Right to Form Organizations Critical of the State in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore

Right to Form Organizations Critical of the State in

Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore

 

The right under comparative study is the right to form organizations critical of the state. It includes organizations whose existence is incongruent with state values and ones that are expressly critical of the state. This right is generally a nuance within what is generally known as a “right to form associations” in international law. The discussion of de jure right goes from the internationally recognized right to what is dictated constitutionally then statutorily. The discussion of the de facto right includes, to what extent are the members of permitted organizations able to express criticism of the state? The countries under study are Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In this analysis we consult reports by the Civic Freedom Monitor by the International Center for Not For Profit Law, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

The relevant right as stipulated in international law is dictated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”[1] Although the UNDHR expands upon the right to association towards trade unions[2], this will only be peripheral to this discussion because it deserves a focused discussion that goes beyond the scope of this paper.  On  a regional level, all three countries reaffirmed their commitment to the freedom of association by signing the Singapore Declaration on the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Charter in 2007 which explicitly guarantees this freedom.[3] All three countries under study guarantee the right to freedom of association within their state Constitutions.[4] However, the Constitutions also allow the legislature sweeping powers to regulate this right which unfortunately translates into severely constraining regulatory frameworks.

The Constitutions of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore guarantee an explicit right to citizens form associations. They also guarantee that the state legislature may impose restrictions on such associations. The Constitution of Indonesia describes their human rights as applying to all persons, rather than just citizens. It stipulates, “Every person shall have the right to the freedom to associate, to assemble and to express opinions.”[5][6] Both the Constitution of Malaysia [7] and Singapore stipulates “all citizens have the right to form associations.”[8]

First and foremost, the types of associations allowed differ between the three countries. There are four types of non governmental organizations as defined by the International Center for Not for Profit Law: Association/Society, Foundation, Trust, and Non-Profit Company. Indonesia permits associations/societies (which they refer to as associations) foundations and in the other category they allow Societal organization and cooperatives.[9] Malaysia permits associations, trusts and non profits which they refer to as companies limited by guarantee. [10] Singapore permits associations/societies, specifically a society ( including political associations) or a Mutual Benefit Organization, as well as non profit companies (which are referred to as Company limited by guarantee) and in the other category they allow charities and Cooperative Societies. [11]

 Each Constitution emphasizes that each freedom will be regulated by law. Unfortunately, the regulatory framework which the Constitution allows further constrains the right so that observance of the right is not fully observed. The Freedom House civil liberties scorecard calculates the exact observance of the right called Associational and Organizational Rights. It considers Is there freedom of assembly? Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that are engaged in human rights– and governance-related work? Is there freedom for trade unions and similar professional or labor organizations? Indonesia consistently has the best score throughout the time period 2014-2019 averaging 8/12 (the higher the better), Malaysia’s went between 5-6/12 and Singapore remained at 4/12 throughout.  While the focus of this paper is the freedom for nongovernmental organizations, Freedom House only began to give a separate score for that element beginning 2018. For that reason we will consult the methodology used to score freedom of nongovernmental organizations by considering the following questions: Are registration and other legal requirements for nongovernmental organizations particularly onerous and intended to prevent them from functioning freely? Are laws related to the financing of nongovernmental organizations unduly complicated and cumbersome? Are donors and funders of nongovernmental organizations free of government pressure? Are members of nongovernmental organizations intimidated, arrested, imprisoned, or assaulted because of their work?[12] For the purpose of this paper we will focus on the first and last question.

The most recent score for freedom of NGOs shows Singapore has the least freedom with a score of ¼ for 2018 (the most recent statistic available)  while Indonesia was given a 2/4[13] in the 2019 report, and Malaysia received a 2/4.[14]  What is interesting is that while the de facto observance of this right differs between Singapore and Malaysia, both have very similar regulatory framework regulating the de jure right.  In fact, all three countries have stringent regulatory framework that constrains this freedom, but with different nuances that result in different observance of the right.  

