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Human Rights Watch concern over Malaysia’s “rising tide of intolerance”

South East Asia

Human Rights Watch concern over Malaysia’s “rising tide of intolerance”

Government officials in Malaysia are contributing to a “rising tide of religious” intolerance in the country, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

The report highlights how officials have silenced activists raising awareness of the enforced disappearances of Christian leaders.

Three members of a citizen action group were investigated last year for “intent to cause fear and alarm to the public”, after they pressured officials following the disappearances of several Christians.

The most high profile was that of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was kidnapped from his car in a sophisticated operation in February 2017.

Police subsequently charged a man and shut down an official inquiry into Pastor Koh’s disappearance, although recent reports in Malaysian press have questioned the apparent breakthrough in the case, which came days before three police witnesses were due to be called to testify at the inquiry.

Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, stated “Malaysian government officials should speak out against the rising tide of religious intolerance rather than contribute to it.”