Action plan shows our commitment on human rights — Najib


Najib (right) launches the National Human Rights Action Plan at the Perdana Putra building. Also seen are Azalina (left) and Low. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday launched the National Human Rights Action Plan, demonstrating Malaysia’s commitment to guarantee and safeguard human rights in the country.

He said the NHRAP would become a solid foundation in transforming the government efforts to strengthen human rights in the country.

This was also, through a bottom-up approach, in line with the agenda and vision of the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) which had gathered the people’s views, feedback and aspirations in ensuring the success of its implementation, he said.

“The NHRAP, I am proud to say, is a comprehensive plan that has taken into account the aspirations of the people and is based on the Malaysian mould,” he said at the launch at the Perdana Putra building here.

Najib said the NHRAP document, developed in accordance with international standards with reference to the United Nations guidelines, outlined five key thrusts.

The Prime Minister said the first thrust was civil and political rights, and cited the examples of the abolition of the Internal Security Act 1960 and the formulation of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 during his tenure.

“Obviously, there will be no repeat of our concern as in the case of the Ops Lalang (security crackdown of 1987),” he said.

He also said that the government abolition of the mandatory death sentence for convicted drug traffickers under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 had elicited praise from the European Union.

Najib said the second thrust of the NHRAP was economic, social and cultural rights which included the right to basic needs, education and cultural practices.

The third thrust was the rights of the vulnerable people which focused on five groups, namely women, children, the disabled, senior citizens and refugees, he said.

“For example, the government introduced the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017, which led to the establishment of the first Court on Sexual Crimes against Children, not only in Malaysia but also in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Najib said the fourth thrust was the human rights among the Orang Asli and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.

The fifth thrust, he said, was the international obligation that listed Malaysia’s commitment in the international instruments related to human rights.

Following the launch, Najib announced three mechanisms to kick off the NHRAP, one of which was the creation of a smartphone application to obtain feedback from the people on the implementation of the plan.

“In other words, this facility will encourage more effective public participation in the implementation of the NHRAP and its improvement from time to time,” he said.

Najib said the government also agreed to set up a high-level committee to monitor the implementation of the NHRAP.

The government also agreed to appoint appropriate impartial individuals, from among civil society organisations and academicians, to gather and analyse the public feedback on the implementation of the NHRAP, he said.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the NHRAP could boost the performance and image of the country, especially in terms of economic development and efficient and credible governance, to enable it to become a high-income advanced economy and be among the 20 best and most advanced countries of the world by 2050.

“When I say among the best countries by 2050, it does not mean only in terms of per capita income but also as a more equitable, caring and kinder Malaysia. This is my vision for Malaysia,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, at a press conference after the launch, said the people could gain access to the NHRAP document through the smartphone application that could be downloaded from April.

On the high-level committee, she said the maiden meeting would be held after the Prime Minister appointed the chairman of the committee, and that the NHRAP would be handed over to Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) for implementation.
— Bernama