Suhakam wants 6 human rights conventions ratified, says minister

Waythamoorthy says he held fruitful discussions with Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail and two commissioners at his office.

PUTRAJAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants Malaysia to ratify six United Nations treaties pertaining to human rights, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy.

He said this wish was expressed by Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail and commissioners Lok Yim Pheng and Jerald Joseph during a discussion in his office here today.

“Suhakam also feels the government of the day needs to ratify these treaties for better human rights protection in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.

In July, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah had pledged to push for the ratification of six international human rights conventions.

The nation has yet to be a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The other three are International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Waytha said other issues discussed at the meeting which needed to be dealt with urgently included those related to land matters, deaths in custody, statelessness, migrant detention and minority religious obstacles.

“Suhakam also aired its concern on the use of laws like the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) to detain individuals for a prolonged period.

“They felt that these laws were causing psychological and economic distress to the families of those detained and, at the same time, depriving the person detained of fair justice through the courts,” he said, adding that Suhakam received more than 800 complaints annually from the public.