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PETALING JAYA (Jan 15, 2007): It has been three years since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came into office but there has been no institutional reform to strengthen human rights protection in Malaysia, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
It said his promise of good governance and human rights improvement had raised hopes of making a break with the poor human rights record of his predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"While there has been a reduction of pressure on human rights groups and lawyers, there has been virtually no institutional reform," the international body said in its World Report 2007 released on Friday.
"The Abdullah administration has failed to dismantle the legal framework that allows security officials to detain persons indefinitely without charge or trial.
"Abuses against refugees and migrants continue to be reported and public discussions on interfaith issues and religious freedom are restricted."
HRW also noted the government's inaction in implementing the recommendations by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Royal Malaysia Police.
However, it observed that since Sept 11, 2001, international criticism of
This was judging from its position in chairing Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Conference, and facilitating negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Fund. more