17th UPR Session – Country Review of Malaysia

Country Review of Malaysia

Malaysian Government Statements (Opening, Closing, Country Report) [upload pdf]

Media Statement:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/Highlights24October2013pm.aspx


First Cycle: Date of consideration: 11 February 2009 – 2.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Second Cycle: Date of consideration: 24 October 2013 – 2:30 p.m.  – 6:00 p.m.

Draft Working Group Report: First Cycle [upload pdf], Second Cycle [upload pdf]


Statements on Freedom of Religion or Belief by the Delegation of Malaysia: 

66. The delegation further discussed the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion in Malaysia which is subjected to the constitutional restrictions pertaining to the propagation of other religion or belief on Muslims and the preservation of public order and national security. Malaysia explained on the recent Court of Appeal decision dated 14 October 2013 on the case concerning the Herald – the Catholic Weekly. In gist, the Court decided clearly that the Minister’s decision to ban the use of the word “ALLAH” in the Malay version of Herald is constitutional and legal. The Court ruled that the Minister’s decision was based on legitimate grounds of public safety and public order as such action raised religious sensitivities in Malaysia. The Minister’s decision as a preventive measure to ensure public safety and public order in Malaysia is legal and also in compliance with the laws to control and restrict the propagation of religious doctrine or belief among Muslims.


73.          Malaysia emphasised that Islam and Islamic administration of justice under the Syariah has a long history in Malaysia. The status of Islam as the religion of the Federation and the freedom to practice religions other than Islam is also enshrined in the Constitution.


130.        The delegation responded to questions and comments raised in the preceding interactive dialogue by reiterating that Orang Asli rights to land, beliefs, culture and non-discrimination are clearly provided for by the Federal Constitution and the Aboriginal People’s Act 1954.


Recommendations on Freedom of Religion or Belief by other States:




Reference in Report


Take concrete steps to implement its commitment to promote and protect the rights of all people to worship in peace and security without discrimination or restriction




In accordance with national circumstances, continue to strengthen mutual respect and tolerance and different cultures among religions and maintain social plurality while maintaining improved family harmony and respect for women




Revise Malaysia’s legislative framework in order to ensure freedom of religion or belief for all




Continue its efforts to promote inter-religious dialogues and reconcile different schools of Islamic thoughts and other religions




Continue efforts and engage in a structured interfaith dialogue, including religious minorities




Take measures to ensure that all persons, including Muslims, can freely exercise their right to freedom of religion and belief, without interference by the state and including the right to change their religion



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