The Malaysian Constitution stipulates that no person may be incarcerated unless in accordance with the law. There are, however, several laws that allow Malaysian authorities to hold suspects without trial for several days, weeks, or in some cases, years. While the Malaysian government has repealed some of the most repressive statutes involving pre-trial detention, many of them have been replaced with similar laws in recent years. Malaysian law imposes restrictions on the amount of time a suspect can be detained without trial, but because detention orders can be renewed periodically, arrested individuals can potentially be detained indefinitely.
A U.S. Department of State report noted that while the Malaysian police must inform detainees that they are allowed to contact family members and consult with a lawyer, the police often deny detainees access to legal counsel and on some occasions, do not promptly permit contact with relatives. However, this police practice has been justified as necessary for investigative purposes and judicial decisions have generally upheld the practice. The report also mentioned that some NGOs believe that a police approach of “arrest first, investigate later” is prevalent, particularly in cases involving allegations of terrorism.
Malaysian law permits police to arrest and detain individuals for some offenses without a warrant for a limited time. Although police generally observe these provisions, there have been reports of Malaysian police releasing suspects, only to quickly re-arrest them and hold them in continued investigative custody.
While Malaysia has made progress in addressing the problem of pre-trial detention and the percentage of pre-trial detainees in prison decreased to 24.5 percent in 2014, pre-trial detention remains an important human rights issue in Malaysia.
If arrested in Malaysia, American citizens should ask the police to notify the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately at 03-2168-5000. The Malaysian government is obliged to notify the Embassy expeditiously of the arrest or detention of an American citizen. The U.S. Embassy can assist American detainees in contacting relatives and facilitating the transfer of funds for attorney’s fees or other fines.

General Status of Rights in Malaysia

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The government is selected through multi-party elections and headed by a prime minister. The king is the head of state and serves a primarily ceremonial role.
According to the Human Rights Watch, despite government promises of reform, human rights in Malaysia remain “tightly constrained.” In his September 2011 speech, Prime Minister Najib pledged to replace the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA), which permitted long-term detention without trial, and other rights-restricting legislation.
In addition to ISA, the Malaysian government also rescinded the Banishment Act 1959 and the Restricted Residence Act 1933, as well as three emergency declarations and emergency-related laws. One of the rescinded laws, the Emergency (Public Order and Crime Prevention) Ordinance 1969, had been regularly used to hold criminal suspects indefinitely without charge or trial.
However, ISA was quickly replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Act (SOSMA) on July 31, 2012. While SOSMA has reduced initial detention without charge from 60 days to no more than 28 days, Human Rights Watch noted that the Act’s other provisions reduce human rights protections. Even if a suspect is acquitted under SOSMA, the law permits a series of appeals, with bail disallowed, that could result in a suspect’s indefinite detention. Similarly, the Emergency (Public Order and Crime Prevention) Ordinance 1969 was reintroduced through a series of amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.

Domestic Laws Governing Pretrial Detention


The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of Malaysia. It was first introduced as the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya in 1957. Under Article 5 of the Constitution, there are several guarantees related to pre-trial detention.
Article 5(1) of the Constitution provides that “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law.”
Article 5(2) guarantees that where “complaint is made to a High Court or any judge thereof that a person is being unlawfully detained, the court shall inquire into the complaint and, unless satisfied that the detention is lawful, shall order him to be produced before the court and release him.”
 Article 5(3) provides that:

“Where a person is arrested and not released, he shall without unreasonable delay, and in any case within twenty-four hours (excluding the time of any necessary journey) be produced before a magistrate and shall not be further detained in custody without the magistrate’s authority: Provided that this Clause shall not apply to the arrest or detention of any person under the existing law relating to restricted residence, and all the provisions of this Clause shall be deemed to have been an integral part of this Article as from Merdeka Day.
Provided further that in its application to a person, other than a citizen, who is arrested or detained under the law relating to immigration, this Clause shall be read as if there were substituted for the words “without unreasonable delay, and in any case within twenty-four hours (excluding the time of any necessary journey)” the words “within fourteen days.”

Article 5(5) states that 5(3) and 5(4) do not apply to an enemy alien. Article 8(1) of the Constitution also guarantees that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
Additionally, Article 151 of the Constitution places certain restrictions on preventative detention.
Article 151(1) states that “Where any law or ordinance made or promulgated in pursuance of this Part provides for preventive detention—

(a) the authority on whose order any person is detained under that law or ordinance shall, as soon as may be, inform him of the grounds for his detention and, subject to Clause (3), the allegations of fact on which the order is based, and shall give him the opportunity of making representations against the order as soon as may be;
(b) no citizen shall continue to be detained under that law or ordinance unless an advisory board constituted as mentioned in Clause (2) has considered any representations made by him under paragraph (a) and made recommendations thereon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong within three months of receiving such representations, or within such longer period as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may allow.”

