ABOUT US

ABOUT US

How it all started

The initiative to set up a national human rights institution in Malaysia began with Malaysia’s active participation in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) in 1993-95 when it was elected as a member by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Tan Sri Dato’ Musa bin Hitam leader of the Malaysian delegation, was elected as the Chairman of the 52nd session of the UNCHR in 1995, followed by a second term and third term in 1996-98, 2001- 2003 respectively.

In 1994 Tan Sri Musa suggested to the Government to establish its own independent national human rights institution. Several factors influenced this proposal including the growing international emphasis on human rights and recognition that it crosses boundaries and sovereignty; Malaysia’s active involvement in the United Nations system; the changing political climate in Malaysia with a more politically conscious electorate and dynamic civil society.

On 24 April 1999, the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, announced that a Bill would be tabled in the July 1999 sitting of Parliament to establish the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia. The Bill was guided by the 1993 Paris Principles which provided the international criteria for an independent human rights commission, and also by the experience of established human rights institutions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) was established by Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597, which was gazetted on 9 September 1999. The inaugural meeting was held on 24 April 2000.

On 3 April 2000, it was announced that, Tan Sri Dato’ Musa bin Hitam was appointed as SUHAKAM’s first Chairman, together with 12 other members to serve a renewable two-year term. SUHAKAM members were selected to reflect the diversity and pluralism of Malaysian society and also on the basis of the experience, commitment, independence and integrity of the individual.

The SUHAKAM secretariat began operating from a container cabin at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra). SUHAKAM moved to its own premises on the 29th and 30th floors of Menara Tun Razak at Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur on 24 November 2000. Since January 2011, SUHAKAM relocated to its current premise on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th floor of Menara TH Perdana at Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. The building was chosen in particular for its central location and easy access to the public.

The Office of Children’s Commission was established within SUHAKAM, under the same Act since 23 August 2019. The Children’s Commissioner focuses on the promotion and protection of children’s rights including rights of indigenous children, migrants, refugees, undocumented, stateless and children with disabilities, which are all underpinned by the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.

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WELCOME

Message from the Chairman

I am delighted to welcome you to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)’s new website. In light of the recent COVID-19 Pandemic and requirement for new normal practices, we recognise the need to take advantage of available tools at our disposal to further enhance the delivery of our work in promoting and protecting human rights in the country.

As SUHAKAM transitions into the 21st year since its establishment, it is my hope that this website will further expand SUHAKAM’s reach and efficiency in delivering human rights-related updates, issues and news. We also welcome and encourage members of the public, various communities, schools and youths to connect with us. SUHAKAM values and respects healthy and constructive feedback and views from everyone, regardless of background, age, race, religion or nationality.

SUHAKAM will continue to persevere and remain resolute in advocating human rights for all people, with the ultimate vision whereby Malaysia will one day be  ‘a society in which human rights are fully respected, protected and enjoyed equally by all.’

Tan Sri Othman Bin Hashim
Chairman

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Advocacy has been an essential part of SUHAKAM’s work and our goal is to move beyond advocacy and to make real changes in the system. We believe that human rights situation in Malaysia will continue to improve in the future given the more open, free and transformative democracy in the country

TAN SRI OTHMAN BIN HASHIM

CHAIRMAN OF SUHAKAM

FUNCTIONS & POWER

Its Founding Statute

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) was established under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597. Section 2 of this Act defines “human rights” as referring to the “fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Federal Constitution”.

Together we fight for human rights

Together we fight for human rights. We do take human rights seriously, if you witness any violation of human rights or currently experiencing ill treatment, or if you have a good suggestions, please contact us immediately.

PAST COMMISSION

COMMISSIONERS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

2019-2016

  1. Tan Sri Razali Ismail – Chairman
  2. Datuk Loke Yim Pheng
  3. Dato’ Mah Weng Kwai
  4. Prof Dato’ Dr Aishah Bidin
  5. Prof Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Salleh
  6. Mr. Francis Johen anak Adam
  7. Datuk Godfrey Gregory Jaitol
  8. Mr. Jerald Joseph

2016-2013

  1. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam – Chairman
  2. Prof Datuk Dr. Khaw Lake Tee – Vice Chairman
  3. Prof Dato’ Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Hj A Majid
  4. Prof Dato’ Dr Aishah Bidin
  5. Mr. James Nayagam
  6. Mr. Francis Johen anak Adam
  7. Mr. Sylvester Madating @ Nordin Kasim

2013-2010

  1. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam – Chairman
  2. Prof Datuk Dr. Khaw Lake Tee – Vice Chairman
  3. Prof Dato’ Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Hj A Majid
  4. Mr.Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah
  5. Mr. James Nayagam
  6. Ms. Jannie Lasimbang
  7. Mr. Detta Samen
  8.  