In Indonesia the central legislation that governs civil society, Law No. 17 of 2013 on Societal Organizations (Organisasi Kemasyarakatan), prohibits associations from propagating an ideology that conflicts with state principles (Pancasila) and from “conducting activities that disrupt public order and well-being.”[15] The core legislation governing societies in Malaysia, Societies Act 1966, prohibits societies that are “likely to be used for unlawful purposes or any purpose prejudicial to or incompatible with peace, welfare, security, public order, good order or morality in Malaysia.” [16] The core legislation of Singapore, which has the same English translation, Societies Act, prohibits societies whose potential purpose is “unlawful[1] ” and or “prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore”[17] and or the nature of the organization is contrarian to “national interest.”[18] 

First and foremost, how does state ideology influence what is unlawful in each country? The source of unlawfulness in Indonesia has the greatest focus on religious morality. All associations are forbidden from committing blasphemy or advocating Marxism-Leninism, atheism, communism or any other anti-Pancasila ideology. Pancasila  requires the belief “in the One and Only God”, a “just and civilized humanity”, “unity of Indonesia”, “democracy” and “social justice.” [19] The concept of an unlawful society in Malaysia and Singapore is more related to being against the ideology of the state, rather than the dominant religion. For example, according to Freedom House, “the Communist Party and the Socialist Party of Malaysia were both been denied registration on the grounds that they pose a threat to national security.” [20] While Malaysia has less of focus on religious morality than Indonesia, it has a stronger focus than Singapore. While morality is not tied to Islam in the Societies Act,  in 2014 the Home Ministry of Malaysia declared the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO) unlawful for having several “non-Islamic” members.[21]  Authorities can also refuse organizations incompatible with morality if that organization would support an act that has been criminalized, like same-sex sexual acts.[22] Therefore, the power of the authorities to deny registration to any organization which is likely to “pursue unlawful purposes” is a far reaching tool. While morals are not mentioned as a basis for denial in Singapore’s Societies Act, thee Registrar of Singapore has used “national interest” as justification to refuse organizations that are contrary to the morality of the dominant religions. In 2015, the Registrar in Singapore refused any lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) organizations on the ground that “it is contrary to the public interest to grant legitimacy to the promotion of homosexual activities or viewpoints.”[23] Similarly, while a coalition of over 80 Malaysian NGOs, Negara-Ku, was declared illegal by the former Home Minister as it was not officially registered, Amnesty International argues it was an effort to silence civil society.[24]

The criteria for the Registrar to refuse to register an organization in Malaysia is ever expanding. The criteria for refusal is centered around an organization’s unlawfulness which can be defined in future legislation outside of the Societies Act. As of March 22, 2018, the Registrar in Malaysia rejected 711 societies and 308 were awaiting approval out of 2143 that applied.[25] [26] Unfortunately, there has yet to be comprehensive survey (conducted by organizations conducted for this paper that is) of all the associations that were rejected and why. It would be insightful to compare the organizations that are typically rejected by the authorities in each country to understand the ideological deviation permitted.

Who has the power to refuse organizations? In Malaysia, the Registrar of Societies within the Ministry of Home Affairs is “the regulatory department in charge of the registration, supervision and maintenance of records pertaining to societies and their branches (as well as political parties).[27] Amnesty International is deeply concerned about Malaysian authorities' sweeping powers over organizations. [28] The Minister of Home Affairs has full discretion to cancel or dissolve a society without question. [29]  The Registrar of Societies within the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singapore is responsible for administering the Societies Act.[30] In addition, the Minister of Home Affairs in Singapore has sweeping power, even to “at his discretion in writing exempt any society registered under this Act from all or any of the provisions of this Act.” [31] [32] However, in Indonesia it is unclear “which government body is responsible for registering societal organizations.”[33]  Nonetheless Amnesty International worries about the sweeping powers that state authorities in Indonesia have been granted to regulate civil society. [34]  Therefore, to very similar degrees, in all three countries the government has full discretion to register, refuse or dissolve associations but until l the Indonesian government establishes the mechanisms to enforce the new CSO law, comparison of executive powers can only occur between Malaysia and Singapore.  

 Now that we know which types of organizations are considered an ideological threat to which country, we can try to understand why the observance of the right to associate differs between them. We must breakdown the Freedom House score on association and organizational rights by tackling the first part of the criteria; are registration and other legal requirements for nongovernmental organizations particularly onerous and intended to prevent those that are potentially against the state from functioning freely? It should be noted that NGO applies civic organizations, interest groups, foundations within the methodology. We will consider groups that pose an ideological or political threat to the state or are typically marginalized groups including minors, students, political parties and LGBT groups. 

