With plenty of natural resources and beautiful beaches, Malaysia is increasingly becoming one of the most popular South-Asian destinations. Yet, the country's worrying political situation and systematic violations of human rights still struggle to hit the international news.
Malaysian opposition leader and former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is detained in jail on fabricated charges of sodomy.
Under an outdated anti sedition law from 1948, cartoonist Zunar - whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque - risks spending the next 43 years in prison for nine tweets and drawings criticising Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The number of human rights violation and breaches to democratic values is dramatically increasing, as also documented by Amnesty international and other NGOs and international institutions.
Last December, on an initiative of the S&D Group, the main progressive force in the European Parliament, the EU lawmakers deplored the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. MEPs expressed concern over the passage of the National Security Council Bill and urge the Malaysian government to withdraw it and immediately release all political prisoners.
MEPs also asked Malaysia to withdraw the anti-sodomy law and called on the EEAS, in line with the EU guidelines on the protection and promotion of the rights of LGBTI persons, to step up its work on the rights of LGBTI people in Malaysia who face violence and persecution.