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    SUARAM Youth JOIN US Speaker 2 Describe your image Phamplet Describe your image Speaker 2 Describe your image 1/2 Introduction to Human Rights Download

  • People Before Profit | SUARAM

    PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT JOIN US SUARAM's "People Before Profit" Desk began as an effort to focus and coordinate the struggles of Malaysians against the profit-driven projects, which we have become so familiar with in recent years. ​ For example, the pollution of our rivers and environment through mining and other toxic industries, the destruction of the forests and watershed, the encroachment into the native customary land of our indigenous peoples, the violation of workers' rights, the eviction of marginalised communities for so-called "development", and many others. ​ Nearly 20 years ago, SUARAM, together with other concerned NGOs, organised a "People Before Profits: The Rights of Malaysian Communities in Development" conference. Throughout Malaysia, communities victimized by "development," unfettered capitalism, and unaccountable privatisation projects, came together, forming a coalition to resist such profit-driven projects, sharing their experience, and discussing an alternative regenerative path of development. Recent events have shown us that this agenda is even more important especially in the face of the climate change crisis. ​ ​This desk also focuses on the growing wealth inequality in Malaysia, the ever-widening income disparity between the top 10 % and the remaining 90% of the population. We hope to cut through the ideology of race and religion and focus on peoples' interests irrespective of ethnicity, build a regenerative economy, and preserve our forests and nature. ​ Malaysians facing these problems of profit-driven "development" mustn't be isolated in their struggles. SUARAM's 'People Before Profit' desk hopes to provide solidarity and form a coalition of all Malaysians struggling throughout Malaysia - East and West, indigenous peoples, and city folk. It is time for the people to say "No" to race-based policies and irresponsible destruction of the environment. "No" to the victimisation of the Orang Asli and other indigenous peoples in senseless projects. "No" to blatant pollution by factory owners. "No" to mindless proliferation of highways and land reclamation of our seas. "No" to forcible evictions of communities for questionable property development projects. And "No" to the sacrifice of irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage. ​


    SUARAM Human Rights Report 2021 Overview Launch The political turmoil and pandemic crisis of 2020 continued into 2021 when Malaysia was under emergency rule and lockdown for much of 2021. Throughout much of the year, the Perikatan Nasional government managed to govern without any parliamentary scrutiny earlier this year. Find out more WORKING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RIGHT TO TRIAL Read More FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Read More RIGHT TO JUSTICE Read More PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT Read More DOCUMENTATION & MONITORING Read More SUARAM YOUTH Read More Human Rights Abuses Recorded To Date. PRESS STATEMENTS SUARAM ON NEWS Contact Us Submit Thanks for submitting!

  • Join Us | SUARAM

    Contact Us Internships Volunteering SUARAM welcomes individuals to join us as volunteers. Volunteers can assist SUARAM during our events or programmes. Volunteers are also required to assist with monitoring and urgent action teams during peaceful assemblies. ​ For those interested, email us at with the email title Volunteering with SUARAM. ​ *Please take note! Volunteers would be given due training and briefing prior to participating and assisting with any SUARAM programme. Vacancies

  • Our Team | SUARAM

    OUR TEAM JOIN US K.Arumugam Board of Directors Diane Savari Administration & Finance Mohammad Alshatri Senior Program Coordinator Esther S Chong Program Manager Yeoh Seng Guan Board of Directors Sevan Doraisamy Executive Director Kenneth Cheng Documentation & Monitoring Coordinator Puvenes Yuvarajan Asst. Administration & Finance Amirah Haziqah Communications Officer Azura Nasron Right To Trial Coordinator

