Freedom of expression in Malaysia continues to deteriorate, with human rights defenders, journalists and protestors targeted with criminal sanctions for exercising their rights. The government has yet to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and many of the country’s laws fall short of international standards on free expression. Laws such as the Penal Code and Sedition Act, as well as increasingly the Communications and Multimedia Act, are used against human rights defenders and media organisations for comments online and offline which are critical of the government and address corruption.

ARTICLE 19’s work in Malaysia includes advocating for the reform of laws which restrict free expression, working to improve religious tolerance and combat hate speech, and documenting violations of freedom of expression in Malaysia.  We work to address three inter-related issues: the use of hate speech and discriminatory language on social media targeting religious and ethnic minorities; moves by the government to limit on- and off-line speech through criminal defamation and other legal action; and the capacity deficit of government institutions mandated to protect freedom of expression.

15.01.2020 1 min read

Malaysia: ARTICLE 19 welcomes withdraw of criminal defamation charges against journalist

Click here to go to article
20.11.2019 4 min read

Malaysia: Harassment of activists and critics continues under Pakatan Harapan government

Click here to go to article
12.11.2019 1 min read

Malaysia: Reform discriminatory laws, promote tolerance

Click here to go to article
13.09.2019 2 min read

Malaysia: Arrests for alleged insults to race and religion demonstrate need for legal reform

Click here to go to article
27.08.2019 9 min read

Malaysia: Efforts to combat ‘hate speech’ should not trample freedom of expression

Click here to go to article
19.08.2019 4 min read

Malaysia: Reverse call for public reporting of ‘inappropriate’ online content

Click here to go to article
09.08.2019 1 min read

Malaysia: Submission to MCMC ahead of WRC-19

Click here to go to article
09.07.2019 2 min read

Malaysia: Court extends sentence for criticism of royalty

Click here to go to article
06.05.2019 5 min read

Malaysia: A year after elections, fundamental freedoms still restricted

Click here to go to article