2010-2008

  1. Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman – Chairman
  2. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun – Vice Chairman
  3. Datuk Dr.Chiam Heng Keng
  4. Dr.Mohammad Hirman Ritom bin Abdullah
  5. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Asiah Abu Samah
  6. Prof Dato’ Dr. Abdul Monir Yaacob
  7. Datuk Dr. Raj Abdul Karim
  8. Dato’ Choo Siew Kioh
  9. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
  10. Tunku Datuk Nazihah Tunku Mohamed Rus
  11. Dato’ Siva Subramaniam A/L Nagaratnam
  12. Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Khoo Kay Kim
  13. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman
  14. Dato’ Dr.Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng
  15. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria
  16. Dato’ Hj Khalid Haji Ibrahim
  17.  

2008-2006

  1. Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman – Chairman
  2. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun – Vice Chairman
  3. Datuk Dr.Chiam Heng Keng
  4. Dr.Mohammad Hirman Ritom bin Abdullah
  5. Tan Sri Dr. Asiah Abu Samah
  6. Datuk Dr. Raj Abdul Karim
  7. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Monir Yaacob
  8. Dato’ Karam Chand Vohrah
  9. Tunku Datuk Nazihah Tunku Mohamed Rus
  10. Dato’ Siva Subramaniam A/L Nagaratnam
  11. Dato’ Choo Siew Kioh
  12. Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Khoo Kay Kim
  13. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
  14. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria
  15. Dato’ Dr.Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng
  16. Dato’ Hj Khalid Haji Ibrahim
  17. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’Othman
  18. Ustaz Dr.Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady
  19.  

2006-2004

  1. Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman – Chairman
  2. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun – Vice Chairman
  3. Prof.Dato’ Hj.Mohd.Hamdan Adnan
  4. Datuk Dr. Chiam Heng Keng
  5. Dr. Mohammad Hirman Ritom bin Abdullah
  6. Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.)Ramon Navaratnam
  7. Dato’ Asiah Abu Samah
  8. Datuk Dr. Raj Abdul Karim
  9. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Monir Yaacob
  10. Dato’ Karam Chand Vohrah
  11. Dato’ Ranita Mohd.Hussein
  12. Tunku Datuk Nazihah Tunku Mohamed Rus
  13. Dato’ Siva Subramaniam A/L Nagaratnam
  14. Dato’ Choo Siew Kioh
  15. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Khoo Kay Kim
  16. Dato’ Dr.Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin
  17. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah

2004-2002

  1. Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman – Chairman
  2. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun – Vice Chairman
  3. Datuk Dr.Chiam Heng Keng
  4. Dr.Mohammad Hirman Ritom bin Abdullah
  5. Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Asiah Abu Samah
  6. Prof Dato’ Dr. Abdul Monir Yaacob
  7. Datuk Dr. Raj Abdul Karim
  8. Dato’ Choo Siew Kioh
  9. Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
  10. Tunku Datuk Nazihah Tunku Mohamed Rus
  11. Dato’ Siva Subramaniam A/L Nagaratnam
  12. Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Khoo Kay Kim
  13. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman
  14. Dato’ Dr.Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng
  15. Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria
  16. Dato’ Hj Khalid Haji Ibrahim

2002-2000

  1. Tan Sri Dato’ Musa Hitam – Chairman
  2. Tan Sri Dato’ Harun Mahmud Hashim – Vice Chairman
  3. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun
  4. Tan Sri Dato’ Hj.Zainal Abidin
  5. Dato’ K.Pathmanaban
  6. Dato’ Mahadev Shankar
  7. Dato’ Dr.Salleh  bin Mohd.Nor
  8. Dato’ Lee Lam Thye
  9. Datuk Dr.Chiam Heng Keng
  10. Professor Dato’ Mohd.Hamdan Adnan
  11. Dr.Mohammad Hirman Ritom bin Abdullah
  12. Puan Mehrun Siraj
  13. Cik Zainah Anwar