Demand Release Of Malaysian Opposition Leaders


Target: Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak

Goal: Throw out politically motivated convictions against political opposition members

The government of Malaysia must immediately and unconditionally throw out the conviction of opposition leader, Karpal Singh. Mr. Singh faces up to three years in prison for a conviction on the charge of sedition. Human rights groups largely believe that the conviction is politically motivated. Mr. Singh is the chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and serves as legal counsel to Anwar Ibrahim, another member of DAP that was convicted on politically motivated sodomy charges. These charges brought by the government against these men are merely ways of removing them from the political scene. The Malaysian government must do what is right for its people and these men by releasing them.

Karpal Singh is currently a member of parliament and will face expulsion if he is sentenced to more than a year in prison or fined more than $600. He faces a maximum fine of $1,500. These rules will allow for the ruling government to dismiss any members of parliament that they wish to, as long as they can drum up suitable charges. The sedition law that Mr. Singh is accused of violating relates to a news conference he gave at his office, in which he challenged the actions of the Sultan of Perak during a recent political crisis in the Perak state. This type of speech is protected under international human rights law, as is reflected in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, to which Malaysia is a party.

The politically motivated prosecution of Karpal Singh is a move by the government to consolidate power after an election cycle that saw a decrease in power for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s party. Committing these human rights violations will do nothing for the government in Malaysia besides cause more civil unrest. Sign this petition to demand the protection of freedom of speech and other human rights currently being trampled in Malaysia.


Dear Prime Minister Najib Razak,

The recent conviction of Karpal Singh on sedition charges should immediately and unconditionally be thrown out. It is obvious to international human rights observers that the charges brought against Mr. Singh are politically motivated – a way for your government to consolidate power after a disappointing election cycle.

I ask that you do more to improve the human rights record in your country. A simple way to do this would be to release Mr. Singh and his political compatriot, Anwar Ibrahim. Doing so will show the international community that your government is not afraid to enforce human rights regulations that your government has been a party to for years. Ignoring this fact will surely lead to international condemnation and economic, political and social unrest at home.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Earth via Wikimedia Commons

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