Article 151(2) provides that:

“An advisory board constituted for the purposes of this Article shall consist of a chairman, who shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and who shall be or have been, or be qualified to be, a judge of the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal or a High Court, or shall before Malaysia Day have been a judge of the Supreme Court, and two other members who shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

Article 151(3) states that “this Article does not require any authority to disclose facts whose disclosure would in its opinion be against the national interest.”
Despite these constitutional protections, in the Preventative Detention in Malaysia article, the author argued that the Constitution contains three important articles – Articles 149-151 – that allow Parliament to disregard any of these rights, or any other article of the Constitution, under certain conditions.
In the article, the author stated that Article 150 allows the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State/Sultan) to declare a state of emergency. During this state of emergency, the executive power “extend[s] to any matter within the legislative authority of a State.”
While Article 151 requires that detainees be informed of the grounds for their detention and the facts which support those grounds, the article points out that section (3) states that this rule “does not require any authority to disclose facts whose disclosure would in its opinion be against the national interest.” The author argued that this is not much of a safeguard because “the grounds for detention could be almost anything and there is no judicial review of the reasonableness of the grounds.”
Lastly, the article pointed out that Article 149 of the Constitution states that any law is valid, regardless of whether it conflicts with constitutional guarantees, if the law seeks to stop or prevent action that may jeopardize society.

Criminal Procedure Code                         

The Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) sets out the responsibilities of the police and the rights of individuals arrested or detained in Sections 28 and 117. Based on the CPC, no police officer should detain an arrested individual for more than a “reasonable” amount of time, not to exceed twenty-four hours, without a warrant or special order. However, the police can bring the accused before a Magistrate and the Magistrate can authorize a longer detention period.
Section 28 describes the process for detaining a person for more than twenty-four hours.  Section 28(1) states the following:

“A police officer making an arrest without a warrant shall, without unnecessary delay, and, subject to the provisions herein as to bail or previous release, take or send the person arrested before a Magistrate.”

Section 28(2) provides that “No police officer should detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than, under all the circumstances of the case, is reasonable.” Section 28(3) adds that “Such period shall not in the absence or expiry of a special order of a Magistrate under section 117 exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of the arrest to the Magistrate.”
In the SUHAKAM response to a questionnaire on arbitrary detention, the commission states that Section 117 of the CPC “allows for the extension of [the] detention period of the accused individual.”
In Sections 117(1) and 117(2), the police can bring the accused before a Magistrate, if the police are unable to complete the investigation within twenty-four hours. The Magistrate can then extend the detention period of the accused individual for the maximum period of seven days or fourteen days, based on the criteria provided in subsection 2(a) and 2(b) below.
Section 117(1) and (2) of the CPC states the following:

(1) Whenever any person is arrested and detained in custody and it appears that the investigations cannot be completed within the period of twenty-four hours fixed by section 28 and there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well founded the police officer making the investigation shall immediately transmit to a Magistrate a copy of the entries in the diary hereinafter prescribed relating to the case and shall at the same time produce the accused before the Magistrate.
(2) The Magistrate before whom an accused person is produced under this section may, whether he has or has no jurisdiction to try the case, authorise the detention of the accused in such custody as follows:

  1. if the offence which is being investigated is punishable with imprisonment of less than fourteen years, the detention shall not be more than four days on the application and shall not be more than three days on the second application; or
  2. if the offence which is being investigated is punishable with death or imprisonment of fourteen years or more, the detention shall not be more than seven days on the first application and shall not be more than seven days on the second application.

Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA)

In 2012, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) was enacted by the Government to replace the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). According to a 2012 Asia Pacific Bulletin article, the ISA permitted 60 days of initial police detention, which could be followed by two-year’s detention, renewable ad infinitum, on the say-so of the home minister.
Under SOSMA, the article noted, initial police detention has been cut to a maximum of 28 days, after which the attorney-general must decide whether to prosecute and on what charges. However, judicial oversight is absent during the first twenty-four hours of custody and such absence can be extended to the entire 28-day investigatory period.
In the SUHAKAM response, the commission stated that under Section 4(1) of the SOSMA, the police are allowed to arrest and detain any person whom they have reason to believe is involved in security offences, as specified in the Penal Code of Malaysia.
The commission’s response also highlighted Section 4(4) of the Act, which provides that “…the person arrested and detained may be detained for a period of twenty-four hours for the purpose of investigation.”
However, a police officer could extend the detention period (as long as it is no more than twenty-eight days) for the purpose of investigation under Section 4(5), which states the following:

“Notwithstanding subsection (4), a police officer of or above the rank of Superintendent of Police may extend the period of detention for a period not more than twenty-eight days, for the purpose of investigation.”

