• Malaysia’s May 5, 2013 general election resulted in historic losses for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which retained control of parliament despite a significant popular vote loss. Deterioration in human rights and an abrupt end to Prime Minister Najib’s oft-touted reform agenda followed. Relevant developments included passage of new and revised laws permitting administrative detention without trial, arrests of opposition activists for organizing peaceful protests, and attempts to shut down human rights NGOs. The government relied on sedition charges to silence and punish those who questioned government policies, and tightened its control over television, radio, printed newspapers, magazines, books, films and video. During 2013, at least 12 persons died in suspicious circumstances in police custody, and discrimination against the LGBT community, reinforced by government policy, remained a persistent problem.


  • Transgender people face discrimination and abuse from state officials and agents, including from public sector health workers, teachers, and local government administrators.

    A Malaysian appeals court ruling that a ban on cross-dressing was unconstitutional is an important victory for the rights of transgender people in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. 

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