Malaysia was given a “partly free” rating in human rights report, Freedom in the World 2015, along with a downward trend due to the government’s frequent use of the Sedition Act last year.
Posted on 16 February 2015 – 09:35pm
Last updated on 17 February 2015 – 01:39am
Lee Choon Fai
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia was given a “partly free” rating in human rights report, Freedom in the World 2015, along with a downward trend due to the government’s frequent use of the Sedition Act last year.
The report by international rights group Freedom House involving 195 countries also noted uses of defamation law to silence critics and also the harassment that Shi’ite Muslims are subjected to.
“Malaysia received a downward trend arrow due to the government’s use of the Sedition Act to intimidate political opponents, an increase in arrests and harassment of Shi’ite Muslims and transgender Malaysians, and more extensive use of defamation laws to silence independent or critical voices,” the report said.
From a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being most free and 7 being the worst, Malaysia received a score of 4 or “partly free” for both political rights and civil liberties with declining rights noted with a downward trend arrow.
Singapore also received a score of 4 for both political rights and civil liberties, while Thailand saw a significant decline and received a score of 6 for political rights and 5 for civil liberties, and Indonesia received 2 for political rights and 4 for civil liberties.
Countries achieving a perfect score of 1 for both political rights and civil liberties included Japan, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, France and New Zealand, among others.
Countries that were awarded the worst possible score of 7 for both categories included North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Tibet.