Government prepared to engage with NGOs

24 Mar 2015 / 23:59 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: The government is prepared to actively engage with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as partners to solve problems faced by the people.
    Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan said such a collaboration would signal a paradigm shift in the relationship between the government and civil society groups in protecting human rights.
    "We want the NGOs to be passionate when it comes to human rights, especially those areas that requires providing help for people who are weak and exploited," Low told reporters today, after launching the 'Strategic Framework on a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights for Malaysia'.
    Also present was Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam and United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough.
    Paul also pointed out that NGOs should also be constructive when it comes to addressing and solving issues.
    "The NGOs may act as activist, but if you just criticise and and point fingers, it will not solve problems.
    "Besides being activist, NGOs should engage and form a partnership with the government, " he added.
    Meanwhile, Hasmy said the objective of the new framework developed by Suhakam in collaboration with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) was to formulate and propose a framework for a national plan of action.
    It is based on the UN's guiding principles to empower government agencies and business entities in addressing issues of human rights in their daily business activities as well as to identify gaps in existing laws.
    "The framework hopes to ensure that businesses succeed in a manner that is consistent with human rights values, individual dignity and supports the Malaysian aspiration for continued growth and sustainable development," said Hasmy.

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