Let Ismail Sabri present a report on his First Hundred Days as Prime Minister on Nov. 28 on Human Rights in Malaysia

Today is the 60th Day of Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister of Malaysia since he was sworn in by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on August 21, 2021.

On Ismail’s 55th Day as Prime Minister, Malaysia was voted in for a seat in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC).

On Ismail’s 59th Day, cosmetic entrepreneur Nur Sajat confirmed that she has permanently left for Australia, citing that she did not feel safe in Malaysia amid a syariah court case against her for “dressing as a woman” at a religious event three years ago.

What a contrast for human rights in Malaysia!

As International Commission of Jurist member and former Bar Council President Ambiga Sreenevasan had pointed out, Malaysia’s third stint on the United Nations Human Rights Council is not an endorsement of the country’s human rights record.

As a country’s existing human rights record is not a determinant for candidacy, it is misplaced for Ismail to claim that “Malaysia’s success in taking a seat in the UN Human Rights Council is a great achievement and recognition on the status of human rights”.

As Ismail promised to work closely with the UN Member States to advance the global human rights agenda, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Right, let him present a report on his First Hundred Days as Prime Minister on Nov. 28 on Human Rights.

He should start by stating the present human rights position of the fundamental rights stated in nine articles from Article 5 to 13 in Part Two of the Malaysian Constitution, and how his administration proposes to keep human rights “at the centre of our efforts” for a “sustained and inclusive recovery post-Covid-19”.

It is only then that his administration’s advocacy of human rights can monitored, both at home and internationally.

The past two year were the country’s worst years for human rights in the past six decades – where extremist and intolerant race and religious rhetoric reigned supreme.

The fundamental nation-building principle of Rukun Negara of Malaysia as a united plural nation and “unity in diversity” were virtually forgotten and abandoned and first thing that must be done in the Ismail Sabri premiership is restore the primacy and pre-eminence of Rukun Negara in the schools, universities, the public service and all aspects of Malaysian life.

Is Ismail Sabri prepared to commit his administration to these goals of “unity in diversity”?

In the first Hundred Days Report on Human Rights by Ismail Sabri, let him state what are the international covenants and conventions which his government proposes to ratify.

There are many outstanding human rights issues that must be addressed by the Ismail Sabri government by declaring what action it would take to resolve them, like the deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Altantunya Shaariibuu, the disappearances of Pastor Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat and the failure to return to Indira Gandhi her daughter for 12 long years.

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Tuesday, 19th October 2021)

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