  • Right To Trial | SUARAM

    RIGHT TO TRIAL JOIN US Detention without trial coloured Malaysia's history, from the infamous Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) to the less-well-known-but-often-used Emergency (Public Order and Crime Prevention) Ordinance 1969 (EO). It has gotten to the point where enforcement agencies such as the Royal Malaysian Police see such laws as necessary to maintain law and order. Despite repealing the ISA and EO, the Government of Malaysia re-introduces new laws that permit detention without trial-- replacing the 'void' created by the absence of the ISA and EO. These new laws make up what we call the "Security Laws" today: ​ Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), The Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA), and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DDA). ​ ​ SOSMA permits 28 days of detention without trial. In comparison, POCA and POTA permit a period up to 60 days; consisting of the initial arrest for 24 hours, an extension of 21 days with a statement in writing signed by a police officer (not below the rank of Inspector), and a further extension of 38 days with a statement in writing signed by a police officer (not below the rank of Assistant Superintendent). In contrast, DDA is almost similar to the former ISA, which grants the Royal Malaysian Police power to detain an individual for not more than 60 days for drug-related offenses. Following the preliminary 60 days of detention, the Home Ministry can detain the individual for an additional period of no more than two years. ​ ​The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration had promised to abolish SOSMA. In conjunction with this promise, SUARAM ran a campaign called Gerakan Mansuh SOSMA (Abolish SOSMA movement) to bring the administration's commitment to fruition. Unfortunately, throughout PH's short term in government, they remained quiet and failed to achieve this. ​ The possible amendments to SOSMA as mooted by the former Minister of Home Affairs during November 2019 appear to be a dead letter given the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan’s government in February 2020. The same also applies to the Pakatan Harapan’s Attorney General’s promise to amend a provision in SOSMA to enable courts to grant bail to the accused. ​ On top of campaigns and advocacy programs, the Right to Trial desk also receives cases concerning these security laws. In 2020, the use of draconian security laws shows no sign of abating even during a pandemic year. All four laws that permit detention without trial continued to be applied and abused. ​ ​

  • Achievements | SUARAM

    ACHIEVEMENTS JOIN US Annual Human Rights Report ​ Since 1998, SUARAM has published an annual comprehensive human rights report which documents and monitoring human rights violations in Malaysia. The report has a reputation of being objective and non-partisan and is keenly awaited every year by local as well as foreign human rights watchers; ​ ​ Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) repealed ​ SUARAM has campaigned against detention without trial since 1989; The ISA and EO were abolished in 2011 and the last ISA detainee was released in January 2014; ​ Raising public awareness on human rights SUARAM has provided invaluable human rights training & education activities to countless students, youth, lawyers, journalists, urban settlers, workers, indigenous peoples, community groups and the general public; ​ Reform of Criminal Procedure Code SUARAM campaigned for better protection of rights of detainees. The Criminal Procedure Code was amended in 2007 which led to the shortening of the period of remand orders, the inadmissibility of cautioned statements to prevent self-incrimination, and better access to family and lawyers; ​ Annual licensing for print media abolished and promise of abolition of Sedition Act SUARAM campaigned for freedom of expression and press freedom. This resulted in the removal of the “absolute discretion” of the Home Minister in accepting or rejecting media license applications; the repeal of annual license renewal of print media and the promise of prime minister Najib Razak to abolish the Sedition Act in 2012 ​ Defending freedom of assembly SUARAM has provided urgent legal support for those who have been unjustifiably and arbitrarily arrested. Section 27 of the Police Act requiring a police permit for public assembly was abolished in 2012 ​ Establishment of coroner’s courts in 13 states SUARAM campaigned for police accountability in the rising cases of deaths in custody and this led to the establishment of coroner’s courts in April 2014 to deal cases of death in custody cases. SUARAM continues to campaign for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC); ​ Improved independence and effectiveness of SUHAKAM SUARAM’s campaigns led to two parliamentary amendments to the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act in 2009 and this has made the appointment process of commissioners more transparent and has resulted in the appointment of more independent candidates; ​ Holding government accountable for Scorpene submarines scandal SUARAM exposed the suspected corruption in the Scorpene submarine deal and made an official complaint to the French courts in 2009; this led to protracted harassment by the government in 2012-13, including the threat of deregistration ​ Human rights mainstreamed in public policies SUARAM has contributed to research and publication on public policies and peoples’ history, notably on arms spending and energy policies, May 13, Kampung Medan, the independence movement, People Before Profits, Policing the Malaysian Police, the ISA and Operation Lalang ​ ​ ​ ​

