Joined United Nations: 17 September 1957
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 05 March 2013
29,179,952 (July 2012 est.)
Paramount ruler elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of
the states for five-year terms; election last held on 14 October 2011
Next scheduled election: 2016
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Prime minister usually designated from among the members of the
House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the
leader of the party that wins a plurality of seats in the House of
Representatives becomes prime minister Note: Razak was the
Deputy Prime Minister but assumed the position of Prime Minister
following the resignation of Badawi; election last held: 08 March
Next scheduled election: June 2013
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% (2004 est.)
Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%,
other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)
Constitutional monarchy with 13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri) and one federal territory (wilayah persekutuan); Legal
system is based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court at request of supreme head of the
federation; Islamic law is applied to Muslims in matters of family law and religion; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: Kings are elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of the states for five-year terms; selection is based on the
principle of rotation among rulers of states; elections were last held on 14 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime ministers
are designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands
the support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister (since independence this has been the leader of the
Legislative: Bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king,
26 elected by 13 state legislatures to serve three-year terms with a two term limit) and House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat
(222 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve up to five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 8 March 2008 (next to be held by June 2013)
Judicial: Civil Courts include Federal Court, Court of Appeal, High Court of Malaya on peninsula Malaysia, and High Court of
Sabah and Sarawak in states of Borneo (judges appointed by the paramount ruler on the advice of the prime minister); Sharia
Courts include Sharia Appeal Court, Sharia High Court, and Sharia Subordinate Courts at state-level and deal with religious and
family matters such as custody, divorce, and inheritance, only for Muslims; decisions of Sharia courts cannot be appealed to civil
Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu,
Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
Prehistoric Malaysia may be traced back as far as 200,000 years ago from stone tools found at Kota Tampan, an archaeological
site in Lenggong Perak. The earliest human skeleton, Perak Man, dating back 11,000 years and Perak Woman aged 8,000 years,
were also discovered in Lenggong. The site has an undisturbed stone tool production area, created using equipment such as anvils
and hammer stones. The Tambun Cave paintings are also situated in Perak. From East Malaysia, Sarawak's Niah Caves, there is
evidence of the oldest human remains in Malaysia, dating back some 40,000 years. Early peoples, probably from the first wave
humans as postulated in the 'Out of Africa' theory, lived a simple lifestyle of hunting-gathering. Descendants of these early inhabitants
still live in the hills of Malaysia, some of their villages are accessible, they are known as Orang Asli, meaning 'the original people' or
aborigines. Today the Orang Asli, together with the Malays and indigenous peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, are known as
Bumiputera ('the sons of the soil'). Anthropologists traced a group of newcomers Proto Malay seafarers who migrated from Yunnan
to Malaysia. Negrito and other Aborigines were forced by late comers into the hills. More people arrived, including new tribes and
seafarers. The Malay Peninsula became the crossroads in maritime trades of the ancient age. Seafarers who came to Malaysia's
shores included Indians, Egyptians, peoples of the Middle East, Javanese and Chinese. The Proto Malay (Melayu asli) who first
arrived possessed agricultural skills while the second wave Deutero Malay (mixed blood) who joined in around 1500 BC and
dwelled along the coastlines have advanced fishery skills. Indian influence in the region dates back to at least the 3rd century BCE.
