Pusat KOMAS is a human rights popular communications centre set up in August 1993 to empower especially the indigenous peoples, urban poor, workers and civil society organisations to advocate for human rights in Malaysia.
Popular Communications (PC)
This approach was popularised in Latin America during the 1970’s amongst the peasant communities struggling for liberation from repressive regimes governing their countries. Since then community educators and organisers have adopted it in different parts of the world, adapting to their respective context and have replicated these approaches to address their respective issues.
The basic principles of PC are, people centeredness, process oriented, creative in nature and adheres to a community organising and rights-based approach.
KOMAS has been actively promoting equality and the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in Malaysia.
“Aku Bangsa Malaysia” Non-discrimination work
Since it’s inception, KOMAS has conducted human rights workshops, forums and conferences to promote social cohesion and national unity in Malaysia. In addition, KOMAS leads the national campaign to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Malaysia. As part of its advocacy to ratify the ICERD, KOMAS has been engaging the federal, state and local government and conducted dialogues with the grassroots to increase the knowledge and awareness on the issue of Racial Discrimination in Malaysia and the importance of the ratification of ICERD.
Orang Asli Support
Pusat KOMAS has been working in close collaboration with Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) since 1993. JKOASM is a network of indigenous village in Peninsular Malaysia, that advocates the issues of the Orang Asli and empowers the communities on their ancestral rights and basic human rights.
Engagement with the Civil Society Organisations, Government and ASEAN
KOMAS has always felt proud to be at the forefront along other civil society movements in the promotion and enhancement of democracy, equality and human rights in Malaysia. KOMAS has been working in collaboration with several NGO coalitions in Malaysia such as Bersih 2.0, the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (COMANGO) for the UPR Process, Malaysian Civil Society Organizations on Sustainable Development Goals (CSO-SDG Alliance), the Ratify ICERD Working Group and Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM).
Furthermore, KOMAS is also an active participant at the regional level. KOMAS is an accredited member of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). In addition, KOMAS is a voting member of the World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS). KOMAS is also an active participant of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN’s Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF) and had played the secretariat and co-secretariat role in Malaysia and Timor Leste in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Freedom Film Festival (FFF)
KOMAS organized the first human rights film festival in Malaysia in 2003 and provided a very much needed platform for the Malaysian public to exchange views and explore actions towards human rights issues in Malaysia. The FFF is an 11-year- old annual human rights film festival which organizes a film competition, community screenings, and premier screenings in 6 major locations in different Malaysian states.To date these activities have reached out to about 10,000 people each year.
Citizenship Education & Electoral Reform
KOMAS has been conducting voter education and election monitoring for the past 10 years. We have produced voter and citizenship educational tools such as short videos, cartoon booklets, posters, flyers and other creative media tools for community and public education. The most recent and significant undertaking was the mammoth task of managing PEMANTAU a nationwide election monitoring initiative of BERSIH 2.0, during the 13th General Elections in Malaysia.