  • Our History | SUARAM

    OUR HISTORY In 1987 ​ Malaysia witnessed one of its darkest moments in history when Operasi Lalang was unleashed. The crackdown resulted in 106 persons being detained without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Not only did this cause grave distress to the detainees and their family members, Operasi Lalang also generated a sense of indignation among many Malaysians who uphold human rights. After their release, several of these ISA detainees and their family members, lawyers, and social activists came together in 1989 to found SUARAM with the vision to protect and promote human rights in a society that is just, equal, and democratic. ​ Through these 30 years of deteriorating human rights conditions ​ SUARAM has expanded its work beyond the Internal Security Act (ISA) to include reform of the police force, deaths in custody, refugees and migrant workers, indigenous peoples’ rights, free and fair elections, local democracy, corruption, environment, workers’ rights, death penalty and freedom of expression, assembly and association. ​ SUARAM has been instrumental in forming major coalitions such as Gagasan Rakyat, the opposition to the Bakun dam and has played key roles in various movements including the Reformasi movement in 1998. ​ The repeal of the ISA and the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) in 2011 was a major milestone for SUARAM and its partners after a long arduous battle against the oppressive law. SUARAM has also contributed to research and publications on important Malaysian public policies and peoples’ history through the years, notably on arms spending and energy policies; on May 13, Kampung Medan and the independence movement; People Before Profits, Policing the Malaysian Police, the ISA and Operation Lalang, GE13 Malaysian Civil Society Demands. ​ In 2014, SUARAM celebrated its 25th anniversary. While there have been successes over the years, we are still faced with many human rights challenges. Detention without trial now comes in the guise of new draconian laws such as the Prevention of Crimes Act, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, and Peaceful Assembly Act. The Malaysian police still get away with impunity by refusing to accede to the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Committee. Our basic freedoms of expression, assembly and association continue to be violated. Freedom of religion is still elusive as the “Allah” and “hudud” controversies rage. Corruption remains one of the major problems in the public arena. The rising cost of living requires reform of strategic public policies and we are still far away from achieving the objectives of good governance and electoral reform regardless of which coalition is in power. In 2018 ​ Malaysia underwent the first historic change of administration following the 14th General Elections. The Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad won the election on a manifesto of reform. The euphoria from the change in administration swiftly evaporated when key institutional reforms were delayed by Mahathir’s administration. The administration was soon challenged by a growing rhetoric of race and religion by political opposition and the uncertainty of the leadership transition promised leading up to the election. It was in the midst of these uncertainty, SUARAM celebrated its 30th Anniversary. ​ SUARAM vows to continue to campaign for civil rights, rule of law, freedom of expression, association and assembly, mother tongue education, freedom of religion and the ratification of international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. ​ ​

  • Human Rights Reports | SUARAM

    Human Rights Reports JOIN US Physical copies of SUARAM Annual Human Rights Report are available for purchase at Gerakbudaya. Alternately, please email SUARAM at or reach us via social media. Overview Human Rights Report Malaysia 2021 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2020 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2019 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2018 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2017 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2016 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2015 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2014 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2013 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2012 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2011 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2010 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2009 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2008 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2007 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2006 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2005 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2004 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2003 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2002 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2001 Malaysia Human Rights Report 2000 Malaysia Human Rights Report 1999 Out of gallery

  • Background | SUARAM

    BACKGROUND What does SUARAM mean by Human Rights? ​ SUARAM (Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd) is guided by the Memorandum and Articles of Association pursuant to the Companies Act, 1965. We believe in the universality, interdependence and indivisibility of all rights: civil, political, economic, social and cultural. ​ SUARAM specializes in civil and political rights such as educational programs and trainings on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association; right to fair trial; freedom from torture, extra-judicial killings and cruel punishment; public accountability and genuine democracy-building. Together with other civil organisation and group partners who work on economic, social and cultural rights in Malaysia, we are able to collectively and comprehensively address all human rights. Is SUARAM partisan? ​ SUARAM is an independent and a human rights organisation which is not linked to any other agencies. We will always be on the side of victims of human rights violations, the poor and the oppressed, without fear or favour. Our mandate is enshrined in the Malaysian Human Rights Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thus SUARAM’s main objective is the protection and realisation of human rights in Malaysia regardless of the government-of-the-day. How is SUARAM funded? ​ SUARAM is funded by donations and grants from public and private sources. However, the most important source comes from private donations, local fund-raising events, sales of books and campaign merchandise. Funds are accepted strictly on the basis of non-interference of donors. How does SUARAM operate? ​ As SUARAM (Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd) is registered under the Companies Act of Malaysia, our operations and activities complies with our registration under the law. ​ ​