Torture in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                              


Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. After coming to office in 2003, former Prime Minister Abdullah tried to move the economy farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology industries, medical technology, and pharmaceuticals. The Government of Malaysia is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand to wean the economy off of its dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics - remain a significant driver of the economy.

Description: Description: Description: Malaysia

Real GDP growth averaged about 6% per year under Abdullah, but regions outside of Kuala Lumpur and the manufacturing hub Penang did not fare as well.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Malaysia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Probe 'fatal torture' in Juru camp claim, authorities told

Malaysiakini, 17 August 2016

[accessed 17 August 2016]

The Malaysian authorities must immediately investigate claims that detainees were tortured to death at the Juru immigration detention centre, Amnesty International Malaysia said.

This is after a detainee who was detained there told The Cambodia Daily they saw other detainees beaten to death in the camp in Penang.

"These are serious allegations and the authorities must commence investigations urgently, especially when this is not the first time allegations of torture and deaths in detention have been made,” AI Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015 or download PDF at

[accessed 18 March 2015]


POLICE ABUSE AND IMPUNITY - New cases of police torture of suspects in custody, in some cases resulting in their deaths, and excessive use of force in apprehending suspects continued to be reported in 2014. At least 10 suspicious deaths in police custody were recorded in the first nine months of the year.

Human Rights Watch’s report No Answers, No Apology: Police Abuses and Accountability in Malaysia released in March found a pattern of police impunity and a lack of effective external oversight. Rather than following up on the findings, police officials dismissed them and would not consider the report’s substantive recommendations for improving rights performance and accountability.

Court upholds torture victim's award

M. Mageswari, The Star, Putrajaya, 30 April 2014

[accessed 1 May 2014]

The Government and police have been ordered to pay more than RM300,000 to a lorry driver who was tortured during interrogation.

Prabakar had claimed that he was beaten up and splashed with hot water by seven policemen after his arrest in Sri Hartamas in December 2008.

In the suit, Prabakar claimed that he was arrested by police at a car park in Sri Hartamas at 9.30pm on Dec 23, 2008, and was interrogated by seven policemen at the Brickfields district police station from 10pm that day until the next morning.

POLICE TORTURE & COVER-UP: 52 injury marks found on Dharmendran's body

Malaysia Chronicle, 1 June 2013

[accessed 1 June 2013]

[accessed 28 August 2016]

The full post-mortem report of N Dharmendran, who was beaten to death while in police custody, painted a horrific picture of brutality and torture in Malaysian cells.

"Dharmendran's body was found, handed over to the hospital with bleeding from staples embedded in both ears. He was beaten around the abdomen area, navel, hip bone, loins and lower areas, kidneys, under the armpits, on his feet, bottom of his soles, every inch of his body. The entire chest area was blackened from the beatings and there were severe bruises on his shoulders that indicated he was or on the floor and the beating came from above."

"The bruises were  quite big, these are not small spots, and inconsistent with what we saw on the body - huge patches of bruises, so the beatings would have to be quite heavy for the bruises to be so large."

Surendran also pointed to bruises around the wrists that indicated Dharmendran had been handcuffed and unable to defend himself.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 29 Jan 2014]

ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS - The government repealed the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allowed for indefinite detention without charge or trial, and replaced it with the new Security Offences (Special Measures) Act in July. Under it, the police were allowed to detain suspects incommunicado for 48 hours, and for up to 28 days without charge or judicial review.

As of November, at least 14 detainees, all foreign nationals, were held under the ISA until their detention orders expired, despite repeal of this law.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 5 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – No law specifically prohibits torture; however, laws that prohibit "committing grievous hurt" encompass torture. Unlike in 2004, there were no reports of torture by police. According to the government, every report of abuse of prisoners is investigated; however, the government routinely did not release information on the results of internal police investigations, and whether those responsible for abuses were punished was not always known.

In January 2004, 31 persons released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) claimed that police subjected them to physical and mental abuse during the initial 60 days of their incarceration.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 4   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 5 February 2013]

There is no constitutional provision specifically banning torture, and police have been known to torture prisoners and use excessive force or inhumane tactics in conducting searches. Police reform has been inhibited by resistance at the highest levels of the police force and, according to many, by the attorney general. In August 2007, a former chief of police and member of the 2005 commission on police reform, Hanif Omar, published a scathing statement on police practices and the government’s failure to resolve the problems as crime soared.

Backsliding on Rights

Human Rights Watch, Bangkok, 1 February 2013

[accessed 5 February 2013]

Malaysian police appear to routinely violate the rights of persons in custody, Human Rights Watch said. Police personnel have employed unnecessary or excessive force during demonstrations, while carrying out arrests, and in police lockups. Deaths in custody, routinely attributed to disease, go uninvestigated, suspects are beaten to coerce confessions, and criminal suspects die in suspicious circumstances during apprehension by police. Alleged police abuses go uninvestigated.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Malaysia",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Malaysia]  [other countries]