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Malaysia: Court Decision on Use of Word “Allah” by Non-Muslims

(Oct. 25, 2013) It was reported on October 22, 2013, that the Court of Appeals in Putrajaya, Malaysia, has upheld a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslim groups to refer to God. The Court had considered the issue in response to the use of Allah in The Herald, a Catholic […]

Malaysia: Kedah State Considering Anti-Shia Law

(Aug. 27, 2013) On August 25, 2013, during a speech at the opening of Malaysia’s Kedah State Assembly, the Sultan of Kedah endorsed a draft legislation to ban versions of Islam other than Sunnism. In effect, this is a move against Shia Islam, the second major branch of the religion. (Ili Shazwani, Anti-Shia Bill Gets […]

Malaysia: Court Awards Settlement to Detainees

(Oct. 10, 2012) On October 2, 2012, a High Court of Malaysia awarded damages to three opposition politicians and two activists who had been detained in that country for almost two years. High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled that they had been detained illegally and awarded them more than RM4.06 million (over US$1.3 million) […]

Malaysia: Sedition Law to Be Repealed

(July 19, 2012) On July 12, 2012, Malaysia's government announced that it will repeal a law that has been on the books since the colonial era and been used to repress political dissent. (Kevin Drew, Malaysia Vows to Repeal Controversial Sedition Law, THE JAKARTA GLOBE (July 13, 2012).) The Sedition Act (Act 15, 1948, LAWS […]

Indonesia; Malaysia: Protests over Deaths of Migrant Workers

(May 2, 2012) On April 26, 2012, several Indonesian officials made a formal protest to Malaysia over the shooting deaths of three Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia in late March. This followed a request by Muhaimin Iskandar, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, who asked Indonesia's foreign minister to pursue the matter through diplomatic channels. […]

Malaysia: New Security Law Being Considered

(Apr. 17, 2012) On April 10, 2012, a bill for a new law on national security was introduced in the Malaysian Parliament. It will be debated in the lower house of the Parliament during the week of April 16; if it is approved there, it will go to the upper house and then to the […]

Malaysia; Saudi Arabia: Journalist Deported to Face Blasphemy Charges

(Feb. 17, 2012) On February 9, 2012, the police in Malaysia detained a journalist from Saudi Arabia, Hamza Kashgari; on February 12 he was sent back to Saudi Arabia. Kashgari had landed at the international airport at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and the detention was pursuant to a request made through Interpol by the Saudi […]

Malaysia: Bill on Peaceful Assembly Criticized

(Dec. 9, 2011) Malaysia's parliament has passed a bill on peaceful assembly that has been called a threat to the basic freedom in that country. The law has been described by United Nations' experts as designed to “arbitrarily and disproportionately restrict the right to assemble peacefully.”(Malaysia: New Bill Threatens Right to Peaceful Assembly with Arbitrary […]

Malaysia: Proposed Repeal of Security Laws

(Oct. 7, 2011) On October 3, 2011, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, initiated in the Parliament a proposal to repeal the country's strict security laws, the Internal Security Act of 1960, Act 82 (ISA), and the Restricted Residence Act of 1933, Act 377 (RRA) (both as amended to Jan. 1, 2006, and both […]

Malaysia: Native Villagers Lose Land Rights Suit over Bakun Dam Construction

(Sept. 12, 2011) On September 8, 2011, Malaysia's Federal Court, the highest judicial authority in the country, delivered a unanimous ruling against members of an indigenous tribe who had challenged Sarawak State's seizure of land to build the massive Bakun Dam. The three-judge panel dismissed the villagers' appeal. The tribe members had argued that the […]