Have the “kleptocratic chickens coming home to roost” causing Malaysia’s defeat for election to UN Human Rights Council?

Malaysia suffers ignominy in the latest defeat for election to the United Nations Human Rights Council, being the only country to lose out as there were 16 countries vying for the 15 seats, and even more pertinent, the only country to lose out among the five countries which competed for the four Human Rights Council seats allocated to Asia-Pacific region.

It is a terrible setback for Malaysia’s human rights record that the country should lose out to countries which are regarded as definitely greater human rights offenders than Malaysia, like Pakistan, Qatar and Afghanistan in the region or countries like Congo and Angola in the world.

This is Malaysia's third bid for a seat on the council after two stints, from 2006 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2013.

Malaysia, which received 129 votes, was the only country to lose out as there were 16 countries vying for the 15 seats - with five countries competing for the four seats allocated to Asia-Pacific.

The 15 members to the UN Human Rights Council were elected according to a quota of four seats each for the Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, three seats for Latin America and Caribbean states, two for Eastern European states, and two for Western European and other states.

As far as I can remember, this is the first time in recent times that Malaysia had been defeated in a UN vote for any elected position in the world body.

Is this true?

This international setback warrants a full explanation from the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, whether this heralds the “coming of winter” for Malaysia’s international relations with the “kleptocratic chickens coming home to roost” – with Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy as a global kleptocracy as a result of the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal beginning to “bite” adversely on Malaysia’s repute and good standing in the international community of nations.

As Parliament reconvenes next Monday, Anifah should present a Ministerial statement as to what are the causes for Malaysia’s defeat in the UN elections to the UN Human Rights Council, whether Malaysia’s reputation as a global kleptocracy is beginning to have an adverse effect on Malaysia’s international relations, and what the Foreign Ministry proposes to do to clear or cleanse Malaysia’s of such infamy and ignominy as a global kleptocracy.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah