PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) says its chairman, Rahmat Mohamad, will withdraw a defamation suit he filed against his own staff member last month.
In a joint statement issued by the commissioners, Suhakam said the suit was being dropped to facilitate an independent internal investigation that does not involve any members of the commission.
“All allegations brought to the attention of the media will be investigated regardless of whether they involve members of the commission or Suhakam staff,” they said.
Suhakam said it will conduct an internal audit and ask the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission if it will assign an integrity officer to Suhakam.
“The commission acknowledges the importance of mechanisms for resolving internal issues within Suhakam,” it said.
Suhakam added that internal policies covering discrimination, sexual harassment, whistle-blowers and racism will be expedited within 30 days.
Earlier today, rights group Suaram raised concerns about the defamation suit.
Rahmat began the lawsuit after the staff member alleged he had abused his powers to influence a Suhakam hiring panel to favour a specific candidate for the position of chief assistant secretary.
The staff member had reportedly lodged an official internal complaint against Rahmat in April, which resulted in the lawsuit.
Suhakam also faced scrutiny after Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, on Wednesday, said the human rights commission had been “silent” on abuse of power by enforcement agencies.
Kok said that aside from its commissioners being relatively unknown to the public, Suhakam also appeared to be “quieter” than before.