Suaram queries Shafee’s appointment as human rights envoy

Sevan-Doraisamy

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya should cease its attempt to misdirect the international community on its human rights record, said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) in a statement.

The on-going human rights violations and clampdown against freedom of expression and other human rights, added Suaram Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy in the statement, “makes it clear that the government has little to no interest in fulfilling its obligations to defend human rights”.

Suaram was questioning “the unconvincing decision” to appoint Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as the Malaysian ambassador-at-large for human rights. “He has no credible record on defending human rights in Malaysia,” charged Doraisamy.

If the government was genuine in its commitment to human rights in Malaysia, continued the NGO, it would have appointed the new commissioners for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) by now. “It would have increased the financial allocations for Suhakam instead of cutting its budget by half,” said Doraisamy.

Suhakam has been without commissioners for the past month, lamented the Suaram Chief. “The statement in Parliament on Suhakam by Paul Low — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department — was misleading.”

He referred to Suhakam, according to Low, agreeing to limit its operation to the Klang Valley. “This highlights the hypocrisy (on human rights) of the government,” said Doraisamy.