Indian traders came to the archipelago for abundant forest and marine products, and to trade with merchants from China. Both
Hinduism and Buddhism were well established in the Malay Peninsula by the beginning of the 1st century AD, and from there
spread across the archipelago. There were numerous Malay kingdoms in the 2nd and 3rd century CE—as many as 30 according to
Chinese sources.For 700 years the Maharajahs of Srivijaya ruled a loose-knit maritime empire that controlled the coasts of
Sumatra, Peninsular Malaya, and Borneo. Sometimes they also ruled parts of Java, but Javanese states resisted Srivijayan
hegemony. The power of Srivijaya declined from the 10th century CE. Never a centralised state, it was apparently weakened by a
series of wars with the Javanese, which disrupted trade. In the 11th century CE a rival power centre arose at Melayu, a port
possibly located further up the Sumatran coast at what is now the Indonesian Jambi province. The power of the Hindu Maharajahs
was further undermined by the spread of Islam. Areas which were converted to Islam early, such as Aceh, broke away from
Srivijaya’s control. By the late 13th century, the Siamese kings of Sukhothai had brought most of Malaya under their rule. The port
of Melaka ("Malacca") on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula was founded around 1400 by Parameswara, a rebel prince of the
Srivijaya royal line, who was claimed in the Sejarah Melayu to be a descendant of Alexander the Great. Expelled from Sumatra for
killing the ruler of Temasek (modern day Singapore), Parameswara established himself in Melaka. The political power of the
Malaccan Sultanate helped Islam’s rapid spread through the archipelago, reaching as far as modern day Philippines, while leaving
Bali as an isolated outpost of Hinduism. The closing of the overland route from Asia to Europe by the Ottoman Empire and the
claim towards trade monopoly with India and south-east Asia by Arab traders, led European powers to look for a maritime route.
In 1498 Vasco da Gama, sent by King John II of Portugal, found the route around the Cape of Good Hope to India, and in 1511
Afonso de Albuquerque led an expedition to Malaya which seized Melaka following a month-long siege and made it the centre of
Portugal’s eastern activity. In the early sixteenth century, the Dutch established Dutch East India Company (VOC), initially based
trade and Maluku, and their post Batavia in west Java. From there they expanded across the archipelago, forming an alliance with
Johore against their main enemies, the Portuguese at Melaka and the powerful Sultan of Aceh. In 1641, after several attempts, the
VOC-Johore alliance captured Melaka, breaking Portuguese power in Malaya for good – Portugal was left with only Portuguese
Timor. English traders had been present in Malay waters since the 17th century, but it was not until the mid 18th century that the
British East India Company, based in British India, developed a serious interest in Malayan affairs. The growth of the China trade in
British ships increased the Company’s desire for bases in the region. Various islands were used for this purpose, but the first
permanent acquisition was Penang, leased from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786. During the 19th century the Malay Sultans became
loyal allies of the British Empire. In 1824 British hegemony in Malaya was formalised by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty, the decisive event
in the formation of modern Malaysia. The Dutch evacuated Melaka and renounced all interest in Malaya, while the British
recognised Dutch rule over the rest of the East Indies. Penang, Melaka and Singapore were united as the Straits Settlements, ruled
by a British Governor in Singapore. In 1909 the weakened Siamese kingdom was compelled to cede Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and
Terengganu to the British. By 1910 the pattern of British rule in the Malay lands was established. The Straits Settlements were a
Crown Colony, ruled by a governor under the supervision of the Colonial Office in London. In the years before World War II, the
British neglected constitutional development in Malaya. Singapore, with no landward defences, no air cover and no water supply,
was forced to surrender in February 1942, doing irreparable damage to British prestige. British North Borneo and Brunei were also
occupied. The Malayans were thus on the whole glad to see the British back in 1945, but things could not remain as they were
before the war. The Malayan Emergency involved six years of bitter fighting across the Malayan Peninsula. During 1955 and 1956
UMNO, the MCA and the British hammered out a constitutional settlement for an independent Malaya. This came on August 31,
1957, when Tunku Abdul Rahman became the first Prime Minister of independent Malaya. In 1961, Abdul Rahman mooted the
idea of forming "Malaysia", which would consist of Brunei, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, all of which had been British
colonies. Malaysia formally came into being on 16 September 1963, consisting of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. At the
time of independence Malaya had great economic advantages. It was among the world’s leading producers of three valuable
commodities, rubber, tin and palm oil, and also a significant iron ore producer. Malaysia’s rapid economic progress since 1970,
which was only temporarily disrupted by the Asian financial crisis of 1997, has not been matched by change in Malaysian politics.
