Malaysia government defends rights record
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia on Wednesday defended its rights record a day after Human Rights Watch accused the government of abandoning earlier promises of reform.
"Under Prime Minister Najib Razak, civil liberties have been expanded and outdated laws repealed," a Malaysian government spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman noted that tough laws including the colonial-era Internal Security Act have been replaced, and said Najib planned to follow through on a promise to abolish the country's anti-sedition law.
The 57-year-old government dominated by the United Malays National Organisation had been accused for decades of using those and other laws to silence dissent.