“The Malaysian government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage rather than safeguarding rights.”
HUMAN Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Asia director Phil Robertson’s comments upon the release of HRW’s report on the state of human rights in Malaysia in 2009. The report said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had failed to fulfil his promise to respect the people’s fundamental rights.
The report wrote that Najib’s administration had continued to harass the opposition, mistreat refugees, and restrict citizens’ right to peaceful expression, association and assembly. It also criticised Najib for failing to abolish oppressive laws such as the Internal Security Act, Police Act, and the Printing Presses and Publications Act. (Source: Malaysia gets poor marks for human rights, The Star, 22 Jan 2010)
“We have done our best.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in refuting HRW’s report that the Malaysian government had failed to protect and uphold citizens’ fundamental rights. He defended the government and said it had always strove to improve human rights in the country. (Source: Muhyiddin Refutes Human Rights Watch Report, Bernama, 22 June 2010)
“Malaysia’s exemplary human rights values are recognised the world over in line with the long history of religious, social and cultural diversities of its communities.”
“We always uphold the universal principles of the UN on human rights.”
Former Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail, defending criticism from international human rights groups on Malaysia’s election to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2010.
The groups, including HRW and independent UN Watch, said Malaysia was a country with serious human rights issues, particularly a poor track record on migrant workers, refugees, and human trafficking victims. (Source: International NGOs criticises Malaysia’s inclusion in UNHRC, The Malay Mail, 18 May 2010)
“[Progress towards achieving human rights in Malaysia has been so] minuscule that it’s really not worth mentioning at all – it’s so embarrassing.”
Former Suhakam commissioner Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, commenting on the progress of human rights in Malaysia. He said there was a lack of respect for human rights in the government, political parties, and the population. He added that the federal government has ignored Suhakam’s recommendations and proposals to improve the state of human rights in the country. (Source: Ex-Suhakam vice-chair vents frustration, Malaysiakini, 2 June 2010)
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