Under Mahathir’s long Prime Ministership (1981-2003), Malaysia’s political culture became increasingly authoritarian, culminating
in the dismissal and imprisonment on unsubstantiated charges of the Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, in 1997 after an internal
dispute within the government. Mahathir retired in 2003, and his successor, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, freed Anwar and
allowed him to go abroad, which was seen as a portent of a mild liberalisation. Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
was sworn in for a second term on 10 March 2008, defying calls to quit after presiding over the ruling coalition's worst ever election
performance. In November 2007, Malaysia was rocked by two anti-government rallies. The 2007 Bersih Rally which was attended
by 40,000 people was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 10 November to campaign for electoral reform. It was precipitated by
allegations of corruption and discrepancies in the Malaysian election system that heavily favour the ruling political party, Barisan
Nasional, which has been in power since Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957. Another rally was held on 25 November in
the Malaysian capital led by HINDRAF. The rally organiser, the Hindu Rights Action Force, had called the protest over alleged
discriminatory policies favouring ethnic Malays. The crowd was estimated to be between 5,000 and 30,000. In both cases the
government and police tried to prevent the gatherings from taking place. In 16 October 2008, HINDRAF was banned when the
government labelled the organisation as "a threat to national security." In October 2011, Abdul Halim was elected to serve a second
term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong which commenced on 13 December 2011. He is the first person to hold the position twice. He
is also the oldest Malay Ruler to be crowned Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 84 years and 15 days old. The official coronation took
place on April 11th, 2012 at Istana Negara, attended by the Malay rulers including the Regent of Brunei as well.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Malaysia
Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging
multi-sector economy. Under current Prime Minister NAJIB, Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and to
move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries,
biotechnology, and services. The NAJIB administration also is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand and reduce the
economy's dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics, oil and gas, palm oil and rubber - remain a
significant driver of the economy. As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has profited from higher world energy prices, although the
rising cost of domestic gasoline and diesel fuel, combined with strained government finances, has forced Kuala Lumpur to begin to
reduce government subsidies. The government is also trying to lessen its dependence on state oil producer Petronas. The oil and gas
sector supplies more than 40% of government revenue. The central bank maintains healthy foreign exchange reserves, and a
well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments and the global financial crisis.
Nevertheless, Malaysia could be vulnerable to a fall in commodity prices or a general slowdown in global economic activity because
exports are a major component of GDP. In order to attract increased investment, NAJIB has raised possible revisions to the special
economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but he has encountered
significant opposition, especially from Malay nationalists and other vested interests.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Malaysia)
The politics of Malaysia takes place in the framework of a federal constitutional monarchy, in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is
head of state and the Prime Minister of Malaysia is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the federal
government and the 13 state governments. Federal legislative power is vested in the federal parliament and the 13 state assemblies.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, though the executive maintains a certain level of influence in the
appointment of judges to the courts.
The Constitution of Malaysia is codified and the system of government is based on the Westminster system.
Malaysia has a multi-party system since the first direct election of the Federal Legislative Council of Malaya in 1955 on a
first-past-the-post basis. The ruling party since then has always been the Alliance Party (Malay: Parti Perikatan) coalition and
subsequently from 1973 onwards, its successor the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition. The Barisan Nasional coalition
currently consists of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian
Congress (MIC) and 11 other political parties.
Although Malaysian politics has been relatively stable, critics allege that "the government, ruling party, and administration...are
intertwined with few countervailing forces." However, since 8 March 2008 General Election, media's coverage on country's politics
has been noticeably increased, making the politics more transparent to the citizens. A higher interest in the political process has led
to a slowdown in outbound corporate travel in anticipation of an upcoming general election anticipated for first-half of 2013. Many
travellers are postponing travel to ensure they get the chance to cast their votes.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Malaysia
while the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions over the Spratly Islands, it is not
the legally binding "code of conduct" sought by some parties; Malaysia was not party to the March 2005 joint accord among the
national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam on conducting marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; disputes
continue over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's land reclamation, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in
the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, ICJ awarded sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to
Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but did not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge; land
and maritime negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and disputed areas include the controversial Tanjung Datu and Camar Wulan
border area in Borneo and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea; separatist violence in Thailand's
predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompts measures to close and monitor border with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities;
Philippines retains a dormant claim to Malaysia's Sabah State in northern Borneo; Per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia
in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang
corridor, which divides Brunei; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait.
