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Political Legal Perspective: Evaluating Human Rights in Malaysia

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This study examines and analyses human rights issues in Malaysia. Its approach is primarily an eclectic, by concentrating on the strengths and weaknesses of the human rights regime as practiced by Malaysia. This paper is divided into three parts. The first part looks at the six fundamentals of human rights that include: Respect for the integrity of the person; respect for civil liberties; and respect for political rights, more specifically, the rights of citizens in Malaysia to change their government. The second part looks at the Malaysian government’s attitude regarding international and non-governmental investigation of alleged violations of human rights, such as discrimination based on religion, race, gender, disability, language or social status. The last part looks at worker’s rights. The data for this analysis comes from primary and secondary sources, namely newspapers, the Internet, books, magazines and journals. The study found that the records of human rights in Malaysia is relatively good when compared to some of her ASEAN neighbours. For instance, Malaysian experience demonstrates that parliamentary democracy has been well-maintained in that elections have been held regularly ever since independence in 1957. Indeed, Malaysia enjoys one of the fastest-growing economies and is one of the ‘Asian small tigers.’ It may have occasional political and religious arrests of some opposition leaders, but physical force is not exerted against opponents, in contrast to what Ferdinand E. Marcos did and what Gloria M. Arroyo has been doing in the Philippines at the time of this writing. Furthermore, there is nothing that resembles the violence that frequently erupts in the Philippines, Thailand and the continuing oppression in Myanmar committed by the military government against its people.

Affiliations: 1: Universiti Utara Malaysia


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