New 204 pp.
SUARAM’s 2013 Human Rights Report on Malaysia looks at the 13th General Election which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) getting only 47 per cent of the total popular vote while the opposition Pakatan Rakyat got 52 per cent. The year also saw the perpetuation of racial and religious intolerance as a result of heightened politicisation of race and religion by the BN Government after its loss in the 13th general election.
In 2013, there were more arrests and detentions under the Sedition Act 1948 and Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, while amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) 1959 brought back detention without trial. The year was marked also by Malaysia’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council. Abuse of power by the police remained unchecked while the government continued to drag its feed in setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) that had been recommended by the Royal Police Commission in 2005, SUARAM recorded 12 cases of deaths in police custody while a total of 124 people were shot dead by the police from 2009 to August 2013.
Press freedom continued to decline in world rankings with Malaysia placed at an all-time low position of 145 out of 179 countries, the country’s worst showing since 2002. At least 26 people were charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 during the post-election rallies and 33 others were charged under Section 143, while 17 people were charged under section 147 of the Penal Code for unlawful assembly and rioting. Refugees and asylum seekers continued to be arrested, detained, imprisoned, whipped, and deported by law enforcement authorities with governmental sanction.