The following is the full text of CENTHRA Chief Executive Azril Mohd Amin’s speech delivered at The Reykjavik Roundtable on Human Rights and International Law 2016 held at the National Heritage Building of Iceland, 27-29 April 2016. This year´s roundtable theme, “Democratic Accountability, State Sovereignty, and International Governance” brought together prominent individuals from international courts, politics and academia to discuss the role of international institutions, states, and non-state actors in preventing and halting human rights abuses.
Ladies and gentlemen, Honourable Fellow panelists,
Assalamualaikum and góðan dag to all. It gives me pleasure to stand before you all today in this august house being one of many international invitees from various human rights non-governmental organisations around the world to this summit on international law and human rights to deliver a lecture on the development of initiatives for the implementation of human rights legislation. I represent the Centre of Human Rights Research and Advocacy or CENTHRA as we are more commonly known, in my capacity as Chief Executive of that organisation, and being of Malaysian origin it behoves me to share the Malaysian and perhaps also the ASEAN experience in the development of such initiatives and also the way forward in respect of both those entities.
With respect to the Malaysian position I shall firstly proceed to elaborate on human rights already existing in Malaysia’s preeminent legislation, namely the Federal Constitution, how they have been enforced by the courts of Malaysia, and then note their realisation in the Malaysian legislative framework by the enactment of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, which also established the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 48/134 on Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions, otherwise known as the Paris Principles. I shall also highlight the work of SUHAKAM in pushing for the ratification and implementation of international human rights instruments in Malaysia and the general executive and legislative response to such proposals.
I shall also proceed to illustrate the application of international instruments that Malaysia is a party to, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in local judgments of the courts of Malaysia before going on to highlight the commitment of Malaysia in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration before concluding on the way forward for both Malaysia and ASEAN.
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MALAYSIAN CONSTITUTION
Malaysia is no stranger to the concept of human rights, having first recognised such rights when they were imbedded in the Federal Constitution that came into force upon Malaysia’s attainment of independence from Britain in 1957. Part II of the Malaysian Constitution under the general heading “Fundamental Liberties” contain various recognised rights that are respected and practised within Malaysia today. Among these are the right to life (Article 5), freedom from slavery (Article 6), protection from double jeopardy (Article 7), right to equality (Article 8), freedom of movement (Article 9), freedom of speech and assembly (Article 10), freedom of religion (Article 11), right to education (Article 12) and finally, the right to property (Article 13). No doubt one can appreciate that the rights protected under the Malaysian legal system by virtue of the Federal Constitution are numerous in quantity but I propose, without taking too much of your time, to elaborate on certain key rights protected by the Malaysian Constitution, namely, the right to life and personal liberty as well as equality, freedom of speech and assembly and freedom of religion.
Article 5(1) states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law. Malaysian judicial decisions have emphasized that the right to life and personal liberty in this article must be interpreted broadly, and not narrowly. In the case of Tan Tek Seng v Educational Services Commission & Anor His Lordship Gopal Sri Ram JCA held that:-
“In my judgment, the courts should keep in tandem with the national ethos when interpreting provisions of a living document like the Federal Constitution, lest they be left behind while the winds of modern and progressive change pass them by. Judges must not be blind to the realities of life. Neither should they wear blinkers when approaching a question of constitutional interpretation. They should, when discharging their duties as interpreters of the supreme law, adopt a liberal approach in order to implement the true intention of the framers of the Federal Constitution. Such an objective may only be achieved if the expression ‘life’ in art 5(1) is given a broad and liberal meaning. Adopting the approach that commends itself to me, I have reached the conclusion that the expression ‘life’ appearing in art 5(1) does not refer to mere existence. It incorporates all those facets that are an integral part of life itself and those matters which go to form the quality of life,”
His Lordship himself subsequently reaffirmed in a later decision that the meaning of ‘life’ therefore did not refer to mere animal existence, it includes such rights as livelihood and the quality of life and ‘personal liberty’ includes the right to travel anywhere within the world.
