KUALA LUMPUR — April 19, 2019: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants the government to allow debate on its annual report at the next sitting of parliament in July as part of institutional reforms, because it believes that such a debate would lead to human rights concerns be addressed more effectively.
“Our reports have never been debated and we are hoping that it would be debated. This is our accountability to Parliament,” said acting Suhakam chairman Jerald Joseph today after the launch of its 2018 annual report.
Towards this end, Suhakam wants de facto Law Minister V. K. Liew to bring a motion for the report to be debated after it was tabled on April 11, the last day of the first Parliamentary sitting.
Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto mentions that Suhakam’s annual report will be debated in Parliament so that its proposals will receive appropriate attention.
Joseph pointed out that the report has to be debated because under the Suhakam Act, the commission is accountable to Parliament. Suhakam’s reports had been tabled in Parliament since 2000 but have never been debated.
When presenting the report Joseph said that Suhakam received 1,180 complaints in 2018, an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of 558 came from Sabah on stateless people.
Suhakam is keen to find a solution to the problem of stateless people totalling about 2,599 in the country.
The other complaints received in Peninsular Malaysia were on arbitrary arrests, detention and exile (109), rights to adequate standard of living (54) and liberty and security of persons (34). — Bernama