Home Civil Society Voices Kecepan hak asasi manusia sudah hilang di Suhakam (Malay/English)

Kecepan hak asasi manusia sudah hilang di Suhakam (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Kerajaan telah mengumumkan pelantikan pesuruhjaya Suhakam bagi sesi 2022 sehingga 2025 yang berkuat kuasa pada 22 Jun lepas.

Anggota baharu adalah seperti berikut:

  • Prof Rahmat Mohamad
  • Prof Noor Aziah Mohd Awal
  • Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim
  • Dr Chew Chee Ming (Sarawak)
  • Mary @ Mariati Robert (Sabah)
  • Hasnal Rezua Merican Habib Merican
  • Nazira Abdul Rahim
  • Ragunath Kesavan

Suhakam ditubuhkan 22 tahun lalu untuk memainkan peranan yang penting dan bertindak sebagai sebuah badan pemantau bebas yang selaras dengan Prinsip Paris antarabangsa PBB. Selama ini, suruhanjaya telah berusaha untuk meningkatkan keberkesanannya untuk menjadi lebih kukuh dan lebih baik dalam mengendalikan operasi dan fungsinya.

Menjayakan hak asasi “untuk semua” merupakan tugas dan kewajiban utama kerajaan. Ini merupakan fungsi sebuah badan bebas dan berani seperti Suhakam dalam memantau dan memaklumkan kerajaan dan rakyat tentang perkembangan hak asasi di Malaysia.

Proses pelantikan merupakan detik permulaan yang paling penting untuk memastikan pesuruhjaya yang terbaik diberi mandat untuk mengendalikan Suhakam. Pengumuman oleh kerajaan Perdana Menteri Ismail Sabri Yaakob beberapa hari lepas memberi satu kejutan kepada CSO Platform for Reform.

Majoriti nama baharu yang dikemukakan tidak memberi keyakinan dalam kalangan badan masyarakat madani di Malaysia dalam menegakkan prinsip Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat untuk semua rakyat di Malaysia.

Pengerusi baharu, Dr Rahmat Mohamad, penulis bersama satu kertas kerja yang menolak ratifikasi Statut Rom dan International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd). Beliau merupakan salah satu daripada empat ahli akademik yang meyakinkan Majlis Raja-raja untuk menolak Statut Rom.

Situasi ini tidak selaras dengan mandat Suhakam dalam menasihati kerajaan mengenai ratifikasi perjanjian.

Turut mengejutkan juga adalah pengerusi sebelum ini yang mempunyai pengalaman yang baik dalam hak asasi manusia dan diplomasi antarabangsa tidak dikekalkan. Suhakam kehilangan seorang individu yang mempunyai pengalaman baik dalam bidang ini.

Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim ialah bekas ketua pengarah Jakim (2018-2019) dan beliau menafikan hak LGBTQI+ dengan membatalkan persidangan jantina dan seksualiti di Kuala Lumpur. Kumpulan LGBTQI+ sudah lama mengalami diskriminasi di Malaysia.

Perdana menteri menyatakan pelantikan ini adalah inklusif namun realitinya adalah tidak sedemikian. Terdapat dua pesuruhjaya yang merupakan ahli politik yang aktif dalam Umno.

Nazira Abdul Rahim ialah ketua wanita Umno bahagian Kulim-Bandar Baharu manakala Hasnal Rezua Merican Habib Merican ialah timbalan ketua Umno bahagian Selayang.

Kami mahukan individu bebas yang boleh melaksanakan fungsi mereka dengan baik. Ahli parti yang aktif pastinya tidak sesuai dalam pelantikan ini.

Semakan ringkas ke atas Dr Chew Chee Meng (Sarawak) menunjukkan bahawa beliau adalah pakar bius, tidak mempunyai latar belakang dalam bidang hak asasi manusia di Malaysia, selain daripada kerjayanya dalam perubatan.