Another key right is the right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law pursuant to Article 8(1). Article 8(2) elaborates further by stating that except as expressly authorised by the Constitution, no there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment. It must be noted that while previously gender was not a protected characteristic under this Article of the Constitution, the characteristic was added in 2001 as a result of Malaysia’s ratification and accession to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1995. Unfortunately however, while judicial precedent tends to a broad interpretation of the right to life and liberty, the same cannot be said for equality. One case on point is the case of Beatrice a/p AT Fernandez v Malaysian Airlines System & Anor where the Federal Court of Malaysia decided that a woman who was dismissed from her employment on account of being pregnant could not claim discrimination contrary to this constitutional provision as her employer was not a public authority but merely a private corporate entity, ignoring the substantive effects of the latter words of Article 8(2) concerning the administration of law relating to the carrying on of any profession or employment.
It is to be noted that the right to equality is qualified and where the Constitution authorises it, discrimination may take place, albeit positive, rather than negative, discrimination. Article 153 of the Federal Constitution in particular, preserves the position of Malays, Sabah and Sarawak natives as the indigenous people of Malaysia and specifically provides for reservation of educational opportunities, business permits and land exclusively for them, on the grounds that this is required to correct past economic injustices.
Yet another key right is freedom of speech and assembly, which is protected by Article 10(1) of the Federal Constitution. These freedoms are not absolute, however, but qualified, based on certain factors relevant to preservation of the essential attributes and proper functioning of the Malaysian state. As such the right to freedom of speech and assembly is limited by such considerations as well as for public order and morality. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Sedition Act 1948, of which section 3(1)(f) protects the essential attributes of Malaysia, namely citizenship for all regardless of racial or ethnic origin, subject to acceptance of the social contract underpinning race relations, Malay as the national language, recognition of the rights of Malays and Sabah and Sarawakian natives as the original inhabitants of the land and the preservation of the prerogatives of the various Malay Rulers.
Lastly, there is a key right to freedom of religion for all and every person in Malaysia in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution. Muslims are, nevertheless, subjected to their personal laws and the Syariah Courts jurisdiction especially when it comes to the question of leaving the religion (apostasy). Is it to be noted that there is legislation that sets out procedures for conversion of Muslims to non-Islamic faiths.
Furthermore, Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution allows for laws that prohibit propagation of non-Islamic religions to Muslims, as this would affect the position of Islam as the religion of the state, which is protected by Article 3(1) as well as Article 37(1) Fourth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. This is in accordance with international human rights norms as contained in Article 18 of the UDHR or even Article 18 of the ICCPR despite Malaysia not being a party to that instrument, which stipulates that everyone has the right to freedom of religion.
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MALAYSIAN LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
Ladies and gentlemen,
The realisation of human rights ideals in Malaysia is not without difficulties. Historically, owing to the circumstances of Malaysia having a multi-racial mix up as well as tumulus history, such as the infamous racial riots of 1969, we have had rather draconian legislation in place providing for detention without trial, such as the Internal Security Act 1960, as well as various emergency ordinances made pursuant to such riots such as the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969. But of late, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, as part of his Political Transformation Programme, has removed these laws. He has also sought to improve the situation by enacting the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, which regulates public assemblies. Unlike section 27 of the Police 1967 before it, which required organisers of assemblies to seek police permits and the police given wide latitude on whether to grant them, this Act among others, merely requires organisers to give prior notice before calling for assemblies.
