Global rights group says Malaysia sliding towards conservative Islam

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A global human rights organisation today urged Malaysian government officials to speak out against the rising tide of religious intolerance rather than contribute to it.

In its 2018 World Report released in New York, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Putrajaya continued to shift toward a more conservative Islam.

It cited PAS’s plans to introduce amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, allowing shariah courts to impose stiffer punishments on Muslim offenders.

The report also noted the arrest of Turkish academic Mustafa Akyol by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department, for giving a talk on Islam without official credentials from religious authorities.

HRW Asia deputy director Phil Robertson said Prime Minister Najib Razak should speak out for all Malaysians.

“In a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, Najib should defend the rights of everyone in the country to speak freely and practise their religion without fear,” he said.

HRW also questioned the claim by Najib that freedom of speech was “thriving” in Malaysia, saying the reality did not reflect this. Read more

Lawyer: As human rights decline, Malaysia can be next Myanmar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

awyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said that the local authorities practise double standards in charging anyone who is seen as a threat to them. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa - Taken from the Malay Mail Online

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said that the local authorities practise double standards in charging anyone who is seen as a threat to them. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa – Taken from the Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The erosion of human rights in Malaysia for the past year has put the country in the same boat as Myanmar, lawyer Eric Paulsen alleged today.

The Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) executive director reasoned that if the government continues to silence dissenters through various laws, the situation here would worsen like in Myanmar, where citizens can be incarcerated for social media postings.

“It is sad but I’m constantly thinking of Myanmar. I have no doubt that the way Malaysia is going down the road, we would be mentioned next to Myanmar.

“Someone in Myanmar was recently charged for Facebook comments and was jailed. We can see a trend here that if Myanmar does this, we also do something similar. It is vice versa,” he told reporters at the launch of this year’s Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. Read more

Malaysia’s human rights deteriorated further in 2015, says rights watchdog

Source: The Malaysian Insider

HRWlogoMalaysia’s human rights situation deteriorated sharply during 2015, as Putrajaya increased its campaign of harassment and repression against activists, political opposition figures, and the media, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.

The report came hours after Malaysia’s rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2015 dropped by four points to 54, compared with 50 in 2014, said global corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).

“The Malaysian government responded to public criticism of a major corruption scandal and its persecution of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim with a wave of repression,” Phil Robertson, HRW’s deputy Asia director, said in a statement.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is trampling on fundamental rights to hush up corruption allegations and maintain his grip on power.”

In the 659-page World Report 2016, the New York-based HRW executive director Kenneth Roth wrote that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. Read more

Malaysia: Crackdown on Rights Intensifies

Source: Human Rights Watch

Malaysia: Crackdown on Rights Intensifies
Activists, Political Opposition, Media Under Attack

HRWlogo(New York, January 27, 2016) – Malaysia’s human rights situation deteriorated sharply during 2015, as the government increased its campaign of harassment and repression against activists, political opposition figures, and the media, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.

Cartoonist Zunar

Cartoonist Zunar’s depiction of the ongoing use of criminal laws to suppress dissent in Malaysia. © 2015 Zunar for Human Rights Watch

In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. At the same time, authoritarian governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times. Read more