Human Rights: Countries: Malaysia
Malaysia is a self-declared Islamic Republic, with Islam as the official state religion, despite significant Hindu (6.3%), Christian (9.1%), and Buddhist (19.2%) populations. Ethnic and religious minorities were subjected to inequitable constitutional provisions, such as the Bumiputra (sons of the soil) policies, which favor the Muslim Malay majority. The government’s policies in 2013 represented a significant step back for human rights and ethno-religious harmony. Non-Muslims faced ongoing government restrictions on their religious freedom, including being forced to adjudicate family disputes with Muslims in Sharia courts.