Buck stops at home minister for rights violations, says Suaram

PETALING JAYA: Rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) says the initial excitement of reforms following the change of government last year has faded, saying major concerns remain over abuses by police.

At the launch of its annual human rights report today, Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong questioned the police’s failure to solve cases of enforced disappearance involving Pastor Raymod Koh, preacher Amri Che Mat and others.

He said the police were suffering a “credibility crisis”, adding that the home ministry has to take ultimate responsibility.

“The minister of home affairs is responsible for law enforcement, public security and order, among other functions,” said Kua.

“The police are answerable to him. The buck stops at his ministry.”

Suaram said enforced disappearances, killings and tardy police action were still major concerns, adding that the government and police should work closer to address the problems.

“There has been no proper engagement to talk about civil and political rights, death in custody, detention without trial… It has been disappointing,” said Suaram director Sevan Doraisamy, adding that coordinated meetings between the home minister, the police chief and other stakeholders should be held.

Suaram said despite a drop in the number of those arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) and deaths in police custody since 2018, there has been an increase of detentions without trial, with 2,437 arrested so far.