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KUALA LUMPUR: The United Nations today praised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for continuing a path of law reform through the Political Transformation Programme.
UN Malaysia resident coordinator Kamal Malhotra said the programme was in line with international human rights norms and standards.
"We know that the government and people of Malaysia are committed to nation building and democratic consolidation," he said at the UN’s 67th anniversary celebration here today.
Malhotra cited the recent key reforms, in particular, the abolishment of the Internal Security Act and other restrictive laws, as well as the move to implement 26 of the 32 recommendations made by Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform before the next general election.
"The UN is prepared to share its vast experience and technical expertise in this area.
"Since 1991, we have provided electoral assistance to over 100 UN member states including most recently, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, in addition to our longer-term ongoing support for capacity building and electoral law reforms," he said before presenting the UN Malaysia Award to Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee.
The award, presented as part of the anniversary celebrations, was given to the Bar Council for its 66-year commitment to guarding the rule of law, defending human rights and public interest, and speaking out against the abuse of power.
"Undeterred by threats and allegations of political bias, the Bar Council has continuously taken a stand in favour of human rights, fundamental freedoms and civil liberties, greater constitutionalism, access to justice and judicial independence," Kamal said in reading the award citation.
Kamal also presented the UN Person of the Year Award and special tribute to the late social scientist and public intellectual Professor Khoo Khay Jin, who died last year.
The award, accepted by his son Khoo Wu Chen, was given in honour of his lifetime contribution and achievements, including spearheading the UN-Government of Malaysia "The Millenium Development Goals at 2010" report, and working as part of a joint initiative to eradicate poverty and improve employment in Sabah and Sarawak.