Improve the Human Rights Situation in Malaysia

By June 8, 2018Uncategorized

The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO) urges the Malaysian Government to take principled measures to improve the standards of human rights in the country. This is essential to reflect Malaysia as a willing and vested supporter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

In today’s launch of COMANGO’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Stakeholder Report, the Coalition reminded the Government of commitments made in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto. In the recent 14th General Elections, the ‘Buku Harapan’ promised to uphold human rights in Malaysia by strengthening human rights institutions and actors, and improving mechanisms and tools.

COMANGO’s UPR Stakeholder Report shows how the standards of human rights in Malaysia has regressed over the years. This was punctuated by the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) which was launched by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in March 2018, which undermines efforts to protect the rights of Orang Asli, as well as women and girls in Malaysia.

Malaysia has also yet to take necessary steps to to fully recognise the nine core human rights treaties and their optional protocols, as well as the Rome Statute of the International criminal Court. The lack of recognition for these frameworks by our previous government has resulted in poor and regressive protection of the rights of the most vulnerable communities in Malaysia.

Selective cooperation with international Special Procedures as expressed by UN Special Rapporteurs based in Malaysia in their reports has also reflected deteriorating rights of women and girls, indigenous communities, LGBTIQ persons, people living with HIV and AIDS and drug users, children and persons with mental disabilities, as well as trafficked women and girls.

COMANGO’s Report makes critical observations of Malaysia’s considerably weakened constitutional and legislative framework. This includes laws which are dangerously arbitrary, and laws which are too broad and vague with no clear checks and balances for the abuse of power.

COMANGO believes that our new Government is well-primed at this point to adopt honest and critical self-assessment about the human rights situation of all people in the country. The Government must pay better attention to the rights of vulnerable populations and persistent marginalisation of women and girls based on patriarchal values.

The Coalition therefore urges the Government to be transparent in its report to the UPR which is due to be submitted in June/July this year. The Government should make principled efforts to detail concrete steps towards addressing the severe deterioration of human rights in the country.

The Coalition remains keen in engagements with the Government to contribute towards the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights in the country, and the achievement of equality and non-discrimination for all people in Malaysia.


Angela Kuga Thas, Executive Director, Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), Co-Secretariat of COMANGO

Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Co-Secretariat of COMANGO


For more information kindly contact:

Rizal Rozhan at upr[at]empowermalaysia[dot]org or call 03-7784 4977




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