SUARAM’s Annual Human Rights Report on Malaysia is widely recognized as the most objective, comprehensive and dependable source of information on the state of human rights in Malaysia. It documents the human rights violations of all the fundamental liberties as well as the struggles of human rights defenders that take place in Malaysia during the year.
In 2017, Malaysia struggled with growing repression as the 14th General Election approached. With the competition for political dominance, freedom of expression became the victim and there was widespread arrest, detention and prosecution for online comments made on social media, and the silencing of print and online media using frivolous justifications. Freedom of religion was another victim.
In the short five years since the abolition of the Internal Security Act 1960, the criminal justice system of Malaysia has re-oriented its policy on tackling crime by the use of detention without trial. With more than 2,000 individuals detained under SOSMA, POCA, POTA and DDA, it is clear that we are seeing the old ISA in a new guise.
Beyond the politically motivated human rights violations, corporations and state linked enterprises were also human rights violators. State agencies which are expected to defend and protect the rights and interests of the community, especially the indigenous peoples, instead acted as defenders of the corporate interests. With no justice or remedy in sight, all that the communities could do was to stand and defend their rights and dignity by setting up blockades against the repression…