SUHAKAM (Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia), also known as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia was established by Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597 with its first meeting held in April 2000.

This initiative was a result of Malaysia’s active participation in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), today the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Elected as a member of the Commission from 1993-1995, the leader of this delegation, Tan Sri Dato’ Musa bin Hitam was then elected in 1995 as the Chairman of the 52nd Session of the UNCHR. Following which, Malaysia served a second term in the UNCHR from 1996-1998 and a third term from 2001-2003.

In 1999, a Bill establishing SUHAKAM (the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia), guided by the Paris Principles of 1992 providing the international criteria to the proper establishment of an independent human rights commission was tabled. The following year, SUHAKAM’s  first Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Musa bin Hitam was appointed along with 12 other members of the Commission by His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. These appointments reflected the diversity and pluralism of Malaysian society on the basis of experience, commitment, independence and integrity of the individual.

Specific working groups within the Commission focus on education and promotions, law reform, treaties and international instruments, economic, social and cultural rights, and complaints and inquiries.

The current Chairman of Suhakam is Tan Sri Hasmy Agam
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