April 2020 Newsletter – Chair’s Message

10 April 2020

Dear Members of AI Malaysia,

We hope you are staying safe at home and are spreading kindness during these challenging times.

AI Malaysia’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Clause 14 of our Constitution (relevant excerpt reproduced below) requires an AGM be called by the month of May.

“14. Annual General Meetings
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Amnesty International Malaysia’s General Body shall be held every year within five (5) months from the close of the financial year…”

Due to the current situation, we are exploring a few options and are seeking your views to the question: Given what you know now, how should AI Malaysia conduct the 2020 AGM? 

The poll can be found at this link: surveymonkey.com/r/CQTHG8B.
The results are meant to serve as a guide, not as an official vote, to inform discussions between the Board and the Secretariat. Voting closes on 19 Apr 2020 (Sun). You may also reach out to me at [email protected] for further feedback.

Revision of Finance Policies & Procedures Manual for AI Malaysia

Our internal document dated May 2014 has undergone several consultations with the Secretariat and the Board since 2018. We would like to finalise revisions to the document and call upon our members who may have experience in finance, audit and risk management to assist us. Kindly write to  [email protected] by 30 April 2020 (Thurs) with expressions of interest.

Consultation on Hacking Policy

In 2017, Amnesty International started working on addressing the use of hacking as it is deployed by governments against private individuals, groups and institutions for the purpose of surveillance.

A draft policy is now available, and we welcome members with interest in this area to write to [email protected] by 19 April 2020 (Sun) to provide feedback on the policy.

Last Call: AI Malaysia’s Executive Director Position

Kindly distribute the Job Description attached here to your networks. The deadline for applications has been extended to 30 April 2020.

Last Call: Nominations for Internationally Elected Positions

Kindly write to [email protected] by 19th Apr 2020 with expressions of interest for any of the positions listed in the Roles and Job Description attached here. We strongly encourage you to write in if you or your anyone in your networks possess the required skill set.

Asia Pacific Regional Forum (APRF)

Representing AI Malaysia, Interim Executive Director Preethi Bhardwaj, Youth Delegate Muhd Rasydan, Board’s Youth Representative and additional delegate Asyraf Abd Samad and myself as Chair and Standing Representative have been on online meetings the past few weeks in preparation for the APRF that took place last weekend. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to heavily impact human rights work globally, the forum itself was repurposed to discuss the impact of the outbreak at the entity-level.

We had also dived into the draft global strategy, of which some of you had been a part of the prior consultation processes, did a SWOT analysis in groups, discussed its regional relevance, gave feedback including looking at the strategy with new lenses during these challenging circumstances, all of which would be considered for further revisions to the strategy. As some sections were only just going into lockdown, people being called to the frontlines and others navigating economic losses, it was decided that the discussion of proposals would not take place now.  

The Global Assembly (GA) which was planned to be held in July has also been postponed.

Consultation on Civil Disobedience Policy

We thank Dobby Chew who provided input to the draft policy which adds value to the conversation around one of the proposals that is scheduled to be tabled at the GA.


With the Movement Control Order extended, you may have extra time on your hands to explore free online courses created by Amnesty’s Human Rights Academy: academy.amnesty.org/learn

You may also be interested in joining a free 3-week course by Amnesty International starting Apr 12 2020 titled “Explore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and learn how it empowers you to know, claim and defend your rights” : futurelearn.com/courses/the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights/2

Thank You

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the Secretariat who have been working from home from before the lockdown and have been creatively finding ways to continue our human rights work and engaging with the membership. I also thank the Board Members who have hopped on calls and continue to work online so that ongoing matters can be discussed in the best interest of the organisation.

To know more about how the movement continues to voice out against human rights violations during this pandemic globally and at home, visit: amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2020/03/covid-19/

Stay informed, be inspired, take action!

In solidarity,

Kalainilaa Kalaiyarasu
Chair, Board of Governance 2019-2020
Amnesty International Malaysia