(FILE) In exercising their powers, police should be the face of human rights, said Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail. Pix by Khairull Azry Bidin

KUALA LUMPUR: In exercising their powers, police should be the face of human rights, said Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail.

“It is vital that the police and other uniformed bodies from the lowest to the highest personnel understand the value of human rights because of the country’s needs in enhancing security and dealing with terrorism.

“Regulations are being promulgated in a sweeping fashion that will have the effect of threatening democratic practice and undermine the fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“In essence, the police should be the face of human rights, and not a face to intimidate, even as the police need to be the bulwark of the country’s security,” he said in his address at the International Malaysian Law Conference - “Challenges of an Asean Community: Rule of Law, Business and Being People-Oriented” today.

Razali said training programmes on human rights barely scratched the surface to ensure that uniformed enforcement personnel were instilled with an understanding of human rights values.

He said Suhakam’s training programmes continued to expand for law enforcement agencies such as the police, the Prisons Department, the Immigration Department, Rela, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and local authorities.

Razali however acknowledged the huge task faced by the commission to dig deeper into its “raison d’etre” and its resources to ensure that the training programmes have a positive impact.