These attempts however have had mixed results. While on one hand, the masses have become more emboldened to state their minds, on social media especially, apart from street demonstrations, which have always been part of our culture, in spite of government attempts to suppress them, it has also led to destabilisation as well as exposed an old fault line of racial and religious wounds of the past from the time of the racial riots. Old feelings of resentment, once pent up for the better collective good of the nation, are now openly expressed. No doubt some would think this good for the country, as there is a tendency amongst certain human rights commentators to argue that the more robust the national debate, the more hope for meaningful exercise of democracy. This is not always true, however, as one may state that too much exercise of democratic rights to freedom of speech and expression, for example, can lead to instability. Such was the case when Malaysia found itself in turmoil following the 1969 racial riots and it is not impossible to imagine Malaysia falling into a similar situation today, the relative prosperity enjoyed at present notwithstanding.
Nonetheless it is not the intention to state that human rights must take a back seat and to justify authoritarianism in the name of keeping the peace. Malaysia has always taken human rights seriously. As a response to the 1993 adoption of the Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions at the United Nations, otherwise known as the Paris Principles, which stipulated, among others, that nations establish a national institution to promote and protect human rights, Malaysia responded by enacting the Human Rights Commission Act in 1999. The Act complies with the Paris Principles, in that it establishes such an institution, known as Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) or the Human Rights Commission, and vests it with the authority to submit recommendations for the Government for the formulation of legislation and administrative directives and also to recommend accession to human rights instruments that Malaysia has yet to subscribe to. The Act also vests SUHAKAM to have due regard for the UDHR, so far as it is not inconsistent with the Malaysian Constitution. SUHAKAM began operations in 2000. The Act also implements the Paris Principles call for pluralist representation thereon, with section 5(3) ensuring that members of SUHAKAM must be from various religious and racial backgrounds.
Unfortunately however, the Act does not fully apply the contents of the Paris Principles. For one, while the Paris Principles call for independence in the operation of the national institution, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 makes no provision for this. Accordingly in practice, SUHAKAM is thought of as ineffective operationally. It is said to be a toothless tiger or even worse as its recommendations are frequently and routinely ignored by both the Malaysian Government and Parliament. Further, while the Act provides for SUHAKAM to inquire into any complaint made by any aggrieved party or of its own motion into possible violations of human rights, by virtue of subsection 12(2) of the Act, SUHAKAM is barred from enquiring into any matter that is the subject matter of proceedings before a court or has been finally determined by a court. Subsection 12(3) directs that SUHAKAM must cease to enquire into any matter that subsequently appears before a court. This conflicts with the Paris Principles, which provide that a national institution must freely consider any question that falls within its competence. Perhaps the Malaysian Government would do well to do away with this anomaly, as national courts are not typically considered final arbitrators for matters do to with human rights, and indeed like any Westminster based model, the Malaysian Parliament can and should necessarily be able to override any outcome from courts that do not accord with human rights.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS IN MALAYSIA
Ladies and gentlemen,
Among SUHAKAM’s official functions, as stated earlier, is to recommend the accession of Malaysia to international human rights instruments. Accordingly, SUHAKAM has a Law Reform and Treaties Division or LRTD which supports the functions of the Commission to advise and assist the Government in formulating legislation, policies and administrative procedures as well as recommends appropriate steps to ensure that it is consistent with the international human rights standards. LRTD has also been tasked to assist SUHAKAM in making recommendations to the Government with regard to subscription or accession of treaties and other international instruments in the field of human rights.
There are a number of core international human rights instruments not yet ratified by Malaysia. These include the generally worded International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as instruments on more specific human rights issues, such as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) which deals with torture, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICMW) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED).
Some have already been ratified by Malaysia. These include CEDAW as mentioned earlier, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The latter two instruments were partly ratified in 1995 and 2008 respectively. There are also a number of non-core international human rights of interest to Malaysia, namely the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (CRSR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Both have not been ratified.
