During the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, the Malaysian team repeated the decision of the government to approve and finalize all remaining UN rights treaties.
Ramlan Ibrahim, Foreign ministry secretary-general stated Putrajaya is contemplating to approve the remaining six international human rights treaties, which includes the International Convention Eliminating Racial Discrimination (ICERD). He added that this would be done after consultation with the investors. Deliberation between the Foreign Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers are currently under process.
Malaysia has only approved three UN rights treaties. These are the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among the accords left to be approved are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Ramlan stated that the government’s suspension on all beheading until the death penalty is banned is symbolic of fresh human rights. He said this signals that Malaysia is concerned about human rights.
He said Putrajaya would be having boards to look after the provisions in the Printing Presses and Publications Act, Communications and Multimedia Act, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act, and the Prevention of Crime Act. It would be the main criteria of the government.
He also pointed that the recent accord reached by the chief ministers and menteris besar to increase the minimum age to marry. It immediately follows the Prime Minister’s order for state governments to increase the minimum age to 18 for both Muslims and non-Muslims.