Refugees (country of origin): 81,146 (Burma) (2011)
Drug trafficking prosecuted vigorously and carries severe penalties; heroin still primary drug of abuse, but synthetic drug demand
remains strong; continued ecstasy and methamphetamine producer for domestic users and, to a lesser extent, the regional drug
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Malaysia
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy. It has a parliamentary system of government headed by a prime minister selected through
periodic, multiparty elections. The United Malays National Organization (UMNO), together with a coalition of political parties known as
the National Front (BN), has held power since independence in 1957. The most recent national elections, in 2008, were conducted in a
generally transparent manner and witnessed significant opposition gains. In 2009 Najib Tun Razak was sworn in as prime minister.
Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
The most significant human rights problems were restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association; restrictions on the
rights of migrants, including migrant workers and refugees; and the persistence of laws that allow detention without trial.
Other human rights problems included some deaths during police apprehensions and while in police custody; caning as a form of
punishment imposed by criminal and sharia courts; restrictions on freedom of press and religion; obstacles preventing opposition parties
from competing on equal terms with the ruling coalition; and violence and discrimination against women. Longstanding government
policies gave preferences to ethnic Malays in many areas. There were restrictions on union and collective-bargaining activity, and various
practices continued to create vulnerabilities to child labor and forced labor, especially for migrant workers. The government continued to
pursue the prosecution of the leader of the parliamentary opposition on sodomy charges.
The government took steps to prosecute officials engaged in corruption and human rights abuses, although some degree of impunity
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8 February 2011
Human Rights Council
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to
Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Mission to Malaysia
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention conducted a country mission to Malaysia from 7 to 17 June 2010 at the invitation of the
Government. During the entire visit and in all respects, the Working Group enjoyed the fullest cooperation of the Government. The
delegation was able to visit all prisons and detention facilities and interview in confidence all detainees requested.
In its report, the Working Group notes a number of positive aspects, such as the drastic reduction in the recourse to the Internal
Security Act (1960); the release of a person whose detention had been declared arbitrary by the Working Group and the release of some
leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), who were detained in 2007 for organizing protests against the alleged
marginalization of ethnic Indians. The Working Group also notes that most Malaysian prisons met international standards on conditions.
However, with regard to the criminal justice system, the Working Group observes the relatively long periods accused persons spend in
pretrial detention, sometimes for several years. Police agents often fail to inform detainees about their rights to contact family members
and to consult a lawyer of their choice. Limited pretrial discovery prevents defendants from defending themselves and prosecution
evidence is not consistently made available. The law imposes excessive restrictions on appeals and the habeas corpus resource is rarely
used, and solely for procedural issues.
The Working Group points out that human rights guarantees in Malaysia are hindered by four preventive laws, mainly the Internal
Security Act, but also the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance, the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive
Measures) Act and the Restricted Residence Act. The Working Group recommends that the Government abrogate all these laws as soon
as possible. In the meantime, emergency ordinance decisions and decisions made by the Appeals Advisory Board should be binding on
the Home Minister and decisions on the Internal Security Act should be subjected to judicial review.
Detention under immigration powers does not seem to be in line with international human rights law. The Working Group considers that
the detention of migrants should be decided upon by a court of law, on a case-by-case basis, and pursuant to clear and exhaustively
defined criteria in legislation under which detention may be used. The Working Group received complaints of detainee abuse, inadequate
food, water, medical care and poor sanitation in most immigration detention centres. The situation at the overcrowded Lenggeng
detention centre is especially highlighted. The Working Group expresses its concern at the caning of immigrants in an irregular situation
and the powers extended to the Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (RELA) volunteer force to be present in immigration detention centres
and to track down foreigners living in Malaysia without valid documents.
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Parenting “Guide” Deepens Hostility toward the LGBT Community in Malaysia
Sep 14 2012 - 4:53pm
Freedom House remains deeply concerned by the Malaysian government’s policies that foster a climate of intolerance, which
stigmatizes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Such actions are deeply irresponsible and contribute to
ongoing violence and systemic discrimination against this already marginalized community.
