Achievements

SUARAM’s key achievements in the past 25 years:

Annual human rights report – Since 1998, SUARAM has published an annual comprehensive human rights report which documents and monitoring human rights violations in Malaysia. The report has a reputation of being objective and non-partisan and is keenly awaited every year by local as well as foreign human rights watchers;

Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) repealed – SUARAM has campaigned against detention without trial since 1989; The ISA and EO were abolished in 2011 and the last ISA detainee was released in January 2014;

Raising public awareness on human rights – SUARAM has provided invaluable human rights training & education activities to countless students, youth, lawyers, journalists, urban settlers, workers, indigenous peoples, community groups and the general public;

Reform of Criminal Procedure Code – SUARAM campaigned for better protection of rights of detainees. The Criminal Procedure Code was amended in 2007 which led to the shortening of the period of remand orders, the inadmissibility of cautioned statements to prevent self-incrimination, and better access to family and lawyers;

Annual licensing for print media abolished and promise of abolition of Sedition Act – SUARAM campaigned for freedom of expression and press freedom. This resulted in the removal of the “absolute discretion” of the Home Minister in accepting or rejecting media license applications; the repeal of annual license renewal of print media and the promise of prime minister Najib Razak to abolish the Sedition Act in 2012;

Defending freedom of assembly – SUARAM has provided urgent legal support for those who have been unjustifiably and arbitrarily arrested. Section 27 of the Police Act requiring a police permit for public assembly was abolished in 2012;

Establishment of coroner’s courts in 13 states – SUARAM campaigned for police accountability in the rising cases of deaths in custody and this led to the establishment of coroner’s courts in April 2014 to deal cases of death in custody cases. SUARAM continues to campaign for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC);

Improved independence and effectiveness of SUHAKAM – SUARAM’s campaigns led to two parliamentary amendments to the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act in 2009 and this has made the appointment process of commissioners more transparent and has resulted in the appointment of more independent candidates;

Holding government accountable for Scorpene submarines scandal – SUARAM exposed the suspected corruption in the Scorpene submarine deal and made an official complaint to the French courts in 2009; this led to protracted harassment by the government in 2012-13, including the threat of deregistration;

Human rights mainstreamed in public policies – SUARAM has contributed to research and publication on public policies and peoples’ history, notably on arms spending and energy policies, May 13, Kampung Medan, the independence movement, People Before Profits, Policing the Malaysian Police, the ISA and Operation Lalang.

SUARAM

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