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Recognition of religion or belief in Malaysia

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in Malaysia are classified censorious.

Recognition of religion or belief in Malaysia


  • The state religion is Islam.

  • Partial recognition is in effect.

  • Recognition and registration are differentiated with the former restricted only to Islam while the latter is available to both Islamic and non-Islamic organisations.

  • Proselytism is allowed and supported by the state for Muslims but for non-Muslims, it is criminalised.

  • The government’s control and allocation of places of worship is classed as state involvement in the internal affairs of religious organisations.

  • The legal requirement to submit annual reports to remain registered is censorious if those reports are used unfairly to deregister a religious group.

  • Converts to a religion other than Islam should not be subject to forced declaration of themselves as apostates in order to succeed in their conversion; this is a severe violation of international human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief; additionally, clerics of one religion should not have the authority to stop a person from converting to another religion; retributions for apostasy vary from state to state ranging from caning, fines, to imprisonment.

Positive elements:

  • Nil.


  • Dismantlement of the powers of the JAKIM to control the practice of Islam in the country is paramount; this should be combined with a dismantlement of the present censorious apparatus of legislation and procedures restricting religious activity and the process of registration.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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