SUARAM’s Stakeholder Report for Malaysia 3rd Universal Periodic Report is now available!
- The human rights situation in Malaysia within reporting period of 2013 to 2018 have been volatile at best. Running up to Malaysia’s 2nd UPR cycle in 2013, the political situation in Malaysia enabled a brief period of improvement to human rights and civic space. However, the positive development leading up to the 2nd UPR cycle have all but disappeared following the growing political dissidents among the general population.
- Overall, civil societies have documented and highlighted human rights violations across the board. Notable issues of concern arising within the reporting period includes the practice of arbitrary detention and the denial of the right to fair trial; the use of torture in detention; racial discrimination; growing religious intolerance and islamization of secular institution; attacks and hate speech against minority groups; gender based violence; infringement of labours rights; the absence of legal recognition for refugees; and shrinking of civic space through government policies and non-state actors attacks against rights based groups.
- On top of the direct violations of human rights, the Government of Malaysia has jeopardized existing mechanism that could mitigate and address human rights violations. The Human Rights Commissions of Malaysia was the subject of a substantial budget cut of more than 50% in 2015 and was left in a bind with regards to its ability to exercise its duty as a National Human Rights Institution.
- The Judiciary which had to struggle to reclaim its independence and undo the perception of being controlled by the executive was all but destroyed following the appointment of the new Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal. Despite the concerns with regards to the constitutionality of the two appointment, the Government of Malaysia have disregarded the concerns raised by civil societies and the Bar Council of Malaysia and defended its choice in appointing two judges who were past the retirement age for judges outlined in the Federal Constituiton.
- This report will focus on the primary concerns related to the Right to Fair Trial; the issue of torture and custodial death; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly; and the threats against human rights defenders within Malaysia.