Ini adalah satu perbezaan yang amat ketara berbanding dengan pesuruhjaya sebelum ini, iaitu Dr Madeline Berma, yang telah mewakili Sarawak dan Suhakam dengan cemerlang, dan merupakan seorang yang dikenali dan dihormati di kalangan ahli akademik, kerajaan negeri dan persekutuan, dan juga badan masyarakat madani.

CSO Platform for Reform mahukan maklumat terbuka mengenai proses pemilihan tersebut bagi memastikan sama ada kriteria berikut dipenuhi dalam pelantikan pesuruhjaya:

  • Latar belakang berwibawa yang mampu menggalakkan, mempertahankan dan melindungi hak asasi manusia di Malaysia. Perkara ini termasuk menitikberatkan calon yang terbukti mempunyai rekod kepakaran dalam bidang yang berkaitan (contohnya, pengalaman kerja, penerbitan dan pencapaian lain berkaitan dengan isu dan masalah hak asasi manusia)
  • Pemilihan yang melibatkan senarai yang pelbagai dan inklusif dari aspek kepakaran dan perwakilan, bukan hanya individu yang mempunyai latar belakang undang-undang
  • Memandangkan proses tersebut tidak telus, sudah tiba masanya untuk mempunyai mekanisme bebas untuk pelantikan pesuruhjaya Suhakam yang merangkumi Parlimen dan/atau individu bebas yang boleh menambahkan keyakinan dan bukannya diselubungi kerahsiaan yang mencurigakan dari titik permulaannya, tanpa memberi apa-apa maklumat.
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Berapa ramai yang terpilih, siapa yang disenarai pendek, apakah kriteria yang digunakan dan siapa yang dipilih sebagai jawatankuasa pemilihan dan apakah kepakaran mereka terhadap badan ini?

Kami mengesyorkan bahawa jawatankuasa pilihan parlimen memainkan peranan penting dalam memulakan mekanisme yang lebih bertanggungjawab dan mengamalkan modal amalan terbaik seperti Indonesia di mana proses mereka adalah ketat dengan banyak penglibatan penelitian awam.

Kesimpulannya, Suhakam sebagai satu badan bebas yang memegang tanggungjawab utama bahawa hak asasi manusia di Malaysia tidak boleh dikompromi walau apa jua kos yang bakal ditanggung oleh kerajaan serta hak asasi manusia adalah dimiliki semua orang di Malaysia dan bukan hanya kepada segelintir yang diberi keistimewaan oleh majoriti yang berkuasa di negara ini.

Sebelum ini, pesuruhjaya mempertahankan akreditasi status Suhakam dengan baik, dan kami khuatir ia akan terkesan oleh kumpulan pesuruhjaya lemah yang dilantik. Kami memohon untuk elakkan kemunduran dan menambahkan keaiban dalam rekod hak asasi manusia yang penuh cabaran di Malaysia dan peringkat global.

Kita tidak mampu berdiri dengan bangga dalam Majlis Hak Asasi Manusia PBB sambil berhadapan dengan situasi politik domestik yang lemah sehingga menjejaskan hak asasi manusia di Malaysia.

Kami menuntut jawapan daripada kerajaan ini terutamanya daripada perdana menteri dan menteri serta semua penasihat khasnya. – CSO Platform for Reform

CSO Platform for Reform merupakan satu gabungan 102 badan masyarakat madani yang memberi tumpuan terhadap pembaharuan institusi di Malaysia

English version

Human rights competency missing at Suhakam

How can the newly appointed commission function to protect human rights in Malaysia?

The announcement by the government on the appointment of the new Suhakam commissioners for the 2022-2025 term took effect on 22 June 2022.

The new members are:

  • Prof Rahmat Mohamad
  • Prof Noor Aziah Mohd Awal
  • Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim
  • Dr Chew Chee Ming (Sarawak)
  • Mary @ Mariati Robert (Sabah)
  • Hasnal Rezua Merican Habib Merican
  • Nazira Abdul Rahim
  • Ragunath Kesavan

Suhakam was created 22 years ago to play the role of and act as an official, independent oversight body that is in line with the UN’s international Paris Principles. Over the years, the commission has pushed its standards to get stronger and better in its operations and functions.

