HR Commissioners who had a CSO and Human Rights background. 2 of them have been dropped, and another academician, a former deputy attorney general and a journalist. Too early to say anything about the new appointees, we would have to see how they perform.

SUHAKAM HR Commissioners must be full-timers, and they really need to be paid salary of at least RM10,000-00 per month, or that equivalent to High Court Judges. [Currently, I believe that they are being paid only about RM6,000-00]. They should also have offices all over Malaysia - so that people will be able to have easy access.

There should also be few more HR Commissioners...7 is too small a number. 12 or 15 may be more practical given the fact that monitoring Human Rights alone is such a big task, compounded with investigations and Public Inquiries, visitation of Detention Centres, Law Reform, HR Education, etc 

On the upcoming Black 505 rallies, Hasmy said they did not have the resources to monitor them but would step in if there was trouble.

Yes, SUHAKAM itself is saying that they do not have enough resources - surely, if Malaysia is committed to Human Rights, its National HR Institution must have more than enough resources to be effective.


Saturday June 15, 2013

Suhakam urges Govt to accede to treaties on torture


KUALA LUMPUR: Suhakam wants Malaysia to at least accede to the treaties on torture, on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights by 2020.

“I hope civil society and the media will push us, politicians and the rest of the country to move forward,” said Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

“There are six we have not acceded to and Suhakam would like Malaysia to sign the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) or the world will think Malaysians condone torture and degrading treatment.

“If we accede, police and other enforcement authorities are duty-bound to follow CAT provisions,” he said at press conference yesterday.
He said he believed Wisma Putra was working on the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The other three Malaysia has not acceded to are the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

On fresh initiatives to address deaths in custody, Hasmy agreed it was a waste of taxpayers' money re-inventing the wheel when Suhakam presented the Government with best practice Lock-up Rules years ago.

On the upcoming Black 505 rallies, Hasmy said they did not have the resources to monitor them but would step in if there was trouble.

The next three years, he said Suhakam would focus on the aged, education for children with learning disabilities, human rights in business and follow-up on all Suhakam recommendations from Bersih 1 and 2 and its other inquiries.

Hasmy's 2013-2016 team comprises three former members Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, Prof Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi A. Majid and James Nayagam, and three new faces Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia law dean Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, former Sarawak deputy state Attorney-General Francis Johen anak Adam and former Sabah Times sub-editor Sylvester Madating @ Nordin Kasim.

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