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Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 [Act 597]

Part II   cite [+]

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF MALAYSIA

3 Establishment of the Commission   cite [+]

(1) There is hereby established a Commission which shall be known as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (the "Commission").

(2) The Commission shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal, which may sue and be sued in its name and, subject to and for the purposes of this Act, may enter into contracts and may acquire, purchase, take, hold and enjoy movable and immovable property of every description and may convey, assign, surrender, yield up, charge, mortgage, demise, reassign, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or deal with, any movable or immovable property or interest therein vested in the Commission upon such terms as it deems fit.

(3) The Commission shall have a common seal which shall bear such device as the Commission shall approve and such seal may be broken, changed, altered or made anew as the Commission thinks fit.

(4) The common seal shall be kept in the custody of the Secretary to the Commission or such other person as may be authorized by the Commission and shall be authenticated by the Secretary or such authorized person or by any officer authorized by the Secretary or such authorized person in writing.

(5) All deeds, documents and other instruments purporting to be sealed with the common seal, authenticated as specified in subsection (4) shall until the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been validly executed.

(6) The common seal of the Commission shall be officially and judicially noticed.

4 Functions and powers of the Commission   cite [+]

(1) In furtherance of the protection and promotion of human rights in Malaysia, the functions of the Commission shall be-

(a) to promote awareness of and provide education in relation to human rights;

(b) to advise and assist the Government in formulating legislation and administrative directives and procedures and recommend the necessary measures to be taken;

(c) to recommend to the Government with regard to the subscription or accession of treaties and other international instruments in the field of human rights; and

(d) to inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights referred to in section 12.


(2) For the purpose of discharging its functions, the Commission may exercise any or all of the following powers:

(a) to promote awareness of human rights and to undertake research by conducting programmes, seminars and workshops and to disseminate and distribute the results of such research;

(b) to advise the Government and/or the relevant authorities of complaints against such authorities and recommend to the Government and/or such authorities appropriate measures to be taken;

(c) to study and verify any infringement of human rights in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

(d) to visit places of detention in accordance with procedures as prescribed by the laws relating to places of detention and to make necessary recommendations;

(e) to issue public statements on human rights as and when necessary; and

(f) to undertake any other appropriate activities as are necessary in accordance with the written laws in force, if any, in relation to such activities.


(3) The visit by the Commission to any place of detention under paragraph 2(d) shall not be refused by the person in charge of such place of detention if the procedures provided in the laws regulating such places of detention are complied with.

(4) For the purpose of this Act, regard shall be had to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the Federal Constitution.

5 Members of the Commission and term of office   cite [+]

(1) The Commission shall consist of not more than twenty members.

(2) The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Prime Minister who shall, before tendering his advice, consult the committee referred to in section 11A.

(3) The members of the Commission shall be appointed from amongst men and women of various religious, political and racial backgrounds who have knowledge of, or practical experience in, human rights matters.

*(4) A member of the Commission shall hold office for a period of three years and is eligible for reappointment once for another period of three years.

(5) The Prime Minister may determine suitable mechanisms, including appropriate key performance indicators, to assess the performance of the members of the Commission in carrying out their functions and duties under this Act.

(6) Such assessment shall be taken into consideration-

(a) by the Prime Minister before tendering his advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the reappointment of any member of the Commission under subsection (4); and

(b) for the removal of any member of the Commission under section 10.

*NOTE - see section 4 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Amendment) Act 2009 [Act A1353].

6 Chairman and Vice-Chairman   cite [+]

(1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall designate one of the members appointed under section 5 to be the Chairman of the Commission.

(2) The Chairman's term of office shall be his period of membership on the Commission.

(3) A Vice-Chairman shall be elected by the members of the Commission from amongst themselves.

(4) Where the Chairman of the Commission is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the Chairman, or during any period of vacancy in the office of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall perform the functions of the Chairman.

7 Meetings of the Commission   cite [+]

(1) The Chairman of the Commission shall preside at all meetings of the Commission.

(2) If the Chairman is absent from any meeting, the Vice-Chairman of the Commission shall preside at such meeting.

(3) The quorum at all meetings shall be two-thirds of the number of members of the Commission.

(4) The members of the Commission shall use their best endeavours to arrive at all decisions of the meetings by consensus failing which the decision by a two-thirds majority of the members present shall be required.

(5) The Commission shall determine the conduct of its own proceedings.

8 Remuneration   cite [+]

(1) The Chairman of the Commission shall be paid such remuneration and allowances as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine.

(2) Every member of the Commission shall be paid allowances at such rates as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine.

9 Vacation of office   cite [+]

The office of a member of the Commission shall become vacant-

(a) upon the death of the member;

(b) upon the member resigning from such office by letter addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;

(c) upon the expiration of his term of office; or

(d) upon the member being removed from office on any of the grounds specified in section 10.

10 Disqualification   cite [+]

A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if-

(a) the member is adjudged insolvent by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(b) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, after consulting a medical officer or a registered medical practitioner, is of the opinion that the member is physically or mentally incapable of continuing his office;

(c) the member absents himself from three consecutive meetings of the Commission without obtaining leave of the Commission or, in the case of the Chairman, without leave of the Minister;

(d) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, is of the opinion that the member-

(i) has engaged in any paid office or employment which conflicts with his duties as a member of the Commission;

(ii) has misbehaved or has conducted himself in such a manner as to bring disrepute to the Commission; or

(iii) has acted in contravention of this Act and in conflict with his duties as a member of the Commission.

11 Resignation   cite [+]

A member of the Commission may at any time resign his office by a letter addressed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

11A Committee to be consulted with regard to appointment   cite [+]

(1) For the purpose of subsection 5(2), there is established a committee consisting of the following persons:

(a) the Chief Secretary to the Government who shall be the Chairman;

(b) the Chairman of the Commission; and

(c) three other members, of civil society who have knowledge of or practical experience in human rights matters, to be appointed by the Prime Minister.


(2) The members of the committee referred to in subsection (1) shall serve the committee for such period and on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the instrument of appointment.

(3) The members of the committee referred to in paragraph (1)(c) may include former judges and former members of the Commission.

(4) The following persons shall not be appointed as members of the committee under paragraph (1)(c):

(a) any person who is actively involved in politics and registered with any political party; and

(b) any person who is or was an enforcement officer.


(5) The committee may determine the conduct of its own proceedings.

(6) For the purpose of this section, "enforcement officer" means an officer of-

(a) any Ministry, Department, Agency or any other body set up by the Federal Government, including a unit, section, division, department or agency of such Ministry, Department, Agency or body, conferred with enforcement functions by any written law or having enforcement powers;

(b) a body established by a Federal law which is conferred with enforcement functions by that Federal law or any other written law;

(c) a unit, section, division, department or agency of a body established by Federal law having enforcement functions; or

(d) the joint service established under Article 133 of the Federal Constitution who is performing enforcement functions.



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