Police should be defenders of civil liberties in Malaysia rather than a force that represses the exercise of human rights, said Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail today.
He stressed that security personnel must understand that upholding human rights in the country would help improve its security and mitigate the draw of militancy and extremism.
“In essence, the police should be the face of human rights, and not a face of intimidation, even as the police needs to be the bulwark of the country’s security,” Razali said during his speech at the Malaysian Bar’s International Law Conference here today.
“Regulations are being promulgated in a sweeping fashion that will have the effect of threatening democratic practice and undermine the fundamental liberties enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said.
The Suhakam chief also described his commission’s programme to train the country’s law enforcement on human rights as a “mammoth task”, and expressed concern that it would be for nought unless the lessons taught are reinforced and put into practice.
Police action against public opinions are again under the spotlight after at least five people were arrested over social media posts on late PAS spiritual leader Datuk Haron Din, which authorities deemed to be insulting to Islam.