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Complaints Commission Needs Real Investigatory, Disciplinary Powers

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s proposed police complaints commission would have no powers to punish rights-abusing police, Human Rights Watch said today. A bill to create an “Independent Police Conduct Commission” (IPCC) was submitted to…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
News
  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
News

Broad Consultations Needed Before Law Is Finalized

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s proposed police complaints commission is an important step toward accountability for abuses by police, Human Rights Watch said today. A bill creating an Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission…
Riot police members stand guard at the Seafield temple on November 27, 2018 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. The priest says there are criminal elements involved in the attack on the temple yesterday. Temple chief priest Jeyakumar Subramaniam said he s
News

Government’s Latest Backtracking on Human Rights Reform

(New York) – Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) barely a month after joining makes a mockery of the government’s commitment to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 5, 2019, Prime Minister …
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, passes the opening speech to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah during the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.
News

Repeal Draconian Sedition Act

(New York) – The Malaysian authorities should halt the investigation targeting organizers of the Women’s March in Kuala Lumpur on March 9, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The march’s organizers are being investigated for possible violations of…
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, passes the opening speech to King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah during the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.
News

New Government Faces Challenges in Carrying Out Reforms

(New York) – Malaysia’s human rights situation improved significantly in 2018 after the election of a new government that ran on a manifesto promising make the country’s rights record “respected by the world,” Human Rights Watch said today in…
Attendees hold up smartphones and wave Malaysian national flags and People's Justice Party flags at a Pakatan Harapan alliance event in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
News

Ban Marriage for Anyone under 18

When the news broke last week that a 41-year-old man from Kelantan had married an 11-year-old girl, alarm bells went off in Malaysia’s newly elected government as well as among nongovernmental groups. The Kelantan state police started …
Jina, a 22-year-old transgender woman, sports a tattoo of a butterfly—a transgender symbol signifying transformation.
News

Men Try to Avoid Rape Charges Through Forced Child Marriage

Survivors of rape often say they are left with devastating, sometimes lifelong, trauma. One woman who was sexually assaulted in Iraq described her feelings this way: “I have no past and no future at the moment. I am stuck in my anger and…
A woman walks past birdcages after she crossed the border from Malaysia into Thailand in Sungai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province March 8, 2013.
Report
Summary Malaysia’s use of criminal laws to arrest, question, and prosecute individuals for peaceful speech and assembly has deepened in the year since Human Rights Watch published Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalization of…
News
This month, Malaysia’s lower house amended the country’s Child Act 2001 without banning all marriage by girls and boys under the age of 18, as called for by several members of parliament and rights groups. Absent from the debate was any…
Malaysia
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Thousands of advocates for the reproductive rights and health of women and girls are gathering in Malaysia this week for the international "Women Deliver" Conference. But not every activist who might wish to attend the global summit in Kuala Lumpur will…
News

Further Labor Reforms Needed to Stop Abuses, Meet Global Standards

(New York) – The decision by Singapore’s Manpower Ministry to grant foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day is an important reform but falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The changes, announced on March 5, 2012, go…
News
At least nine Cambodian women died last year while performing domestic work in Malaysia. And the grim reality is that, without strong action by the Cambodian and Malaysian governments to rein in exploitative recruitment and employment practices, more…
News

Extend Labor Protections to Migrant Women and Girls at Home, Abroad

(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian and Malaysian governments’ failure to regulate recruiters and employers leaves Cambodian migrant domestic workers exposed to a wide range of abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. Tens of thousands of…
Report
Summary A broker said that the company is looking for women to work in Malaysia. When I asked if there is anyone who will help my daughter if she is in…
News

Ban on Cambodians Working in Malaysia Only Temporary Fix

(New York) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s proposed ban on sending domestic workers to Malaysia should be accompanied by a major overhaul in protections for these workers, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 14, 2011, Hun Sen promised an…
News

Weak Protections as Global Body Finalizes Comprehensive Standards

(Geneva) - A revised agreement between Malaysia and Indonesia provides some benefits for migrant domestic workers but fails to provide some needed safeguards linked to low wages and high recruitment fees, Human Rights Watch said today. A series of high-…
News

Ensure Minimum Pay in Labor Pact, Monitor Recruitment Fees

(New York) - Indonesian and Malaysian ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur today should ensure that pending revisions to a labor pact include a minimum wage and stronger oversight of recruitment fees, Human Rights Watch said. The two governments have…
Report
Slow Reform Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East Summary Key Recommendations to Governments of Labor-Receiving Countries To Labor Ministries and Parliaments To …