KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will not be allowed to monitor the country's general election on May 9.
In a statement on Thursday (April 26), Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail said that the country's Election Commission (EC) had informed Suhakam that its application to monitor the election was denied, meaning they would not be allowed inside polling stations.
He said that "Suhakam cannot comprehend this decision" as they were told that there would be international observers present during Malaysia's 14th general election.
"Suhakam considers itself a vehicle of integrity and draws its strength from its legislated mandate to protect and promote human rights in Malaysia.
"(We) will, in the public interest, proceed with (the) monitoring plan," said Tan Sri Razali.
He added that free and fair elections are an integral part of human rights. He called on the EC to recognise fundamental human rights principles of integrity in elections.
Mr Razali had said earlier that they would have 50 observers on the ground to monitor "hot" parliamentary seats during the polls.
He said the observers, made up of its commissioners, officers and volunteers, would be sent to seats in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Perlis, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Sarawak and Sabah.
EC chairman Hashim Abdullah did not respond to The Star's queries on Suhakam's statement.