Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 12 Jan 2020

While our nonagenarian Prime Minister has proactively taken over the Education portfolio – albeit temporarily – simply because he sees that the minister concerned had to be removed and important reforms need to be implemented, may we suggest he does the same with the Home Ministry? For while education concerns the application of so called “soft skills” that take time to come to fruition, the failings of the Home Ministry concern questions of life and death of human beings and the fundamental liberties of Malaysians. Therefore, we propose that our talented PM also considers taking over the Home Ministry temporarily in order to clear these rather pressing issues that confound the Malaysian public. After all, he was also Home Minister during Operation Lalang in 1987.


Retaining SOSMA and POCA a Betrayal of Peoples’ Trust and Aspiration

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the reversal of the Minister of Home Affair, Muhyiddin Yassin’s position on the abolishment of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

The claims that SOSMA and POCA provides and guarantee the safety and security of Malaysia is deceitful at best. By claiming that these laws are critical for national security, the Minister is suggesting that our criminal justice system under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code that has withstood the test of time is irrelevant or incapable of addressing criminal matters or providing justice.

Continue reading “Retaining SOSMA and POCA a Betrayal of Peoples’ Trust and Aspiration”

Home Ministry KPI must be in line with International Human Rights

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) notes with concern the reported success of the Home Ministry in its Key Performance Index (KPI) in 2017 and call for human rights and civil liberties to be an integral part of the Key Performance Index outlined by the Home Ministry.

Despite the reported success in achieving its KPI, the Home Ministry has repeatedly failed to address key issues of concerns in relation to human rights and civil liberties under the Federal Constitution. In tandem with its key success, the Ministry in 2017 has:

  • Failed to address the cases of enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat, Raymond Koh, Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Hilmy;
  • Oversaw the sharp increase in arbitrary detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) with 142 minors reportedly detained under POCA;
  • Failed to answer and address for the arrest and detention of Ang Kian Kok despite the Minister’s awareness of his case in Parliament;
  • Failed to address the issue of custodial death with new addition of at least 8 reported death in police custody, 2 in navy detention center and countless more in prisons and immigration detention in 2017;
  • Failed to address the right to health in prison in spite of repeated recommendations by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM);
  • Failed to curb the rampant practice of chain remand where individuals are detained for prolonged period of weeks if not months through legal loopholes;
  • Interfered into The Star and other news agencies and curtailing freedom of expression;
  • Banned more than 50 publications with no good cause;
  • Oversaw and championed the continued existence of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) in Parliament and failed to implement the working group to provide oversight on SOSMA;
  • Barred the entry of internationally recognized human rights defenders including Han Hui Hui and Adilur Rahman Khan in 2017
  • Failed to address the rising issue of human trafficking in Malaysia;
  • Failed to address the scandal of the Wang Kelian death camp with new allegations of cover up.

With the abovementioned failures and shortcoming in mind, it is difficult for any reasonable and sensible person to describe the Home Ministry as excellent in discharging its duties as the executive body overseeing the enforcement agencies in the country.

SUARAM calls for the Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to take into account the human rights violations perpetrated by the Home Ministry directly or by the enforcement agencies that it has oversight over and rethink the ministry’s KPI in line with international human rights principles and the civil liberties enshrined Federal Constitution. If the Home Minister holds a genuine intent to reform and improve the Ministry, a consultation with civil societies and relevant statutory body should take place before the formulation of any KPI. SUARAM and other stakeholders are willing and happy to engage with the Ministry

SUARAM would also like to remind the Home Minister and the Home Ministry that Malaysia will be up for the 3rd Universal Periodic Review later in 2018 and the failures of the Ministry to uphold human rights in the abovementioned areas would be scrutinized by members states of the United Nations.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director