 How have associations that directly challenge the State, including political parties and separatist groups, been treated since 2014?

The constituting instrument of all three countries is a Constitution so a constitutional analysis can be made for the discussion of the dejure right. However, for a comparison of what associations (separatist groups and political parties) pose a threat to the State, we must consider the type of government. Indonesia, as a Presidential Republic, tolerates both Islamic and Secular parties. [35] It has established significant pluralism in politics since the fall of the authoritarian regime in 1998. Malaysia, a constitutional monarchy, was ruled by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its allies in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition for 60 years but always faced a vibrant opposition, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.  In Singapore, a parliamentary republic,[36]the electoral and legal framework that PAP, the ruling party, has constructed allows for some political pluralism according to Freedom House.”[37]

The State in Malaysia face more existential threats with new political parties than Indonesia and Singapore because they as a constitutional monarchy are threatened by political pluralism. Between Malaysian Independence and 2019, the government was ruled by the Barisan Nasional coalition and ousted by an opposition party that was only officially registered in 2018. In fact, this opposition party, the Pakatan Harapan[38], was seen as such a threat that the Registrar of Societies delayed their registration as a coalition.[39]  In addition, the Registrar in Malaysia continually delays or denies registration to groups critical of the government and to opposition political parties according to Human Rights Watch.[40] In November 2017 the Registrar threatened to deregister opposition party Bersatu, “claiming the name of its youth wing was illegal”.[41] Compare this to Singapore, where the Registrar approved a new political party in May 2014, Singaporeans First.[42]

 As for separatist groups, a comparison can only be made between Indonesia and Malaysia because Singapore is a small city state with no separatist threat. In Indonesia , any separatist association has become illegal since 2013 because it goes against one of the principles of Pancasila: a unitary Indonesia. When the new Societies Law was enacted in 2013 the first group that was disbanded was the radical Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir promoting the establishment of a Muslim Caliphate in Indonesia.[43] As for Malaysia, in November 2014 the Minister of Home Affairs, declared the Sarawak Association for Peoples' Aspiration (Sapa), whose mission is to petition the United Nations To Seek Self-Determination For Sarawak and Sabah,[44] an illegal organization.[45] 

Now that we have covered organizations that are not permitted to register, let’s continue the discussion onto organizations that are technically permitted but face many obstacles in functioning freely. While no study has been conducted on which organizations are typically unable to function freely due to legal and registration requirements some trends can be drawn from practices in the past five years.

In all three countries, there are associations who are prevented from functioning freely due to burdensome bureaucratic requirements. Amnesty International is concerned with Indonesian authorities’  “unnecessary and onerous requirements for civil society organizations.”[46] For Malaysia, Amnesty International is most concerned with obstacles to registration.[47] While Amnesty International did not include Singapore in its report, “Laws designed to silence: The global crackdown on civil society organizations,” the regulation over organizations against the state are still concerning. While Singapore has fewer well known examples of suppressing political parties and other organizations at odds with state ideology its regulatory system has equal power to prohibit organizations to the extent Malaysia has demonstrated recently. In addition, as will be explored later, the regulatory framework in Singapore is exhaustive enough that some civil society organizations dissolved citing that as a reason. For example, Singaporeans for Democracy, an organization promoting greater political and civil rights, dissolved in August 2012, “citing that government rules and regulations had made their activities increasingly impossible.”

Are registration and other legal requirements for nongovernmental organizations particularly onerous and intended to prevent them from functioning freely?

 Indonesia has the least onerous registration requirements because societal organizations without legal status can operate[48] while it is unlawful for societal organizations without legal status to operate in Malaysia or Singapore.  Freedom House reports that associations smaller than 10 people do not have to register with the government of Singapore [49] while Human Rights Watch reports that in Malaysia organizations with more than 7 members must register with the Registrar of societies.[50] It should be noted that the language in Malaysia’s Societies Act is a little confusing as it says that all associations in Malaysia have to be registered or are considered unlawful.[51] As for Singapore, those societies that do not register in Singapore shall be deemed an unlawful society.[52] The minimum number requirement does not pose as the largest barrier for NGOs, however.

 

How does statutory law restrict certain people including minors, students and foreigners from founding and leading civil society organizations to different degrees in the three States?