On Monday, September 10, the Education Ministry endorsed an official document that identifies “Symptoms,” which purportedly
indicate whether an adolescent is gay.
These 'symptoms include:
For gay men:
Muscular body and a fondness for showing off the body by wearing clothing, such as by wearing V-necks and sleeveless tops
A preference for tight and bright coloured clothes
An inclination to be attracted to men
A tendency to carry big handbags, similar to the kinds used by women
Showing attraction to women
Distancing themselves from women other than their girlfriends
A preference for hanging out, sleeping and dining with women
Absence of feelings for men
This guide is being disseminated in an effort for parents and teachers to be able to “redirect” their child’s sexuality. It was unveiled at a
parenting seminar in Penang, which was presided over by Malaysia’s Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi, a member of
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s political party. Such a policy is fundamentally inconsistent with international human rights standards.
Freedom House urges the Malaysian government to refrain from endorsing policies that promote intolerance and bigotry and
recommends that it focus its efforts on developing programs that will educate the public about the human rights of all citizens.
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Malaysia: Arrest under new law means torture risk: Mohd Hilmi Hasim
15 February 2013
ARREST UNDER NEW LAW MEANS TORTURE RISK
Mohd Hilmi Hasim, one of the first people arrested under Malaysia’s new security law, has been detained without charge and without
access to lawyers since 7 February. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Police arrested cafeteria worker Mohd Hilmi Hasim at his workplace in the capital, Kuala Lumpur on 7 February 2013. They also
arrested his co-worker, Yazid Sufaat, for "promoting terrorist activities". The two men were the first people arrested under the Security
Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), introduced in June 2012. The next day, Yazid Sufaat and a third person, Halimah
Hussein, were brought to court and charged with inciting or promoting “terrorist acts”, allegedly in relation to the conflict in Syria.
However, Mohd Hilmi Hasim was never brought to court, and he is still detained without charge.
Two lawyers representing Mohd Hilmi Hasim accompanied his family on a visit to the Jinjang lock-up on 15 February, but police told
them that he had been transferred to Sungai Buloh prison, and that only family members were permitted to see him. During his family’s
visit to prison, Mohd Hilmi Hasim’s mother has said that she was “interrogated” by the police, but the police did not officially record
their “interrogation”. Mohd Hilmi Hasim’s lawyers have lodged a report against the police, for denying Mohd Hilmi Hasim access to legal
The SOSMA, which replaced Malaysia’s draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), falls short of international human rights standards:
among other things, it allows detention without charge or access to courts for up to 28 days, and allows the police to detain suspects
incommunicado for 48 hours, increasing the risk of torture. Despite the law allowing access to legal counsel after 48 hours, the
Malaysian police are still denying Mohd Hilmi Hasim access to his lawyers eight days after his arrest.
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Malaysia: Stop Forced Returns to China
More Uighur Asylum Seekers Denied Basic Protections
February 3, 2013
(New York) – Malaysia’s secret forced return to China of six Uighurs with pending asylum claims on December 31, 2012, was a grave
violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the Malaysian government today.
An upcoming February 5 visit to Malaysia by Jia Qinglin, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing
Committee, will provide Malaysian authorities with an opportunity to publicly state that they will uphold legal protections for refugees.
“While Malaysians were celebrating the New Year, their government was forcibly returning Uighur asylum seekers to a dangerously
uncertain fate in China.” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “The government has an obligation to explain how this happened,
China’s role, and the steps being taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Credible sources told Human Rights Watch that the six Uighur men returned to China on December 31 had been detained earlier in 2012
allegedly for attempting to leave Malaysia on false passports. While in detention, they were registered with the office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and were permitted to proceed with refugee status determination (RSD) interviews. Although
all six had asylum claims being reviewed, Malaysian police clandestinely transferred the men in late December into the custody of
Chinese authorities, who escorted them from Malaysia to China on a chartered flight.
Under international law, it is unlawful for any country to return individuals to a place where they are likely to face persecution or torture.
