PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) does not have any commissioners after their term expired yesterday, similar to what happened twice previously.
Former commissioner Mah Weng Kwai said a selection committee met on Monday and the process would take some time.
“As of today, there are no commissioners and this will affect advocacy work and maintaining the good standing of Suhakam,” he told FMT.
Mah said only the Suhakam management functioned and no policy decisions could be made.
There are nine commissioners who have a three-year term from 2019.
Five, including Mah, a former Court of Appeal judge, served two terms, the maximum allowed under the Suhakam Act.
The other four – Osman Hashim, Noor Aziah Mohd Awal, Madeline Berma and Hishamudin Md Yunus – could be reappointed for another term.
FMT understands that Hishamudin, also a retired Court of Appeal judge, had expressed his wish not to be reappointed.
Mah said that three years ago, it took the government two months to appoint the commissioners.
“It is in the best interest of the public that the commission is up and running at all times as there are always serious challenges on human rights issues like the threat to the independence of the judiciary,” he said.
In 2016, under Najib Razak’s administration, Suhakam was also left without commissioners for almost two months.