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Malaysia: Taskforce to Examine Potentially Divisive Internet Postings

(Sept. 9, 2010) On September 3, 2010, it was reported that the Malaysian government had established a taskforce to examine Internet postings that may be harmful to national unity. (Ng Cheng Yee, Task Force to Look Out for Sensitive Matter on Internet, THE STAR ONLINE (Sept. 3, 2010), The police, Internet regulators, the Information […]

Malaysia: Controversial Caning Sentence Commuted

(Apr. 16, 2010) It was reported on April 1, 2010, that the caning sentence of part-time model and mother of two Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, which had been delayed since August 2008, has now been commuted, despite Kartika's wish to undergo the punishment. The sentence had been six strokes of the rattan cane and a […]

Malaysia: First Comprehensive Data Protection Bill Passed by House

(Apr. 16, 2010) Malaysia's House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) passed a bill on April 5, 2010, that would for the first time codify a comprehensive data protection framework for Malaysian enterprises. The bill will now proceed to the Senate (Dewan Negara) for further deliberation. (Donald G. Aplin & Newley Purnell, Malaysia Data Protection Framework Bill […]

Malaysia: Court Rules Catholic Magazine Can Use the Word “Allah”

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 31, 2009, the High Court of Malaysia ruled that a Christian publication has a constitutional right to use the word “Allah” to refer to God. (Catholic Magazine Herald Can Use Word “Allah,” BERNAMA (Malaysia), Dec. 31, 2009, available at The case was filed in February 2009 by the Herald, […]

Malaysia: Goods and Services Tax to Be Implemented in 2011

(Dec. 24, 2009) The Goods and Services Tax Bill 2009 was tabled in the Malaysian Parliament on December 16, 2009. The Second Finance Minister, Ahmad Husni, stated that the government expects a goods and services tax (GST) at a rate of 4% to be implemented by mid-2011. (Goods and Services Tax Bill Tabled in Dewan […]

Malaysia; New Zealand: Free Trade Deal Signed

(Nov. 6, 2009) The Trade Ministers of New Zealand and Malaysia signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Kuala Lumpur on October 26, 2009, following ten rounds of negotiations held over a four-year period. The FTA builds on commitments made by the two countries under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) that was signed […]

Malaysia: Measures Adopted Restricting Freedom of the Press

(Mar. 30, 2009) It was reported on March 23, 2009, that the Malaysian government has banned the publication of two major opposition newspapers, HARAKAH and SUARA KEADILAN, one week ahead of the appointment of a “new and controversial prime minister, Najib Razak, and two weeks before important by-elections.” (Malaysian Opposition Media Banned, BBC NEWS, Mar. […]

Malaysia: Foreigners Banned from Getting Cheap Gas

(June 2, 2008) Malaysian Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad announced on May 26, 2008, that operators of foreign-registered vehicles will be forbidden to buy any gasoline in border areas of Malaysia. Subsidies have kept prices for both gasoline and diesel fuel substantially lower in Malaysia than in neighboring Singapore and Thailand, […]

Malaysia; Singapore: Court Rules in Maritime Dispute

(June 2, 2008) In a May 23, 2008, ruling of the International Court of Justice, Singapore has been accorded sovereignty over an island in the Straits of Singapore. The island, often called Pedra Branca but known in Malaysia as Pulau Batu Puteh, has a lighthouse and was the subject of a dispute between Singapore and […]

Malaysia: Woman May Return to Buddhism

(June 2, 2008) News media agencies have reported that the Sharia court of the Malaysian State of Penang has ruled that a Malaysian woman who converted to Islam may return to being Buddhist. The court ruled that Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah may return to Buddhism following the cessation of her marriage to a Muslim man […]