March 2020 Newsletter – Chair’s Message

Dear Members of AI Malaysia,


Interim Executive Director

We warmly welcome Preethi Bhardwaj as AI Malaysia’s Interim ED. Preethi has been with AI Malaysia since 2015 as a volunteer, an activist, and an active member of the Ipoh Local Group, elected as Secretary and later as Chair right before this appointment. Preethi has served as Secretary of the Board of Governance and on a couple of committees within AI Malaysia.


Board’s Focus

All through Dec 2019 up to Feb 2020, the Board has had not less than 10 meetings with various parties including the staff at the Secretariat, the Regional Office and the International Board. In a nutshell, the Board has taken note and is working on the following areas:

  • Emphasis on mental health and wellbeing of the Secretariat and our members;
  • Greater empowerment of members and better engagement with the global and national work we do;
  • Better feedback cycles to the Board in terms of membership, impact of work and finances; and
  • Understanding the importance of updating our human resource manuals and employee handbook, the Board has decided to use our governance budget to outsource this work to an external party. We have completed the process of obtaining tenders and will be selecting a firm soon.
The Board with Roseann Rife from the Regional Office and Shamini (then ED) after a briefing of the International Secretariat restructuring exercise and discussing the Next Strategy.

Internal Audit

We thank members Mr Rajendran and Mr Muniyandi who volunteered their services and have completed auditing for January – June 2019. We will be arranging a second round of audit once we review their report and the 2019 management accounts from Intune Business Services Sdn Bhd whom AI Malaysia has outsourced finances and payroll to.


Annually, AI Malaysia attends the Asia Pacific Regional Forum (APRF) to discuss and revise motions before they are brought to the Global Assembly for voting. Learn more about the Global Assembly here. Attached is the Statute of Amnesty International as amended at the 2019 GA.

Youth Delegate

The Board’s Youth Representative, Asyraf, worked closely with the Secretariat to appoint a Youth Delegate for the Regional Forum and Global Assembly this year. After reviewing applications from our youth members, their essay submissions and interviewing shortlisted candidates, we congratulate Muhammad Rasydan Muhd Rasid who has been selected to join the Chair and Executive Director for both meets.

Asyraf may be contacted regarding AI’s youth work at [email protected].

Coronavirus outbreak and going virtual

This year, the APRF that was slated to happen in Philippines in April has been converted to a virtual conference due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This is a first for Amnesty International and the movement is assessing the financial impact of the outbreak, protocols that need to be developed for future emergencies and investing into technology that can come close to serving the purpose of a physical meet. We thank the teams that are working on short notice to successfully conduct the APRF and other meets online.

The Board also urges members and volunteers within our section to take heed of warnings and precautions issued by the relevant authorities

Call for Nominations to International Committees

The International Nominations Committee (INC) is searching for qualified and talented candidates for the 2020 Global Assembly elections.

By nominating candidates to international committees, teams formed will represent members and provide direction and leadership to the organization for the next two years.

The INC is committed to maximizing the diversity of volunteer leadership and promotes an environment of respect, fairness, integrity and inclusiveness, and is encouraging members who may not have been involved with Amnesty International before to apply.


  • Finance and Audit Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Global Assembly Preparatory Committee (2 vacancies: 1 Chair + 1 member)
  • International Nominations Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Membership Review Committee (3 vacancies) 

I have attached here the Job Descriptions and encourage expression of interests to be sent to [email protected] by 4th April 2020.

Consultation on Interim Civil Disobedience Policy

Civil disobedience has been historically used as a tactic to raise awareness, to increase pressure and to promote change. This policy addresses any organisation, facilitation, participation or endorsement of civil disobedience by staff, board members, members and supporters acting for or representing any Amnesty International entity.

This policy will be discussed at the APRF and the GA, and we invite members to provide input so that we will be able to carry your voice to the meets.

Do write to [email protected] if you wish to participate in these discussions.

Thank you.
In solidarity,
Kalainilaa Kalaiyarasu
Chair, Board of Governance 2019-2020
Amnesty International Malaysia