The realisation of human rights “for all” is the primary duty and obligation of the government. It is the function of an independent and courageous body like Suhakam to monitor and inform the government and public about its progress.

Appointment processes are the most important start to ensure good commissioners are given the mandate to run Suhakam. The recent announcement by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government is a shock to the CSO Platform for Reform. The majority of the new names submitted do not inspire confidence among civil society organisations in Malaysia in upholding the principle of the universality of human rights for all peoples in Malaysia.

The new chairperson, Dr Rahmat Mohamad, co-authored a paper that objected to Malaysia’s ratification of the Rome Statute and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. He was one of the four academics who convinced the Council of Rulers to reject the Rome Statute. This situation is not in line with Suhakam’s mandate to advise the government on treaty ratifications.

We are also surprised that the previous chairperson, with good experience in human rights and international diplomacy, was not retained. [We are now] missing good experience with someone now known to the human rights field.

READ MORE:  Suhakam’s ability to perform its function is in question with the new chairperson and commissioners

Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim is the former Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) director general (201 -2019), and he denied LGBTQI+ rights through the cancellation of a gender and sexuality conference in Kuala Lumpur. The LGBTQI+ group have long suffered discrimination in Malaysia.

While the prime minister called the appointments inclusive, that is definitely not the case. There are two commissioners in the line-up who are active politicians in Umno. Nazira Abdul Rahim is the women’s wing chief of Kulim-Bandar Baharu chapter of Kedah Umno while Hasnal Rezua Merican Habib Merican is the deputy chief of Selayang division.

We want independent people who can perform their functions well. Active party members definitely don’t fit the bill.

A quick check on Dr Chew Chee Meng (Sarawak) shows that he is a consultant anaesthetist, with no known background in human rights work in the Malaysian context, apart from his work as a medical practitioner.

This is a far cry from the past commissioner, Dr Madeline Berma, who represented Sarawak and Suhakam excellently and is a familiar and well-respected name among academics, state and federal governments, and civil society alike.

CSO Platform for Reform would like to seek public information on the selection process to know if the following criteria were met in the appointment of the commissioners:

  • Credible background that is worth promoting, defending and protecting human rights in Malaysia. This includes to the consideration of candidates with a proven record of expertise in the relevant area (for example, through relevant work experience, publications and other achievements on human rights issues and concerns)
  • Selection that adopts a more diverse and inclusive list from a wide variety of expertise and representations and not just those with legal backgrounds
  • As the process is not transparent, it is time to have an independent mechanism for the appointment of Suhakam commissioners that includes Parliament and independent individuals who will inspire confidence rather than quiet secrecy that is suspicious from its inception, without an iota of information provided. How many were selected, who were shortlisted, what were the criteria used and who was selected as the selection committee and what was their expertise? It is highly recommended that parliamentary select committees play a critical role in opening a better accountable mechanism and include best practices models, such as Indonesia’s, where the process is rigorous and with much public scrutiny.

In conclusion, Suhakam, as an independent body, holds the key responsibility [for ensuring] that human rights in Malaysia should never be compromised at any cost by the government and [for ensuring that] human rights belong to all in Malaysia and not just the privileged few decided by the majority in power in the country.

The last commissioners defended the accreditation of Suhakam’s status well, and we fear that will now be sullied by a team of weak commissioners at play.

Please do not regress and please do not add any shame to our difficult record of human rights in Malaysia and globally. We cannot stand proud in the UN Human Rights Council while playing weak domestic politics to the detriment of human rights in Malaysia. We are baffled over how did the selection process went under the purview of BHEUU [the Legal Affairs Division].