Even a cursory glance of all SUHAKAM Annual Reports, from the year 2000 when the Commission commenced operations until its latest in 2014 will reveal that SUHAKAM has actively played its role in attempting to procure Malaysian ratification of the other core and non-core international human rights instruments, often without success. In its inaugural report issued in 2000, the Commission recommended accession to three instruments, ICCPR, ICESCR and CAT. This was later expanded in its 2006 report to include the CRPD, which Malaysia eventually ratified in 2008 and the ICERD in 2011. Curiously, SUHAKAM has never made any specific studies on other core international human rights instruments that Malaysia has yet to ratify, and it is due perhaps to this omission by the Commission that Malaysia has made virtually no progress on ratifying ICMW and CPED, among others.
Malaysia practises a dualist, rather than monist, approach with respect to the implementation of not just international human rights law, but all international law within its jurisdiction. As such, domestic legislation must bring into force the provisions of any international human rights instruments ratified. The Commission’s inaugural report had cautioned that “mere ratification does not make the provisions of the Convention ratified as part of the domestic law of the country. Such ratification only amounts to an obligation by the nation to other member states of the UN who are also parties to the multilateral instrument in question. For the provisions of the Convention to be regarded as part of the domestic legislation, Parliament must first pass a separate law to that effect,” This would later pose a problem for the enforcement of CEDAW in Malaysia domestically.
For the three human rights instruments Malaysia has ratified, two have been brought into force domestically by substantive, rather than by direct means. The Child Act 2001 of Malaysia is, besides being a consolidation of earlier statutes on minors, supposed to implement the CRC and the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 implements the CRPD. As can be gleaned from its various Annual Reports over the years, SUHAKAM has noted that the implementation of the CRC within the Child Act 2001 has not been ideal, and has called for various amendments to the Act from time to time to bring the same into conformity with the CRC. The Malaysian Government and Parliament however, have largely been unresponsive to these proposals.
As stated before, ladies and gentlemen, Malaysia had amended her Constitution to include gender as a protected characteristic under Article 8 relating to equality before the law and protection from discrimination. Malaysia has unfortunately failed to follow up by enacting legislation to bring into force CEDAW provisions in its jurisdiction, as noted by SUHAKAM in its Annual Report for the year 2012. Such absence has led to conflicting decisions by Malaysian courts as to whether CEDAW was enforceable, those who are supposed to be protected by it, namely women, have uncertain recourse to it in the Malaysian courts. This is starkly illustrated by two cases decided in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
In the 2012 case of Noorfadilla bt Ahmad Saikin v Chayed bin Basirun & Ors the Plaintiff was denied employment as a teacher after admitting she was three months pregnant. The High Court held that Malaysia had ratified CEDAW, and as the court had a duty to account for Malaysia’s commitment at the international level, CEDAW could be given due consideration by the courts, in particular for the interpretation of equality in terms of gender with respect to Article 8(2) of the Constitution. By reading Articles I and II of CEDAW, it was concluded by the High Court that termination of employment on grounds of pregnancy was discrimination, and thus the court ordered the reinstatement of the Plaintiff in her previous post.
But in the 2014 case of Airasia Berhad v Rafizah Shima bt Mohamed Aris where a similar situation of termination on grounds of pregnancy occurred, the Court of Appeal held, as I quote:-
“In our considered opinion, CEDAW does not have the force of law in Malaysia because the same is not enacted into any local legislation. In theoretical terms, the application of international legal systems is often explained in terms of the doctrines of incorporation (or monism) and transformation (or dualism). According to the doctrine of incorporation, international law is simply two components of single body of knowledge called ‘law’. ‘Law’ is seen as a single entity of which ‘international’ and ‘municipal’ versions are merely particular manifestation. A judge can declare a municipal law invalid if it contradicts an international law because, in some States, the latter is said to prevail. The doctrine of transformation, on the other hand, holds that the two systems of law, international law and municipal law, are completely separate. A rule of international law can only become part of municipal law if and when it is transformed into municipal law by the passing of local legislation. The practice in Malaysia with regard to the application of international law is generally the same as that in Britain, namely, the Executive possesses the treaty-making capacity while the power to give effect domestically rests with Parliament. For a treaty to be operative in Malaysia, therefore, it requires legislation by Parliament.”
