Human Rights and Internal Security in Malaysia: Rhetoric and Reality   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Since 1957, Malaysia has faced external and internal security threats. Over time, Malaysia has succeeded in solving the external threats but internal threats remained. The internal threats have come in many forms, including ethnic conflict, religious extremism and deviationism, and terrorism. Since the safety of the public lies in the hands of the government, measures have been taken to ensure the nation's stability and security, including restriction on civil and political liberties. This thesis examines human rights in Malaysia with a special focus on civil and political rights, particularly during the government of Prime Minister Mahathir. This thesis also examines the different rationalities used by the government in order to legitimize the restriction of human rights. The rationales that have been used by the government were: the anti-communist, racial harmony, the Asian values and developmentalism, and terrorism. This thesis analyzes the reasons behind changes in the rationales and the consequences for internal security. In addition, this thesis addresses the question of the potential impact on internal security if human rights were to be improved. In the final chapter, the thesis summarizes the findings and gives an outlook of the development of human rights in Malaysia."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
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