The Chinese government frequently accuses ethnic Uighurs, particularly those seeking asylum, of being terrorists or separatists without
providing evidence to substantiate such claims. A Uighur forcibly returned to China by Malaysia in 2011, for instance, was sentenced to
six years in prison on charges of “separatism.”
“This isn’t the first time the Malaysian government has violated international law on Beijing’s behalf, but it has the chance to make it the
last,” Robertson said. “Announcing Malaysia’s commitment to protecting refugees and ratifying the refugee conventions would be a
good place to start.”
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DATO' SRI MOHD NAJIB BIN TUN HAJI ABDUL RAZAK
PERDANA MENTERI MALAYSIA
2013 NEW YEAR MESSAGE
My beloved Malaysians,
3. In addressing the challenges ahead for Year 2013, and in order to build sustainable success, we need to learn from our past
experiences. We have to carry on with and improve on what is good and has proven to be successful by rectifying all weaknesses. What
has proven to have failed should be discarded and regarded as a lesson. In order to continue our efforts to achieve Malaysia's national
vision of a high-income developed nation, we have to build on the foundation that has been laid through the National Transformation
4. For the year 2013, we need to proceed with the national agenda to strengthen national unity, which is the core of the nation's
perpetuity, based on the 1Malaysia Philosophy of People First, Performance Now.
5. Secondly, we have to continue our efforts to improve the well-being of the people through the social safety net system whereby
every Malaysian who needs aid will get it, where welfare and subsidy assistance are targeted at the truly needy, and reinforced by the
welfare net of family, corporate and religious institutions.
6. Thirdly, we have to increase the wealth of the nation by ensuring sustainable economic growth and fiscal health, and stimulate the
social movement rooted in hope, where the achievement of an individual is limited only by the imagination, entrepreneurship and the
extent of the individual's willingness to work hard and where the creativity, innovation and willingness to take risks will bring lucrative
7. Fourthly, we have to ensure that Malaysia will be the best place to build a life; the best place to have a family and raise children, a
country that has a caring society, a strong family system, neighbourhoods and streets safe from crime, a sustainable environment,
quality schools and educational institutions, as well as the best and affordable health care system.
12. Malaysia is indeed a country where opportunities, responsibilities, prosperity and noble values are shared by a plural society, with an
abundance of opportunities springing from various potentials. These potentials are a blessing. These potentials are the basis of
aspirations. I urge that all of us together shape the destiny of realising Malaysia as an ever-shining potential.
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THE RIGHT TO A PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY MUST BE RESPECTED
10 Jan 2013
The Human Rights of Commission of Malaysia (the Commission) welcomes the readiness of the police to facilitate the upcoming
“Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat” rally to be held on Saturday 12 January 2013 as expressed by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)
Tan Sri Ismail Osman. The Commission further welcomes the positive dialogue between the police and the rally organisers on 8 January
to ensure the exercise of the public’s fundamental right to freedom of assembly is fully observed in the upcoming rally.
The Commission further welcomes the assurance of the IGP to ensure the visibility of the names and badge numbers of the police
personnel during field operat ions as recommended by the Commission in response to the findings of the previous public inquiries
pertaining to the allegations of use of excessive force by the authorities during public rallies.
Whilst the Commission notes that media representatives attending the rally will be provided with special identification tags issued by the
police in addition to the existing official government-issued press tags, it hopes that those media representatives without the police-issued
press tags will enjoy the same protection a nd respect when discharging their official duty.
As a National Human Rights Institution that has been dealing with the issue of freedom of assembly since inception, the Commission
reiterates its call to the authorities to respect and fulfil human rights commitments the Government has made at both national and
international levels as well as to comply with international human rights norms towards improving the state of human rights in the
Since much is at stake both for the image of the po lice as well as of the country, the Commission hopes that the police will conduct
themselves in a highly professional manner and emulating the best practices of other police forces in the world and continue to improve
from the deficiencies of the previous experience. Indeed,the Commission is confident that with the new positive attitude shown by its
top leadership the police can and will live up to the expectations of the public. On the same note, the Commission also calls upon the
organisers and participants to fulfil their responsibilities towards promoting a peaceful assembly.