In this case, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the decision taken in the case of Beatrice Fernandez mentioned earlier that equal treatment of gender does not apply in contracts of employment with private employers. The obvious solution to this conundrum would be for the Malaysian Government to enact appropriate legislation to give effect to CEDAW in the local jurisdiction. The continuous non availability of this law is perplexing given that laws already exist for the implementation of the CRC and CRPD.
Malaysian Government response to the proposals made by its national institution for human rights, SUHAKAM, on the strengthening of domestic rights legislation vide ascensions to human rights instruments are generally lacklustre. Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin in 2013 for example, is quoted as saying that Malaysia will only become a signatory to the ICCPR if it is beneficial to the nation and “a detailed study” is needed to determine the implications of the ICCPR in Malaysian society. It is generally understood that this is a general position, which applies to other international human rights instruments not yet ratified by Malaysia as well.
In conclusion, it seems to me that in the Malaysian context, both the national institution established under the Paris Principles for the promotion of human rights as well as the Malaysian establishment have not done enough in the development of initiatives for the implementation of human rights legislation. SUHAKAM’s focus on human rights instruments is incomplete in that some instruments such as are given weight while others have been totally ignored. The Malaysian Government on the other hand, consistently fails to take SUHAKAM’s recommendations seriously, to the extent of allowing a lacuna in domestic human rights law, as exemplified by the example mentioned earlier with respect to the implementation of the law. Both sides must do more to ensure international human rights standards are duly upheld and observed within Malaysia by the incorporation of all core instruments, and consideration of others, where they do not conflict with the Malaysian Federal Constitution. The Malaysian Government must give due weight and consideration to the reports and recommendations of SUHAKAM. And international human rights instruments that are ratified by Malaysia must be given effect to in Malaysian domestic law. This, to me, would be effective implementation of human rights legislation.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND ASEAN
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional grouping, of which Malaysia is a member, was incorporated by the ASEAN Charter, of which Article 14 thereof stipulated that ASEAN shall endeavour to establish a regional human rights body looking into the human rights affairs of its members. Consequently, in 2009, there was established the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). The AICHR Representatives come from different background and experience and serve a three-year term of office and are guided by their terms of reference which contains the fourteen (14) mandates and functions of AICHR. Among these was to formulate its own ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights taking into account the needs and peculiarities of ASEAN member states. Thereafter, the Declaration was drafted and adopted unanimously by member states in 2012. This Declaration draws on the existing UDHR and affirms that human rights belong to women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, migrant workers and vulnerable and marginalised groups. Besides affirming all the civil and political rights already contained in the UDHR and ICCPR, this Declaration also affirms all the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the UDHR with enhancements, such as the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, protection from discrimination of those with communicable diseases, sustainability of the environment, and most notably, the right to peace, harmony and stability, which is unique to ASEAN.
But within the same Declaration, these rights must be balanced with national context within different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds and must take into account national security and public order.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There has been some criticism over the inclusion of limiting wording in the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, notably by international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which claimed that the Declaration is a declaration of government powers disguised as a declaration of human rights by making rights subject to national laws, rather than laws made to conform to human rights. CENTHRA rejects this view totally and wholeheartedly. It is apt that human rights be subject to general principles that emphasize the context of the region they operate, as rights would not be meaningful if they did not take into account the diversity of views, religions, cultures and backgrounds of the peoples within ASEAN. CENTHRA fully supports the ASEAN Declaration as it is currently worded becoming the basis for a future ASEAN wide Convention on Human Rights binding on all ASEAN member states, including Malaysia, and also support the incorporation of such a convention into Malaysian law by domestic legislation not unlike the Human Rights Act 1998 of the United Kingdom, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into its domestic law.