 Can minors found or lead associations/societies or the local equivalent? It is unknown whether youth can legally found their own association in Indonesia.[53] In Malaysia, while minors are allowed to be members of societies, under the Societies Act, a person under 17 years of age “shall not be a member of the committee, or a trustee, secretary, manager or treasurer of a registered society.” [54] Singapore is silent on whether minors can join or lead societies. However, minors in Singapore are not allowed to be a member a committee, or be a trustee, secretary, manager or treasurer of a mutual benefit organization. [55] It is reasonable to believe that minors are not allowed to hold key leadership positions of associations in both Malaysia and Singapore. Since it is beyond the scope of this paper to confirm this by analyzing the official makeup of the leadership of the thousands of organizations in Singapore[56] or the other two countries for that matter, to determine if a minor holds an official position we will depend on the future reports from three authoritative sources: Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and International Center for Not For Profit Law. However, there has only been one youth group that has garnered the attention of international actors for inability to get recognized as an association. That is Liga Permuda (Youth League) a rights-centric youth organization, in Malaysia who have yet to hear a confirmation of their registration since they registered in early 2018 and they will likely remain in this limbo.[57] In general there is no fixed time period for review of applications in Malaysia.[58]  While the Registrar rejected 36% of organizations in 2016[59] and 38% in 2017[60]  there are many more still waiting to hear a result. 

 Malaysian laws pose barriers for university students. Although university students are not minors, there are similar barriers for students to form associations on college campuses in Malaysia. The Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) of 1971 student associations mandates student associations obtain university approval to form lawfully.[61] Although, as of January 18, 2019 certain amendments of UUCA took effect allowing students to take part in political activity on campus. [62] In addition, as International Center for Not For Profit Law points out, under the Amendment to UUCA made in 2012 universities can forbid students from participating in any organization they consider “unsuitable to the interests and well-being of the students or the University.”[63] [64]

Are foreign associations able to legally operate in these countries? In Indonesia, foreign CSOs can only be set up as foundations, not associations or societal organizations without legal entity status. [65] Under the SA 1966, foreign CSOs cannot be registered as societies in Malaysia if they do not fulfill certain requirements.[66] Amnesty International’s Malaysia chapter has struggled to fulfill these requirements and operated as an unregistered society between 1998 and 2018 when finally it registered as as an incorporated company. [67] In Singapore  any society whose purpose is to advocate; promote; or discuss any issue relating to any civil or political right (including human rights, environmental rights and animal rights), the majority of the committee members must be Singapore citizens and the leadership must also be Singapore citizens. [68]

 Are members of nongovernmental organizations intimidated, arrested, imprisoned, or assaulted because of their work?

 While the regulatory system itself sanctions the arrest and imprisonment of members of organizations for doing their work[69] even outside of statutory law, members of nongovernmental organizations are intimidated and assaulted because of their work. Civil Society Organizations have accused the government of Indonesia for not providing adequate protection to CSO representatives in the face of threats and violence.[70] The Jakarta-based human rights CSO ‘Imparsial’  reported that between 2005 and 2009 there were “46 torture cases reported; 29 cases of defenders being arrested with no clear reason; and 25 cases of intimidation, threats and terror against university students, farmers, journalists and CSOs activists.”[71] The Freedom House reports that in 2018 authorities and influential Muslim organizations intimidated and harassed LGBT people and activists. This was the reasoning behind their declining score from 3 to 2 for the criteria Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that are engaged in human rights– and governance-related work?[72]

 In Malaysia it is moreso the authorities that intimidate NGOs, especially those focusing on corruption and elections. For example, Suaram, one of the leading human rights groups in the country who were working to expose problems of corruption, faced government harassment in 2012, including allegations of financial irregularities. [73] In 2013 where Freedom House rated Malaysia 4/12, “civil society groups and their leaders were detained and harassed for protesting the conduct and results of the 2013 election.” The Freedom House score  declined to 5/12 in 2016[74] likely because of the treatment of Bersih, an election reform movement. The government investigated Bersih 2.0, for “accepting foreign funds on the grounds that foreign intervention might destabilize democracy.”[75] In 2015, when Bersih was calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak to resign  because he was implicated in a corruption scandal[76], the government fully banned Bersih.[77] Crackdowns on Bersih activists continue to persist in 2016 where authorities raided the offices of the organizers and arrested the chairperson and secretariat manager and “seized computers, mobile phones, and other documents.” [78] On the contrary, Freedom House did not highlight any trends of activists being intimidated for their work since 2014 in Singapore.

