Suhakam to up human rights awareness efforts

KUCHING: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), through its Sarawak office, has vowed to increase efforts in promoting and protecting human rights.

Its newly appointed commissioner, Dr Madeline Berma, said the commission would be putting in place strategies to see to this.

“Our plans will include rigorous engagements with the state government, NGOs, Civil Society Organisation (CSO), cooperation with the local media as well as private sector,” she said in a press conference yesterday.

Also present were Sarawak Suhakam head Sophian Osman, assistant secretary Alfonso Min and officer Linya Subah.

Madeline Berma

“We really want to increase the level of awareness as well as the number of complaints. But why aren’t the people complaining?

“Is it because of logistics issue? Or perhaps they don’t know about Suhakam as well as its functions.

“We will work hard to increase the number of complaints by having more engagement with the public, CSOs as well as the NGOs,” she said.

Madeline added that the commission would be producing promotional materials in local dialects to raise awareness here.

“This is because Suhakam wants the public to approach us, to be aware about its functions so that they will come to us and lodge complaints on human rights related issues.

“We want Suhakam to be aligned with our 4R concept, to be relevant, referred, respected and to be recognised as a department that protects the people’s rights.

“All of us have the responsibility to protect our rights,” she said.