PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled Malaysia's first National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) today.
He announced three key mechanisms to kick-off the execution of the NHRAP.
"First, the government has agreed to develop a mobile application to get public feedback on the execution of the action plan.
"Second, the government has decided to form a high-level committee to keep tabs on the NHRAP’s execution.
"Third, we will appoint non-partisan groups comprising civil society organisations and academicians to gather and analyse public feedback regarding the NHRAP," he said at the launch here today.
Also present at the event were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuang, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, Public Service director-general Tan Sri Zainal Rahim Seman and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail.
Najib described the public document as dynamic, flexible and open to improvement based on the needs of the nation as time goes by.
"The NHRAP has outlined five cores – civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; rights of vulnerable groups; rights of the indigenous; and international obligations," he added.
On civil and political rights, the prime minister said that the government, under his leadership, had successfully implemented law reforms, including the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 and the implementation of the Peaceful Assembly Act, which he said a leader who had ruled Malaysia for 22 years had failed to do.
"(In this respect), fear of being detained, like under Op Lalang, will no longer recur," said Najib, adding that the government also abolished the mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which was lauded by the European Union.
The prime minister also cited the government's introduction of the Sexual Crimes against Children Act 2016, which led to the setting-up of a special court for sexual crimes against children.
Najib said the five cores of the NHRAP were actually inspired by the Quran, particularly Surah Al-Baqarah, which states that religion should not sideline human rights, and instead guide humankind towards cultivating a mindset of wisdom and intelligence.
"What we have done is to fulfil current needs to achieve what we strive for under Maqasid Syariah. This is what we have realised in the NHRAP," he said.
With the launch of the NHRAP, the prime minister also shared his vision for Malaysia to be more just and compassionate.
"I hope to see a kinder Malaysia. That is my vision," he said.
Najib also expressed his hope that the NHRAP could be implemented effectively and be enthusiastically accepted by all Malaysians.