How does the limit of the freedom of speech impact freedom of associations?

The regulations surrounding free speech further associations ability to work. In fact, activists in all three countries tend to be penalized for breaking strict laws on expression while doing their work. Therefore, a limit on freedom of speech severely constrains the freedom of association. One can imagine how activists are restricted by  Indonesia's criminal libel, slander, and "insult" laws which prohibit deliberately "insulting" public officials and intentionally publicizing statements that harm another person's reputation. [79]

 In Malaysia, the habitual action of a member of the society can be cause for cancellation. Specifically, the government can cancel a society if any member of the society does anything with seditious tendency[80], the working definition being inciting or causing people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. Article 4 of the Sedition Act of 1948 stipulates it is illegal if a person, ” does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency; (b) utters any seditious words; (c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication; or (d) imports any seditious publication,does or attempts to do or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency.” [81] In fact, that person, on a first offense of any of the previously stated actions would be liable to a fine “ not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.”  [82] This is a serious barrier for non governmental organizations with the mission of governmental reform to operate. Because members of permitted organizations are unable to express criticism of the state,the right to association does not exist de facto in Malaysia.

Singapore allows productive criticism of the Government within its Sedition Act,[83]  which is a departure from the zero tolerance language in Malaysia’s Sedition Act. This Sedition Act outlaws seditious tendencies, those that “bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government.” [84] but allows, acts, speech, words and publications that have a proactive tendency, for example, it has a view to the remedying of defects in the Government or the Constitution.[85]

Despite a restrictive regulatory framework with onerous registration and legal requirements and restricted freedom of expression civil society organizations persist in these three countries. However, the differences between the three countries in observance of the freedom of association to which they each are constitutionally committed, vary to a certain degree.

 

Conclusion

In 2018, the most recent year in which Freedom House included the reports of the three countries, Indonesia scored the highest freedom for NGOs with a ¾ [86] while Malaysia scored a 2/4 (improved from the year before) and Singapore a ¼ . Malaysia’s score improved because despite restrictions and a intense crackdown in 2015 and 2016, Bersih “ was able to operate somewhat more freely, with representatives able to make public statements and engage in other activities without incurring such serious reprisals.”[87]  As for Singapore, despite the least freedom, a number of nongovernmental organizations “engage in human rights and governance-related work, advocating policy improvements and addressing the interests of constituencies including migrant workers and women.”[88] 

The right under comparative study was the right to form organizations critical of the state, including those whose existence is incongruent with state values and ones that are expressly critical of the state. This paper highlighted the interconnectedness of freedoms, without freedom of expression associations cannot operate freely. However, it also exposes that greater freedom of expression does not ensure greater freedom of association. Even though Singapore has a slightly more lenient Sedition Act than Malaysia, allowing for constructive criticism of the government, Singapore scored the worst in freedom for NGOs since 2014. Finally,  after consulting the reports of Civic Freedom Monitor by the International Center for Not For Profit Law, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International we come to the conclusion that despite similar de jure guarantee to the freedom of association between the countries, the observance of the right varies deeply due to variations in what is considered an ideological or political threat to the state and the regulatory power in which the government is given discretion to control these organizations.

 

 


Citations

[1] Article 20(1) of the UN General Assembly, "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," 217 (III) A (Paris, 1948), http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ (accessed September 6, 2016).

[2] “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”  Ibid.

[3]"Singapore Declaration On The ASEAN Charter 2007". 2012. ASEAN | ONE VISION ONE IDENTITY ONE COMMUNITY. https://asean.org/?static_post=singapore-declaration-on-the-asean-charter.

[4]Ibid.

[5]Government of Indonesia. 1945. "The 1945 Constitution Of The Republic Of Indonesia - Unofficial Translation". The International Labor Organization. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_174556.pdf

[6] Article 28(E)(3) Government of Indonesia. 1945. "The 1945 Constitution Of The Republic Of Indonesia - Unofficial Translation". The International Labor Organization. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_174556.pdf

[7] Article 10(c) Government of Malaysia. 2010. "Federal Constitution Of Malaysia". Attorney General's Chambers of Malaysia.http://www.agc.gov.my/agcportal/uploads/files/Publications/FC/Federal%20Consti%20(BI%20text).pdf

[8] Article 14(1)(c) Government of Singapore. 1965. “Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.” Singapore Statutes Online. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/CONS1963#pr14-

[9] International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 50. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

[10]  International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 11. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

[11] International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 51. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

 

[12] "Methodology: Freedom In The World 2018". 2018. Freedomhouse.Org. https://freedomhouse.org/report/methodology-freedom-world-2018.https://freedomhouse.org/report/methodology-freedom-world-2018

[13]Freedom House. 2019. "Indonesia". Freedom In The World 2019. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2019/indonesia.

