Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said has called for the annual report issued by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat following the country’s election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Debating the King’s address today, the Umno MP, who is also the law and human rights adviser to the prime minister, said the UNHRC membership would be pointless if the Dewan could not even debate the Suhakam report.
“It is pointless for us to sit in the human rights council if we can’t even debate Suhakam’s report. I hope that if we were to have a second version of the memorandum of understanding (between the government and Pakatan Harapan), let us focus on making sure that this Suhakam report is debated in the Dewan on an annual basis.
“It is pointless if we are seen as defending human rights in the eyes of the world, but we don’t bother to look into the human rights issues concerning our citizens, and protecting them,” the former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker said.
Last year, Suhakam said it was crucial that its annual report was debated in the Dewan Rakyat as it highlighted numerous pressing issues that needed “urgent action” by the government.
In a statement on Dec 1, it also said its annual report contained recommendations on the rights of vulnerable communities, including the indigenous communities, women and children, victims of human trafficking, refugees, and asylum seekers and workers.
Malaysia was elected to the UNHRC for the 2022-2024 term during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Oct 14 last year.
The country received an overwhelming majority of 183 votes. – FMT