KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) -- The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today proposed that its annual report be tabled in Parliament to encourage constructive debate on human rights issues.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, said by doing so, it would enable issues on human rights to be given priority in the country's planning and development.
"Although the Parliamentary Select Committee on human rights has been formed last year to discuss the annual report, it is our hope that it be tabled and discussed in Parliament," he added.
He said since Suhakam was established in 1999, it had submitted 12 annual reports to Parliament, as required under Section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1999.
"However, the reports were never discussed in Parliament," he said at the launch of Suhakam's 2012 Annual report here today.
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Also present were Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee and its members, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Ab Majid, Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, James Deva Nayagam, Francis Johen and Nordin Kasim.
In another development, Hasmy expressed the commission's concern over the government's proposal to formulate a new law to replace the Emergency Ordinance 1969, which was abolished last year, and described it as a retrogressive move.
"This being that any detention without a trial is a breach of the Federal Constitution and human rights principles, especially Article 8(1) and Article 7 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which state that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
"Therefore, the use of a retrogressive approach will only bring the country backward," he added.
Meanwhile, Khaw said the annual report would be submitted to Parliament this week.
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He said the report outlined 14 main issues pertaining to civil and political rights, economy, social and culture, law enforcement by enforcement bodies, Suhakam's role in the court, National Human Rights Action Plan and development on human rights issues at regional and international level.
Khaw said Suhakam received 660 complaints nationwide last year and they included cases on human rights, alleged abuse of power by government and private agencies, land matters, Orang Asli, refugees, disabled persons and education.
"From the 660 complaints received, 206 cases have been resolved," he added.
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