PETALING JAYA: Custodial deaths, discrimination and corruption in the country are among the issues highlighted in the 2021 Human Rights Report published by the US Embassy in Malaysia.
The custodial death cases of security guard S. Sivabalan in Gombak, lorry driver Umar Farouq Abdullah in Klang and A. Ganapathy in Selayang were among those highlighted.
The report also cited overcrowding in prisons and immigration detention centres, particularly in facilities near major cities, as a serious ongoing problem.
Issues of discrimination against sexual and gender minorities included the case of cosmetics entrepreneur and social media influencer Nur Sajat, who fled to Australia following allegations of insulting Islamic teachings.
Other issues pertaining to the transgender community included forced state-run treatment or rehabilitation programmes to “cure” them, the report added.
Matters of corruption in the report included the trials of politicians such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Lim Guan Eng and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
The report also touched upon curtailing freedom of assembly, citing the arrest of seven activists from Sekratariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR) in relation to a planned street protest.
Also in the report was the arrest of 31 SSR activists for participating in a candlelight vigil to commemorate Covid-19 victims, and the barricading of the main route to Parliament after a special meeting on Covid-19 concerns was suspended.
The report also cited the increasing number of rape and domestic violence cases as highlighted by the Women’s Aid Organisation.