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Intrusion into Sabah: Scapegoating the Opposition before knowing the facts
Posted by Angeline Loh on 5 March 2013
The way the BN election campaign is going, one would wonder why current complainants of Pakatan Rakyat policies didn’t think of
raising their grouses over the previous three and a half years, but kept quiet until now.
Blaming Opposition politicians – for, amongst other things, the current conflict in Sabah – is nothing new. The BN has always sought to
throw mud at them, to hide its own dirty backyard. Now, the BN is again trying to seek foreign help to implicate the Opposition in this
most recent clash with the Philippine Sulu Sultanate.
At about 3.30pm on Sunday (3 March 2013), a breaking news broadcast was aired on ntv7 announcing that five more Malaysian
commandos were shot in Semporna, Sabah. Identification details were withheld. News updates would follow throughout the day. These
deaths were the latest additions to the five casualties over the past two days since early February, when Sulu forces first landed in Lahad
The situation appears to be more urgent than expected. On 1 March, Philippines President Benigno Aquino was reported to have given a
warning to the Sultan of Sulu that those involved in the incursion of Lahad Datu would face serious penalties if they did not withdraw
(ntv7, 7Edition). This ultimatum has been ignored, and recalcitrant Sulu fighters are still within Malaysia’s borders continuing to skirmish
with Malaysian police commandos.
In contrast, Prime Minister Najib had made no significant public statement or given any reassurance to Malaysians that peace would be
restored in Sabah or that Malaysia would participate in negotiations to peacefully and amicably resolve the matter.
International disputes involving Malaysia are not new. In 2008, Malaysia’s dispute with Singapore over Pulau Batu Putih/Pedra Branca
was resolved by international arbitration. Why not these claims by the Sulu Sultan over Sabah? There was no indication that anything
was coming to a head long before; so why should this sudden violent assertion surface now?
Comparing the Philippine government’s immediate reaction to the situation and the Malaysian government’s delayed reaction, it seems
that the Malaysian government treats this conflict as an internal affair whereas the Philippine government treats it as an international one.
The Philippine government has lost no time in trying to unearth the root of this affair and is studying the possibility of settling the dispute
at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) (ABN news).
In a rather unexpected and what may be viewed as unprofessional handling of the situation, PM Najib has noticeably not taken similar
measures to show a willingness to resolve the dispute in the international arena. It seems inappropriate to use police forces to defend the
country against external military incursion. The implication is that Najib sees this as an internal matter only; by right, he should have sent
the army to counter the military incursion in Lahad Datu, instead of the police.
Najib should have immediately reacted by making a public statement on the situation as the Philippines President did. But the Malaysian
premier was perceived to be keeping silent, carrying on with his election campaign as if the ‘invasion’ of Lahad Datu was unimportant.
One might suspect that he was at a loss as to what to do. Instead, Home Affairs Minister Hishamuddin Hussein is left to handle this
international affair. The Defence and Foreign ministries remained mute.
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Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah
King since 11 April 2012
Current situation: Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children trafficked
for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, and men, women, and children for forced labor; Malaysia is mainly a destination
country for men, women, and children who migrate willingly from South and Southeast Asia to work, some of whom are subjected
to conditions of involuntary servitude by Malaysian employers in the domestic, agricultural, construction, plantation, and industrial
sectors; to a lesser extent, some Malaysian women, primarily of Chinese ethnicity, are trafficked abroad for commercial sexual
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination
of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, despite some progress in enforcing the 2007 comprehensive
anti-trafficking law; it has yet to fully address labor trafficking in Malaysia; there are credible allegations of involvement of Malaysian
immigration officials in trafficking and extorting Burmese refugees; the government did not develop mechanisms to effectively screen
victims of trafficking in vulnerable groups and condones the confiscation of passports of migrant workers by employers (2009)
Mohamed Najib bin Abdul Razak
Prime Minister since 03 April 2009
Muhyiddin bin Mohamed Yassin
Deputy Prime Minister since 03 April 2009