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Malaysia: Federal Court Holds that Illegitimate Muslim Child Cannot Use Father’s Last Name

(Mar. 6, 2020) On February 13, 2020, Malaysia’s Star news media outlet reported that the Federal Court of Malaysia (Malaysia’s highest court) had held, by a 4-3 majority, that the National Registration Department (NRD) cannot register the father’s last name for a Muslim child who was born or conceived out of wedlock. It also held, however, […]

Malaysia: Bill Reducing Voting Age to 18 Passed

(July 18, 2019) On July 16, 2019, the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia, passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, which reduces the voting age in national and state elections from the current 21 years to 18 years. The Bill received 211 votes—the number of members present for the vote—surpassing the two-thirds […]

Malaysia: Ban on Smoking in All Eateries Comes into Effect

(Jan. 17, 2019) On January 1, 2019, a ban on smoking at all restaurants and other eateries, including open-air hawker stalls, came into effect in Malaysia. (Ban on Smoking in Malaysian Eateries Takes Effect, STRAITS TIMES (Jan. 2, 2019).) According to the Control of Tobacco Products (Amendment) Regulations 2018, which were issued in December 2018, […]

Malaysia: Anti-Fake News Act Comes into Force

(Apr. 19, 2018) The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was published in the Federal Gazette of Malaysia on April 11, 2018, coming into effect that day. (Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (Act 803), Federal Gazette website.) The Act was passed by the Malaysian Parliament on April 4 and received Royal Assent on April 9. The Act defines […]

Malaysia: National Human Rights Action Plan Launched

(Apr. 16, 2018) On March 1, 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, officially launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). (Press Release, Office of the Prime Minister, Action Plan Malaysia’s Commitment on Human Rights – PM (Mar. 1, 2018).) The development of the NHRAP was approved by the Cabinet in 2012 and was subsequently […]

New Zealand: Agreements with Five Countries Exclude Compulsory Investor-State Dispute Settlement Processes

(Mar. 26, 2018) On March 9, 2018, the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, announced that the government has signed “side letters” with five other countries that are also party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, also referred to as TPP11) that exclude compulsory investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) […]

Malaysia: Federal Court Rules that State Sharia Court Has Jurisdiction Over Apostasy Cases

(Mar. 6, 2018) On February 27, 2018, it was reported that the Malaysian Federal Court (the highest court in Malaysia) had dismissed an appeal by four people from the state of Sarawak who wished to have their apostasy cases considered in a civil court. (Sharon Ling, Federal Court Rules Jurisdiction to Hear Apostasy Cases Lies […]

Malaysia: Border Security Agency Act Comes into Force

(Jan. 11, 2018) On December 29, 2017, the Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 came into force. (Malaysian Border Security Agency Act 2017 (Act 799) (AKSEM Act), e-Federal Gazette website; Hashini Kavishtri Kannan, All-New AKSEM Act Comes into Force Today, NEW STRAITS TIMES (Dec. 29, 2017).) The Act, which was passed by the Parliament in August 2017, establishes […]

Indonesia/Philippines/Malaysia: Agreement on Patrolling Shared Maritime Border

(June 30, 2017) In June 2017, it was announced that authorities from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia had formally launched an arrangement whereby naval military personnel from these countries will coordinate efforts in order to give chase to Islamic militants who navigate the seas of these nations. (Genalyn Kabiling, PH, Indonesia, Malaysia Open Borders in […]