The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
() better known locally as Suhakam
is a national human rights institution
(NHRI) in Malaysia. It was established by the Malaysian Parliament
using the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597, with a mandate to promote human rights education
, advise on legislation and policy, and investigate complaints.
Having being established after the fallout of the Anwar Ibrahim
controversy, some lacked confidence in its independence fom the government of the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad
. However, when Tan Sri Dato' Musa Hitam
was named as the first chairman of Suhakam, these fears were eased, as he was believed to be critical of Dr Mahathir in many ways. The commission's recommendations under Musa, however, were often not implemented by the government. When his term ended, he did not seek reappointment.
When Musa left, he was replaced with Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman
in April 2002. Abu Talib had served as Attorney General under Dr Mahathir, and was also involved in the Anwar Ibrahim
controversy. As reported in Malaysiakini
, he was widely seen as close to Dr Mahathir, but Suhakam under Abu Talib continued to put forth many human rights recommendations. Many of these recommendations have yet to be acted upon by the government.
Suhakam was accredited as a full "A status" member of the Asia Pacific Forum
(APF), the regional network of NHRIs, and has since been reaccredited by the International......