There is an ‘opaqueness’ of info from govt: M’sian Bar, Hakam

Source: The Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar Council and National Human Rights Society (Hakam) feels there is an absolute “opaqueness” of information from the government on the issues of the “boat people” and Wang Kelian “death camps” that surfaced recently.

Today, both bodies were at the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) office to hand over two memorandums.

They called for Suhakam to investigate how these issues started and the current conditions of the boat people housed in detention centres in Belantik, Kedah, and the issue of human trafficking.

Hakam president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said that reports by the authorities on the death camps in Wang Kelian were sketchy and contradictory.

“This is not acceptable, particularly when dealing with human lives,” she told a press conference after handing over the memorandum.

Bar Council president Steven Thiru said that it was “shocking” and “appalling” that there are death camps in the country’s backyard.

“This is compounded by the fact that there is a sense of inertia by the government in dealing with this and we are not getting enough information,” he said.

They called on Suhakam to intervene and exercise its powers under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, to hold their own inquiry.

Commissioner Professor Datuk Aishah Bidin, who received the memorandums on behalf of Suhakam, said they took these issues very seriously.

“We are in a position to advise the government on human rights issues that would require thorough investigations. We can act upon investigation and hopefully it will lead to a further course of action by the government,” she added.



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