Human rights must be at the centre of the Malaysia-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

The Australian government entered into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Malaysia on the 27th of January 2021. This is an elevation to the ‘strategic partnership’ that began in 2015.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin agreed the Partnership will be underpinned by three areas of cooperation: economic prosperity; society and technology; and defence and regional security and guided by a Plan of Action developed and agreed between both countries.

Amnesty International Australia is concerned that there is no reference to human rights in the partnership agreement.

The human rights situation in Malaysia is concerning – it retains the death penalty, LGBTQIA+ and refugee communities are at risk, and some basic rights are under attack. The Partnership should be used to hold each state accountable to international law and rules on human rights.

Amnesty International Australia has written to Foreign Minister Payne, asking her to put human rights at the centre of the Partnership.