SABM-HAKAM Dialogue with Political Parties on the proposed Social Inclusion Act (SIA) 2012

Posted on September 29, 2012


It was a most successful dialogue and ended on a very positive note.

More of my thoughts on the SIA, the dialogue and what we can do to try and make this a reality once we have a new non-BN government post the 13th General Election, in a later post.

For now, I will reproduce below in full the joint press statement released by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia / National Human Rights Society with regard to the dialogue earlier today.


Seated far left : Arthur Toh, moderator; seated third from the left : Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, draftsman of the SIA bill; seated third from the right : Jayanath Appudurai, architect of the SIA; seated second from the right : Rashid Ismail, president of HAKAM and reps from the 7 political parties

The dialogue session was held on 29th September 2012.

A total of 22 political parties from both sides of the divide were invited to this dialogue session held at Rumah Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

Two parties, namely MCA and Human Rights Party (Protem) declined the invitation.

13 parties did not respond to the invitation.

Only 7 parties attended.

Parti PAS had intimated they would attend but we understand that the representative was taken ill.

Representatives from STAR (Sabah Chapter ) (Daniel John Jambun), SAPP (Benny Low), PSM (Sivarajan and Arutchelvan), PRM(Koh Swe Yong and Erick), DAP (Hannah Yeoh) and PKR (Winston Beltrand) participated in the dialogue.

Two UPKO representatives were in attendance too.

STAR (Sabah), SAPP, PSM and PRM have endorsed the proposed Act and pledged to implement it if they are part of the next federal government.

The DAP representative on behalf of the party accepted the proposal in principle and informed us that she would bring the matter to the party for fuller consideration and would revert back to us.

The PKR representative said he will table this proposal to the party leadership for a decision.

The proposed Social Inclusion Act was launched by SABM and HAKAM on the 14th of August 2012.

It is a proposal to urgently address the root causes of poverty and marginalisation in a non- partisan manner.

It proposes a new policy paradigm and delivery mechanism that depoliticises the implementation of socially inclusive programmes to address poverty and marginalisation.

It proposes the establishment of a Social Inclusion Commission answerable directly to Parliament. The Commission would be mandated to have oversight over all matters of poverty reduction and social inclusiveness.

SABM-HAKAM urged the endorsing political parties to consider making the SIA 2012 part of their election manifesto.

The SABM-HAKAM working committee will meet to take this civil society initiative further.