Suhakam to con­tinue re­mind­ing Pakatan Hara­pan govern­ment of its CRPD obli­ga­tions

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KUCH­ING: Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion of Malaysia ( Suhakam) will con­tinue to re­mind the Pakatan Hara­pan-led govern­ment of its in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions un­der the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties (CRPD).

Its com­mis­sioner Fran­cis Jo­hen Adam hoped that the new govern­ment would be more se­ri­ous in tak­ing leg­isla­tive, ad­min­is­tra­tive and all nec­es­sary mea­sures to com­ply with pro­vi­sions of the con­ven­tion or amend­ments to ex­ist­ing laws and poli­cies so as to stream­line them with the CRPD.

“Suhakam be­lieves this is an op­por­tu­nity to re­dou­ble it efforts to pro­tect and pro­mote hu­man rights as per its man­date un­der the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion of Malaysia Act 2009,” he said when con­tacted yes­ter­day, to com­ment on the new govern­ment manag­ing Peo­ple With Dis­abil­i­ties ( PWD) in this coun­try and in Sarawak.

“In par­tic­u­lar, there is a need to amend the With Dis­abil­i­ties Act, 2008 in or­der to strengthen its ef­fec­tive­ness, for ex­am­ple, to pro­vide penalty pro­vi­sions for vi­o­la­tions of pro­vi­sions un­der the Act and to pro­vide re­dress mech­a­nism or to ap­point an of­fi­cer ( com­mis­sioner) with pow­ers to re­ceive pub­lic com­plaints for al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tion or other vi­o­la­tions of the Act against any dis­abled per­sons, and to ini­ti­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into such com­plaints and take re­me­dial mea­sures on it if there is ba­sis on the said com­plaint,” he added.

As a per­son with dis­abil­i­ties him­self, Fran­cis said the fed­eral govern­ment had to con­sider sign­ing the Op­tional Pro­to­col ( sup­ple­men­tary agree­ment to the prin­ci­pal Con­ven­tion) to the Con­ven­tion on Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties, to pro­vide bet­ter mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nism at in­ter­na­tional level for any se­ri­ous breach or vi­o­la­tions of rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. As it is now, the is­sue is still un­re­solved at the do­mes­tic or na­tional level or to al­low Com­mit­tee of Ex­perts un­der the CRPD to carry out its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into such com­plaints and pro­vide ad­vice ( or gen­eral com­ments) to the govern­ment on such matters which af­fect the rights of peo­ple with disability.

“So far the govern­ment has yet to fi­nalise its state re­port on the CRPD im­ple­men­ta­tion in Malaysia to UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil, as re­quired un­der Ar­ti­cles 35 and 36 of CRPD, which is long over­due (within 2 years of rat­i­fi­ca­tion of CRPD).

“Malaysia should also ap­point an in­de­pen­dent mon­i­tor­ing body to pro­vide a mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nism on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of CRPD as re­quired un­der Ar­ti­cle 33 of CRPD,” Fran­cis said.

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