CONCLUSION AND THE WAY FORWARD
Ladies and gentlemen,
To summarise, Malaysia has always had human rights in its legislation, chief among this being the rights already enshrined in its Constitution, of which four key rights include the right to life, protection from discrimination, right to speech and assembly as well as freedom of religion. All have been given due recognition by the Malaysian courts to varying latitudinal degrees. Malaysia enacted, in accordance with the Paris Principles, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, which created SUHAKAM, a national institution for the promotion and protection of human rights in Malaysia, tasked with, among others, making recommendations for the ratification of international human rights instruments. Malaysia has ratified three international instruments thus far, namely CEDAW, CRC and CRPD. Of these three, Malaysia has only brought two into force in its domestic legislation, the CRC vide the Child Act 2001 and the CRPD vide the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008.
CEDAW continues not to have any effect domestically, despite calls from SUHAKAM for the enactment of an appropriate legislation for the enforcement of CEDAW. This has led to conflicting decisions in Malaysian courts as to CEDAW’s domestic legal application and enforceability. SUHAKAM’s periodic assessment of international human rights commitments is itself patchy, as certain core instruments such as ICMW and CEPD not receiving any attention from the public body in all its sixteen (16) years of existence. The Malaysian Government has also not given serious attention to various SUHAKAM’s significant recommendations made since its inception and must change its attitude in this respect. ASEAN has itself established the AICHR which in turn led to the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, which, despite its detractors in the likes of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and various dubious civil society groups working within ASEAN, is, in the opinion of CENTHRA, a good and balanced documents suitable for the basis of a future ASEAN wide legally binding Convention on Human Rights, which should further be brought into Malaysian law vide statutory means.
The way forward therefore, ladies and gentlemen, would be for Malaysia to take more seriously its international human rights obligations by considering the recommendations of its national institution SUHAKAM, who in turn must be more through in their coverage of international human rights instruments. ASEAN must also act without further ado to draft a legally binding Convention incorporating the ideals of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, and Malaysia must be ready to ratify the same and immediately incorporate it into its law by statute as long as it is consistent with the Constitution, so that they can enjoy rights to which they are all entitled. This should be the future initiative towards implementation of human rights in ASEAN and I look forward to seeing this happen, and we at CENTHRA would be there to ensure that it happens. Thank you.
AZRIL MOHD AMIN
Chief Executive of CENTHRA
28 April 2016 | Reykjavik
  1 MLJ 261
 Lee Kwan Woh v Public Prosecutor  5 MLJ 301
  4 MLJ 466
 See for example the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment 2003
 Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012
 UN General Assembly Resolution 48/134 dated 20 December 1993
 Section 4(1)(c) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999
 Section 4(4), Id.
 Achariam, T. (2015, April 15). Suhakam ‘worse than a toothless tiger’ Retrieved April 7, 2016, from http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1386210
 Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, The Core International Human Rights Instruments and their monitoring bodies, Retrieved April 7, 2016 from http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CoreInstruments.aspx
 SUHAKAM Annual Report, 30 (2000)
 SUHAKAM Annual Report, 117 (2006)
 SUHAKAM Annual Report, 64 (2011)
 SUHAKAM Annual Report, 29 (2000)
 SUHAKAM Annual Report, 75 (2012)
  1 MLJ 832
  MLJU 606
 Carvalho, M. (2013, December 3). Deputy Minister: Malaysia will sign ICCPR only if beneficial to nation, Retrieved April 7, 2016 from http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2013/12/03/malaysia-iccpr-signatory/
 Article 4 of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights
 Article 10, Id.
 Article 26, Id.
 Article 28, Id.
 Article 29, Id.
 Article 36, Id.
 Article 38, Id.
 Article 7, Id.
 Article 8, Id.
 Human Rights Watch (2012, November 19), Civil Society Denounces Adoption of Flawed ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, Retrieved April 7, 2016 from https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/11/19/civil-society-denounces-adoption-flawed-asean-human-rights-declaration