The Human Rights Commission cannot discharge its mandate promote and protect human rights in Malaysia unless it is given the widest powers and jurisdiction to oversee the human rights situation in the country.
Unfortunately, the Human Rights Commission Act had right from the beginning crippled the Human Rights Commission by giving a very narrow and restricted definition of human rights coming under its purview, limiting its scope to "human rights" to the "fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Federal Constitution" when the Commission should be guided by international human rights instruments, whether it be the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Section(4)(4) of the Act provides that the Commission is empowered to have regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 but only "to the extent that it is not consistent with the Federal Constitution".
A Human Rights Commission which is required to recognise draconian laws
like the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Printing
Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, Police Act, Universities and
University Colleges Act as not in violation of human rights when
they are inconsistent with and contrary to basic human right principles
based on universal standards runs the risk of being regarded as an alibi
institution to legitimise human rights violations in the country.
Chairman: Tan Sri Musa Hitam
Members: Tan Sri Dato Harun Hashim
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun
Dato Dr Salleh Mohd Nor
Dato Lee Lam Thye
Dato Mahadev Shankar
Dato K Pathmanaban
Prof Mohd Hamdan Adnan
Prof Mehrun Siraj
Prof Chiam Heng Keng
Dr Mohammad Hirman Ritom Abdullah
Cik Zainah Anwar