Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), 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, Najib added.
“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 in Putrajaya.
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),” Najib 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.