Nazri proposes special panel to discuss Suhakam reports
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has proposed the setting up of a special committee to discuss reports from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on human rights.
With the committee, human rights-related matters in the report could be championed continuously instead of being debated in one day at Parliament.
“Human rights are an important issue. I don’t think the report can be discussed in a day. They (Suhakam) have prepared a thick report within a year and it deserves more than a presentation,” Nazri (picture) said in reply to a supplementary question from M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Kulasegaran wanted to know what could be done to give more meaning to Suhakam and its report on human rights.
Nazri said like the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the special committee on human rights would consist of several MPs and could have a sitting simultaneously or outside the Dewan Rakyat.
“This (special committee) is more important than window-dressing. We’re not interested in window-dressing, rather to address human rights problems in our country by forming a permanent committee,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nazri said the government was ready to accept suggestions and constructive criticism from Suhakam should it have reason for the government to stop or proceed with an action.
“The government has no intention of clipping the wings of commissioners because we have promised them (Suhakam) freedom to carry out their duties,” he said.
He said the government had given sufficient protection under section 18 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act for Suhakam to perform its duties well.
The provision clearly stated immunity for the commission and its members from court action involving criminal and civil proceedings while carrying out their responsibilities, he added.
Besides that, the Human Rights Committee in Geneva rated Suhakam “A” for not restricting full investigation and issuing statements which could be said as reproaching the government. — Bernama