Is the Constitution religious or secular?

Photo taken from

by Janice Ooi

Malaysians are no strangers to controversial remarks – so when the former Chief Justice,
Tun Ahmad Fairuz Ahmad Halim, asserted that laws which contradicted Islamic principles set out in the Al-Quran and Sunnah would be void, it seemed just like any other day in sunny Malaysia – after all, we’ve heard worse. But underlying the normalisation of such remarks is a more sinister notion – the inherent tension that exist in our dual legal system, and religious tensions in sunny 1Malaysia.

Continue reading “Is the Constitution religious or secular?”

Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Malaysia

Online image from:

by Emily Chen Wen Thong

Due to the wide range of attractive economic opportunities that Malaysia can offer, Malaysia has become a popular transit country for migrants in which human trafficking and modern slavery have become a problem left unresolved by the Government. The lack of awareness of the issue by the nation is mainly one of the reasons why the problem is not being curbed from its root effectively. As a result, the adverse effects that human trafficking and modern slavery can potentially cause to our country is being significantly underestimated. How many, amongst all in our country, are aware that these migrants who happen to live around us fall prey to exploitation by their employers for the purpose of commercial sexual work and forced labour every single day?

Continue reading “Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Malaysia”

The Status of Refugees in Malaysia

Photo credits: AP, taken from Al-Jazeera’s article published on the 12th of February 2014, “Malaysia’s stranded Syrian refugees”

Written by Janice Ooi

When the Malaysian government announced that they would accept 3,000 refugees from Syria in an effort to ease the refugee crisis in Europe – who will be provided with accommodation and financial assistance, one cannot help but to wonder how this is justifiable to the other refugees in Malaysia who continue to live in fear and uncertainty surrounding their illegal status. In 2015, Al-Jazeera published an article with interviews with various refugees who seem to allude to the idea that Malaysia has a “two-tier system” for refugees – choosing to warmly welcome some while shunning the others. It is hard not to agree. It is odd that the Syrian refugees who are part of the Malaysian pledge would obtain such rights, yet the Syrian refugees who, unfortunately, did not form part of the pledge were left to fend for themselves. It is even odder to think that the refugees from other countries are not even in the picture. Perhaps Alice Nah, a lecturer in the Centre for applied Human Rights at University of York is right when she said that these decisions are “partly political… partly related to concerns about irregular movement”.

Continue reading “The Status of Refugees in Malaysia”

Film censorship in Malaysia – from Beauty and the Beast to Lena Hendry (part 1)

Written by Cia Yee Goh

Many hearts were broken when it was announced that the release of Beauty and the Beast in Malaysia had been postponed indefinitely pending internal review by Walt Disney Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.[1]

While Film Censorship Board (LPF) chairperson, Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid has clarified that the film is approved with minor edits, [2] Disney has come out to state that they would not be performing any edits on the film, choosing instead to pull the movie from Malaysia indefinitely. [3]

This is in light of some minor controversy surrounding the film with Russia having considered banning the movie although a 16+ rating was eventually decided upon.[4]

An Alabama theatre in the US has also opted not to screen the movie and the movie has also seemed to ruffle feathers within the Anglican Church.[5]

While the chairperson attempted to shift the blame by clarifying that the date of screening and where the screening takes place is not under LPF’s jurisdiction, one can’t help but look at the facts and feel that things don’t exactly add up.
Continue reading “Film censorship in Malaysia – from Beauty and the Beast to Lena Hendry (part 1)”

Blog at

Up ↑