COMANGO urges government to take UPR commitments seriously

For Immediate Release
20th May 2016

COMANGO urges government to take UPR commitments seriously
The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO) urges the government to uphold its commitments to the recommendations which were accepted in March 2014 during its second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The government is encouraged to make their UPR pledges public — in Malay, Mandarin and Tamil — and allow for public review of the implementation of these. Additionally, the government should take all necessary steps and measures to put an end to the regression of human rights values in Malaysia and renew its commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Malaysia is encouraged to submit a mid-term report to the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). However, the government, through previous consultations with civil society organizations had indicated that it was not inclined to do so.

COMANGO, on the other hand, will be sending its mid-term report to the OHCHR as mandated under the Human Rights Council Review 2011. The mid-term report details the assessment of implementation of a total of 60 UPR recommendations which Malaysia had accepted which are deemed specific and measureable. Among these recommendations, only 20% were fully implemented by the government. More worryingly, 57% of these recommendations have witnessed a regressing situation of increasing violations of human rights, and a trend of growing impunity.
Furthermore, since the October 2013 review, the Government has failed to translate Malaysia’s 2013 National Report, the Report of the Working Group on the UPR, and the Addendum to the Working Group Report. Peoples in Malaysia should know the international human rights standards that the government had promised to uphold.

For its part, COMANGO is pleased to launch the bilingual version of our report that was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013. We will be disseminating the bilingual version of our UPR report nationwide as part of our continuing work in engaging the government to uphold its commitments to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all persons in Malaysia as part of the UPR process.

COMANGO calls on the government to take its UPR commitments seriously and carry out efforts to include as many relevant stakeholders as possible. The UPR should be an open and participatory process where the government works together with rights-based civil society organisations, the national human rights commission and international bodies to reach a common goal of improving the human rights conditions on the ground.

UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 member states of the United Nations. In Malaysia’s context, government representatives will be scrutinized through a process of peer review in 2018, which by then will be its 3rd UPR cycle thus far.

For more information, please contact ;-
Angela Kuga Thas – [email protected]
Rizal Rozhan – [email protected]
Contact No: +603 7784 4977

Released by:
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

COMANGO 2016 UPR Mid-Term Review PDF Version

Media must be independent and free from threats of repressive security laws

For Immediate Release
27 February 2016

Media must be independent and free from threats of repressive security laws
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the blocking of news media website, the Malaysian Insider and the investigation of editors and officers of the Malaysian Insiders under security law.

The blocking of any website should only be permitted under the direst of circumstances and must only take place after thorough and transparent investigation by relevant authorities. The swiftness in which the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) took action and blocked the Malaysian Insider website implies that MCMC did not conduct any investigation into the matter and made an arbitrary decision to block the Malaysian Insider.

Further, considering the importance of independent media and news reports, editors and officers of any news or media group should not be subjected to investigation under security laws for the publication of news articles. The use of Section 124(I) of the Penal Code should not and must not be interpreted and used as a law to supress the media. The invocation of Section 124(I) in this context can only be seen as a blatant act of intimidation and a direct threat against media and news groups with detention without trial.

If any of the allegations reported by the Malaysian Insider is false as alleged by MCMC, the party taking actions against the Malaysian Insider should be by the aggrieved parties and not the Government of Malaysia. On this note, SUARAM calls for the unblocking of the Malaysian Insider and demand that investigations under Section 124(I) be stopped immediately!
Considering the standing of Malaysia as a member of the United Nations Security Council and the upcoming Human Rights Council sitting in which Malaysia would undoubtedly be under scrutiny, the Government of Malaysia must take proactive steps to fulfil its international obligations and maintain a positive image in the international community. The blocking of the Malaysian Insider and the investigations against its editors and officers would result in a failure by the Government of Malaysia in fulfilling the recommendations adopted by the Government of Malaysia in the Universal Periodic Review and undermine Malaysia’s standing and image in the international community.

In Solidarity

Executive Director
SUARAM