[14] Freedom House. 2019. "Malaysia". Freedom In The World 2019. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2019/malaysia

[15]"Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/indonesia.html.

[16] Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf

[17] 4(2)(b) the specified society is likely to be used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore. Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf

 Government of Singapore. 1967. "Societies Act." https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1966#pr9-

[18] And 4(2)(d) it would be contrary to the national interest for the specified society to be registered  Government of Singapore. 1967. "Societies Act." https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1966#pr9-

[19]Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 17. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

[20]Freedom House. 2019. "Freedom Of Association Under Threat: The New Authoritarians' Offensive Against Civil Society". Freedom House. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-association-under-threat-new-authoritarians-offensive-against-civil-society/malaysia.

[21] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 9. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

 Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 9. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

 

[22] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 30. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

[23]"Singapore: World Report 2017". 2017. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/singapore.

[24] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 9. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

[25]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[26] Unfortunately, the International Center for Not For Profit Law did not prepare a similar statistic for Singapore or Indonesia."Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". October 8 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/Indonesia.html.

[27]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[28]Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 41. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

[29] Article 13 Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf 

[30] "Registry Of Societies". 2019. Ros.Mha.Gov.Sg. https://www.ros.mha.gov.sg/egp/process/SYSTEM/CM_About_Us.

[31] Article 37 Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf

[32] Article 24 (1) (a)  Government of Singapore. 1967. "Societies Act." https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1966#pr9-

[33]"Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/indonesia.html.

[34] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 17. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

 

[35]Bulkin, Nadia. 2013. "Indonesia’s Political Parties". Carnegie Endowment For International Peace. https://carnegieendowment.org/2013/10/24/indonesia-s-political-parties-pub-53414.

[36]"Malaysia: Government". 2019. Global Edge by Michigan State University https://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/malaysia/government.

[37] Freedom House. 2018. "Singapore". Freedom In The World 2018. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/singapore

[38]"Buku Harapan". 2018. Kempen.S3.Amazonaws.Com. https://kempen.s3.amazonaws.com/manifesto/Manifesto_text/Manifesto_PH_EN.pdf.

[39] "Malaysia: World Report 2019". 2019. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/malaysia

[40] "Malaysia: World Report 2014". 2014. Human Rights Watch.

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters/malaysia

[41] "Malaysia: World Report 2018". 2018. Human Rights Watch.

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/malaysia

[42] "Singapore: World Report 2015". 2015. Human Rights Watch. 

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/singapore

[43] Freedom House. 2018. "Indonesia". Freedom In The World 2018. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/indonesia

[44]"SAPA - Sarawak Association For Peoples' Aspiration". 2019. Facebook.Com. Accessed April 1. https://www.facebook.com/pg/sapasarawak/about/?ref=page_internal.

[45] "Malaysia: World Report 2015". 2015. Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/malaysia

[46] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 17. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

[47] Amnesty International. 2019. "Laws Designed To Silence: The Global Crackdown On Civil Society Organizations". London: Amnesty International. 41. https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Laws-designed-to-silence_final_web-version.pdf.

 

[48]"Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/indonesia.html.

[49] Freedom House. 2018. "Singapore". Freedom In The World 2018. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/singapore

[50] "Malaysia: World Report 2018". 2018. Human Rights Watch. 

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/malaysia

[51] Article 41 (1)(b) Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf

[52] Article 14(1)c of the Societies Act of Singapore stipulates, “Every society, not being a registered society, shall be deemed to be an unlawful society.”  Government of Singapore. 1967. "Societies Act." https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1966#pr9-

[53]  International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 52. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

[54]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[55]  International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 53. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

[56]https://www.ros.mha.gov.sg/egp/eservicecontinue/ROSES/FE_SocietySearch/5/Main?OWASP_CSRFTOKEN=07F9-0SFD-HYY0-RUZX-QQNQ-O8PF-0MQQ-X3LO

[57]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[58]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[59]  "Malaysia: World Report 2017". 2017. Human Rights Watch. 

