Asia Centre Launches Report on Internet Freedom in Malaysia

Regulating Online Discourse on Race, Religion and Royalty

Published: January 2023

The Asia Centre, in partnership with ICNL, released its Report on Internet Freedom in Malaysia, which aims to provide a baseline study on the state of internet freedoms, and how socio-political developments related to race, religion, and royalty have impacted the freedom of expression of its citizens.

When Malaysian independence was established in 1957, the rights of displaced people were enshrined in the Federal Constitution and became known as the 3Rs – Race, Religion, and Royalty. Discussion of the 3Rs has been strictly regulated over the years, but with the introduction of the internet, new laws meant to monitor discussion on the topic have impacted freedom of speech in the country.

This report makes recommendations that aim to ensure internet freedoms and freedom of expression in Malaysia. More importantly, the recommendations seek to create an environment where people can safely discuss issues related to race, religion, and royalty without fear and self-censorship.

The report was published online in January, and the Asia Centre hosted a virtual event discussing the report on March 3, 2023. You can read more about the virtual event here and can download the full report here (via Asia Centre).