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Dawn of Digital Dictatorship:
Malaysia Country Profile

June 2024

Whether we like it or not, we are living through a pivotal moment for the future of human rights. This includes the issue of our digital rights, and the question of our online freedoms. In places like Southeast Asia, where the majority of its peoples are experiencing immense threats to their online and offline freedoms, at the hands of opportunistic governments and corporations, this is especially prevalent. The digital space has become an integral part of human life, and is still growing in its influence over our world. Accordingly, if our freedoms in the digital space are endangered, our freedoms overall are endangered as well.

 

It is understandable to feel powerless while possessing this knowledge. But it is not enough to just know about the forces acting against our human rights, and understand that they are dangerous. If we truly want to create a safer, more equitable, more liberated world - which we all know, deep down, is possible - we must understand these forces, and act accordingly. We must equip ourselves with knowledge about what governments, corporations, and other powers that be are doing, alongside demanding our rights to freedom. The powers that be have weaponised the online and digital space, as well as the law, against the people that these things are supposed to serve and protect. It is our right to protect ourselves with research, knowledge, advocacy, and the power of the people. When we understand the powers we are up against, fighting back will become less daunting.

 

This is what our report, titled Dawn of Digital Dictatorship: Weaponizing the Law Against Online Speech in Southeast Asia, is for. Join us in powering ourselves with knowledge, in order to compel ourselves to action!

 

As always, our work is rooted in decolonial, feminist, intersectional values, with historically marginalised people at the centre. Thus, this work was a collaboration between a coalition of groups oriented in these values: ALTSEAN-Burma, Cambodian Center for Human Rights, ELSAM, Free Expression Myanmar, Foundation for Media Alternatives, ILGA Asia, Manushya Foundation, The Rohingya Maìyafuìnor Collaborative Network, SAFEnet, Viet Tan and Women’s Peace Network.​

 

What is the ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship?

The ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship was established in 2020, by human rights and digital rights activists from Southeast Asia, on a mission to decolonize digital rights and restore our online democracies.

 

Together, we stand in solidarity with one another, with people from the Global Majority, resisting and pushing back against authoritarian governments and complicit tech companies.

 

We tell our realities from the ground, and we develop solutions together. ​

 

Our truths. Our Stories. Our Solutions. Our Liberation.

 

Fighting back online authoritarianism in Southeast Asia is, and shall always be, decolonial, grounded on feminist values, centred on our voices and our collective power.

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Download Dawn of Digital Dictatorship:

Malaysia Country Profile

June 2024

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