Suhakam should submit special report to Parliament next month on its stand on the latest Amnesty International annual report naming Malaysia as one of the countries which had used September 11 to justify harsh security measures resulting in more human rights abuses last year

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Wednesday) Amnesty International’s 2001 annual report released in London yesterday specifically named Malaysia as one of the countries which used September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States to justify harsh security measures resulting in more human rights abuses in the country last year.  

Suhakam, which has been vested by Parliament with the statutory powers to be the Malaysian watchdog  to “protect and promote human rights” in the country should submit a special report to Parliament  on the AI annual report, declaring its stand and stating where it agrees and where it differs from the AI report. 

It is a national shame and embarrassment that the international human rights watchdog based in London should beat Suhakam to an annual review of the human rights condition in Malaysia – all because of the usurpation of the statutory powers and functions of Suhakam by the Foreign Ministry in hijacking the Suhakam annual report 2001 when it should have been  made public after submission to Parliament at its last meeting two months ago.  

This is one down for Suhakam and one up for the Amnesty International, where the Malaysian Human Rights Commission whose brief is only Malaysia lags behind Amnesty International, which covers some 200 countries in the world!  

Suhakam is cause for another national shame and embarrassment – as its annual report is also   later than the United States State Department annual survey on human rights with a country report on Malaysia, which was released in March this year.  

Parliament should be very concerned about the AI 2001 annual report about human rights abuses in Malaysia for last year, or it would make nonsense of its establishment of Suhakam to “protect and promote” human rights, and its concerns should focus on the findings of the AI report, viz:  


The AI annual report noted that the government had been “dismissive” of various Suhakam reports and recommendations, including:   

It would be a poor reflection on Parliament’s oversight role over Suhakam to protect and promote human rights if it loses out to foreign and international organizations like the AI in reminding the Government of its responsibility to implement the Suhakam’s findings and recommendations. For this reason, Parliament must insist at its next meeting that the government give a full and detailed report on its responses and actions on all the recommendations which had been made by Suhakam in the past one year.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman