New cabinet must uphold human rights, implement reforms

Responding to the announcement of the new cabinet of Malaysia by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Preethi Bhardwaj, Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia said:

“Amnesty International Malaysia calls on the new cabinet to implement vital reforms, including the abolition of the death penalty, the repeal of draconian laws such as the Sedition Act and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA), and the set up of the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). We also urge the new administration to ratify key human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We remain concerned by the recent investigations of activists by the police in response to peaceful demonstrations. To show that the new government is serious about protecting human rights, these investigations should be ended immediately, and the rights to freedom of expression and assembly respected.

Amnesty International Malaysia stands ready to work with the government, to ensure much needed human rights reform in the country.”


On 9 March, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin appointed a new cabinet. The Perikatan Nasional coalition came into power after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

After Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, peaceful protests were held objecting to his appointment. Human rights defenders and activists were subsequently called in for questioning by the police authorities.