KUALA LUMPUR: As the world marks Human Rights Day 2019 today, Malaysia can give itself a pat on the back for having undertaken law reform initiatives that will bring about the advancement of the country’s human rights agenda.
De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pix) outlined the initiatives taken by the current administration in developing concrete solutions for unresolved human rights issues neglected by the previous government.
They included the development of the freedom of Information legislation which provides rights to information to the public which is expected to be tabled sometime next year.
The government has set up a special committee to study and recommend alternative sentencing to replace the abolition of mandatory death penalty and the committee is expected to submit its report to the cabinet next month, he said.
The establishment of the Law Commission and Ombudsmen Malaysia as part of the continuous effort in law reform in line with Promise 27 in Pakatan Harapan’s Manifesto, which is the abolition of oppressive laws, he added.
He said the government is also decriminalising drug addiction and people who suffer from drug addiction must be distinguished from drug traffickers and be provided with evidence based treatment.
Speaking during the 2019 Human Rights Day Forum here today, Liew said the cabinet had approved the development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights for Malaysia.
He said businesses should ensure that there are no human rights violations in their business practices and supply chains.
“This will ultimately benefit the country in terms of the domestic market as well as international human rights standing,” he added. - Bernama