We demand answers from this government, especially from the prime minister and ministers and all his special advisers in charge. – CSO Platform for Reform Note

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CSO Platform for Reform is a coalition of 102 CSOs working on institutional reforms

1. Malaysian Care
2. Projek Wawasan Rakyat
3. Advancing Knowledge in Democracy and Law
4. Non-Timber Forests Products – Exchange Programme, Malaysia
5. Civica Research
6. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
7. Centre for Independent Journalism
8. Agora Society Malaysia
9. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
10. Pusat Komas
11. Persatuan Pendidikan D’wira Kuching
12. Community Action Network
13. Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All Sabah
14. Sabah Reform Initiative
15. Persatuan Kebajikan Sokongan Keluarga, Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
16. Third World Network
17. Suara Rakyat Malaysia
18. Our Journey
19. Malaysian CSO SDG Alliance
20. Beyond Borders Malaysia
21. HealthEquity Initiatives and Solutions Bhd
22. Sisters in Islam
23. Treat Every Environment Special Sdn Bhd
24. All Women’s Action Society
25. Partners of Community Organisations
26. Empower Malaysia (Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor)
27. Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia
28. Tenaganita
29. Engage Network
30. Freedom Film Network
31. Justice For Sisters
32. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs
33. Amnesty International Malaysia
34. Penang Forum
35. Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy
36. Sustainable Development Network Malaysia
37. Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control
38. Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia
39. Advocates for Non-Discrimination and Access to Knowledge
40. Persatuan Penumpang Pengangkutan Awam Pulau Pinang (PeTUA)
41. Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia
42. Monsoons Malaysia
43. Women’s Aid Organisation
44. ENGENDER Consultancy
45. The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih)
46. Childline Foundation
47. Protect and Save the Children
48. Inisiatif Pengislahan Pendidikan Nasional
49. Eliminating Deaths And Abuse In Custody Together (Edict)
50. Malaysian Digital Economy Consumer Association
51. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (Gerak)
52. Association of Women Lawyers
53. Pertubuhan Alam Sekitar Sejahtera Malaysia
54. Project Liber8
55. Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights
56. Sabah Human Rights Centre
57. Persatuan Penduduk Petaling Jaya 2017 (MYPJ)
58. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia
59. North South Initiative
60. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia
61. Penang stop human trafficking campaign
62. The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism
63. Lawyer Kamek for Change
64. The KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall’s women’s division
65. Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat
66. Save Rivers
67. Asylum Access Malaysia
68. Malaysia Muda
69. Diversity Malaysia
70. Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA), Malaysia
71. Merdeka Center for Opinion Research
72. Pertubuhan Muafakat Sabah (Muafakat)
73. G25 Malaysia
74. Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia
75. Misi: Solidariti
76. Kryss Network
77. Persatuan Keadilan dan Kesedaran Iklim Malaysia (Klima Action Malaysia – KAMY)
78. Collective of Applied Law and Legal Realism
79. Terabai Kenyalang Heritage Association of Sarawak
80. Undi Sabah
81. Stateless Children Family Support Group
82. People. Association. Development. Education for Penan Sarawak
83. Persatuan Anak Istimewa Sarawak (Perais)
84. University of Malaya Association of New Youth
85. Persatuan Jaringan Komuniti Inklusif Sabah (Inclusive Community Network Sabah)
86. The Tiada.Guru Campaign
87. Undi18
88. Cahaya Society
89. Borneo Komrad
90. Engineers Without Borders Malaysia
91. Suara Community Filmmaking
92. Sabah Environmental Protection Association
93. Etania Schools Sabah
94. Pertubuhan Kota Kita Sabah
95. Ezplast Solution Sdn Bhd
96. Belia Di Bawah Bayu
97. Pertubuhan Professional Suluk
98. Pertubuhan Rumah Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Home of Peace KL
99. Kudat Turtle Conservation Society
100. Save Malaysia Stop Lynas
101. Iskul Sama DiLaut Omadal
102. Malaysian Sign Language and Deaf Studies Association

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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