Amnesty International says Anwar administration failed to keep his promise of reforms; global report shows Malaysia lacking in seven areas

“We don’t have time to wait, and urgent action is needed. The solutions are there but the political will is not”

(MMO) – In its 2024 The State of the World’s Human Rights report published today, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said that Putrajaya has failed to act on the commitments made during the 2022 general election to enhance freedom of expression.

As democracy regressed to the levels of 1985 globally, the report shed light on six other areas where Malaysia fell short in 2023 — freedom of assembly, refugee and migrant rights, the death penalty, torture and ill-treatment, indigenous peoples’ rights and the right to a healthy environment.

“In 2023, the government failed to fulfil its own commitments to reform laws, restricting the right to freedom expression,” said Amnesty International Malaysia executive Director Katrina Jorene Maliamauv at the 2024 report launch, here, yesterday.

“The government not only failed to act on pledges to repeal laws restricting the rights to freedom of expression but continued to use them to investigate filmmakers and book editors among others,” the report said, referring to indie film Mentega Terbang, which revolved around a teenager’s curiosity on faith and the afterlife, and the arrest of book editor Kean Wong under the Sedition Act 1948 for the book Rebirth: Reformasi, Resistance and Hope in New Malaysia.

“The state also failed to act effectively and swiftly on death threats and intimidation levied against the filmmakers.

“It is the onus on this government to fulfil their obligations to protect all our rights without prejudice discrimination,” Katrina said, yesterday.

The government also allegedly silenced critical voices online and offline through the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, the Sedition Act 1948, and through provisions of the Penal Code relating to causing disunity or hatred on grounds of religion and public fear or distress.

Read more here