Dewan Rakyat MPs debate on human rights issues
UALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has been urged to set up a syariah advisory committee to assist it in making decisions on issues that touch on differences between religions and human rights.
The matter was brought up by Dewan Rakyat MPs who were taking part in the debate of the SUHAKAM’s annual report at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
“As a country with a Muslim majority population and Islam as its official religion, I would like to suggest that this committee be set up,” Datuk Idris Ahmad (PN-Bagan Serai) said when debating the motion, while Datuk Ahmad Saad@Yahaya (PN-Pokok Sena) was of the opinion that state syariah law had to be standardised as apostasy cases, which often became points of debate involving individual rights and religion, could be tackled comprehensively.
Meanwhile, Chow Yu Hui (PH-Raub) brought up the issue of infrastructure and quality of detention centres, including police and immigration lockups, that require attention as the SUHAKAM report had stated that the cause of death for detained individuals include those due to health factors, including infectious diseases, cleanliness and inmate congestion.
He therefore suggested that the government review the punishment guidelines and amend existing laws and provide SUHAKAM with the authority of conducting surprise visits to detention centres to improve the quality of managing detained individuals.
Chiew Choon Man (PH-Miri) also touched on child education, especially in rural areas in Sarawak, where children are unable to attend school due to the lack of complete citizenship papers.
He asked the government to look into the matter as the children were losing out on getting proper education as long as their citizenship documents are not resolved.
A total of 17 parliamentarians debated the motion before the sitting was adjourned this evening, while five more will resume the debate before the wind-up session tomorrow.