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/malaysia

[60]  "Malaysia: World Report 2018". 2018. Human Rights Watch. 

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/malaysia

[61]"Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[62]Ibid.

[63]"An Act To Amend The Universities And University Colleges Act 1971". 2012. Government of Malaysia. http://www.cljlaw.com/files/bills/pdf/2012/MY_FS_BIL_2012_08.pdf

[64] International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). 2016. "The Law Affecting Civil Society In Asia: Developments And Challenges For Nonprofit And Civil Society Organizations". International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), 15. http://www.icnl.org/The%20Law%20Affecting%20Civil%20Society%20in%20Asia%20(final).pdf.

[65] According to Law No. 17 of 2013 "Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". October 8 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/indonesia.html.

[66]One requirement is that it is established in Malaysia: Section 4 criteria specify that societies will be considered as “established in Malaysia” if (a) a society has its headquarters or chief place of business in Malaysia; (b) any of its office members are residing in Malaysia; or (c) any person who manages, assist or fundraises on the society’s behalf does so in Malaysia.

 "Malaysia - Civic Freedom Monitor". March 26 2019. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/malaysia.html.

[67]Ibid.

[68] http://www.ifaq.gov.sg/MHA/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx#FAQ_4586

[69]  "Methodology: Freedom In The World 2018". 2018. Freedomhouse.Org. https://freedomhouse.org/report/methodology-freedom-world-2018.https://freedomhouse.org/report/methodology-freedom-world-2018

[70]"Indonesia - Civic Freedom Monitor". 2018. The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law. http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/indonesia.html.

[71]Ibid.

[72] Scores declined from 3 to 2 due to a multiyear crackdown on civil society groups and activists serving the LGBT community.  Freedom House. 2019. "Indonesia". Freedom In The World 2019. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2019/indonesia.

[73] Freedom House. 2014. "Malaysia". Freedom In The World 2014. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2014/malaysia

[74] Freedom House. 2017. "Malaysia". Freedom In The World 2017. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2017/malaysia

[75] Ibid.

[76]Palatino, Mong. 2015. "Southeast Asia’S Color Protests Malaysia’S Protests Have Some Colorful Parallels In The Region.". The Diplomat, , 2015. https://thediplomat.com/2015/09/southeast-asias-color-protests/.

[77] Freedom House. 2017. "Malaysia". Freedom In The World 2017

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2017/malaysia

[78] Ibid.

[79] "Indonesia: World Report 2012". 2012. Human Rights Watch.

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2012/country-chapters/indonesia

[80] Article 13(1)(c)(iv) that the society has wilfully contravened any provision of this Act or of any regulation made Societies 23 thereunder or of any of its rules or that any members of the society have habitually contravened the provision of subsection 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 [Act 15] by any acts or utterances to which paragraph 3(1)(f) of that Act applies; Government of Malaysia. 1966. "SOCIETIES ACT 1966". Mercy Malaysia, 14 https://www.mercy.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Societies-Act-1966.pdf

[81] Government of Malaysia. 1948. "SEDITION ACT 1948". Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia.http://www.agc.gov.my/agcportal/uploads/files/Publications/LOM/EN/Act%2015.pdf

[82] Article 4(1) Government of Malaysia. 1948. "SEDITION ACT 1948". Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia.http://www.agc.gov.my/agcportal/uploads/files/Publications/LOM/EN/Act%2015.pdf

[83] The Government of Singapore. 1948. "Sedition Act." https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1948?ProvIds=pr3-.

[84] Article 3(1) The Government of Singapore. 1948. "Sedition Act." Singapore Statutes Online. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1948?ProvIds=pr3-.

[85]  Article 3(2)  The Government of Singapore. 1948. "Sedition Act." Singapore Statutes Online. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SA1948?ProvIds=pr3-.

[86] Freedom House. 2018. "Indonesia". Freedom In The World 2018.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/indonesia

[87] Freedom House. 2018. "Malaysia". Freedom In The World 2018.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/malaysia

[88] Freedom House. 2018. "Indonesia". Freedom In The World 2018. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/singapore

What does unlawful refer to?

Julia Grifferty