Furthermore, the commission’s response states that under SOSMA, “the right to legal counsel is provided under Section 5(1) where the police shall allow the individuals arrested and detained to consult with a legal practitioner of his choice.”
However, the individual’s right to legal counsel may be delayed by a police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police for not more than forty eight hours based on the reasons stated under Section 5(2), as follows:
A police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police may authorise a delay of not more than forty-eight hours for the consultation under paragraph (1)(b) if he is of the view that:

  • There are reasonable grounds for believing that the exercise of that right will interfere with evidence connected to security offence;
  • It will lead harm to another;
  • It will lead to the alerting of other persons suspected of having committed such an offence but who are not yet arrested; or
  • It will hinder the recovery of property obtained as a result of such an offence.

The Act was amended in 2015 and now includes new sections, which provide that statements of an accused made at any time are to be admissible as evidence in any security offense case.
Non-governmental organization Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) has commented on SOSMA, stating that it deprives detainees of their rights and gives full power to the police and courts.
In a recent Human Rights Practices Country Report, the U.S. Department of State noted that NGO observers criticized what they see as vague language in the SOSMA, such as activities “detrimental to parliamentary democracy” or “activity…that is prejudicial to the security or interest of Malaysia,” and the ability of police to extend detention within the 28-day period without judicial review.
Additionally, the report added that some observers criticized provisions that allow the identity of witnesses to be kept secret, inhibiting cross-examination of witnesses, and allowing the accused to be kept in detention after an acquittal if the prosecution decides to appeal.

Prevention of Crime Act 1959                 

A Bill to amend and extend the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Act 297) (PCA) was passed in October 2013. According to the SUHAKAM response, the amendments were made to provide for a more effective prevention of crime in the country.
The SUHAKAM response noted that the new provisions in the Amended Act include the following:

  • Section 7C – The Prevention of Crime Board, as newly constituted under the Act, may issue a detention order against a person who has committed two or more serious offences, regardless of whether or not he has been convicted, and merely on the sufficiency of evidence.
  • Sections 9 A(2) and 9(5) – These sections deprive an individual of their right to legal representation as enshrined in Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • Section 15A – This section prevents a judicial review of the Board’s decision except on procedural matters, which would in turn lead to the denial of one’s right to access to trial.
  • Section 19A – Under the new Part IVA, the Act provides that the Prevention of Crime Board, a body effectively appointed by the Executive, may “direct that any registered person be detained under a detention order for a period not exceeding two years at a time.”

According to the commission, it would be possible to repeatedly extend a person’s detention for two years, every two years, as long as such detention is considered in the interest of “public order, public security or prevention of crime.”
In the 2013 Human Rights Practices Country Report, the U.S. Department of State mentioned that the Act “extended the possible term of detention without trial under that law from 72 days to two years and made the term renewable,” as well as noted that “civil society organizations and the parliamentary opposition [have] expressed concern that the law could be misused for political purposes.”

Prevention of Terrorism Act

The Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed by Parliament in April 2015. The Prevention of Terrorism Act reintroduces indefinite detention without trial or judicial review, and violates due process rights in the name of preventing terrorism, according to the Human Rights Watch. The Act contains key elements of the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA), revoked in 2012, which had long been used to detain government opponents, dissidents, and others in violation of their basic rights.
The Human Rights Watch stated that the law allows terrorist suspects to be detained for 21 days based on the word of a police inspector, extendable for an additional 38 days. During this period, the suspect is not permitted representation by counsel except when his own formal statement is being taken and recorded by the inquiry officer.
Further, the Human Rights Watch noted that the results of the initial inquiry are presented to a proposed “Prevention of Terrorism Board” and if the board is satisfied that there are “reasonable grounds” for believing that the suspect has engaged in the commission or support of terrorism, it may order that the suspect be detained without trial for up to two years.
The order can be then extended in two-year increments for an unlimited period of time. According to the deputy Asia director for the Human Rights Watch, “Permitting a government-appointed body to order indefinite detention without judicial review or trial is an open invitation to serious abuse.”
A Malaysian Bar press release stated that the Act “is a shameless revival of the Internal Security Act 1960 (“ISA”), Restricted Residence Act 1933, Banishment Act 1959 and Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, all of which were previously repealed or revoked in 2011 or 2012.” Furthermore, the press release added that “One of the most offensive aspects of [the Act] is its absolute ouster of judicial scrutiny. No judicial review of the detention order or the restriction order is possible.”
The Guardian covered the passage of the Act, stating that “The Prevention of Terrorism Act allows authorities to detain terrorism suspects without charge” and that the “legislation has revived concerns of a return to a previous draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) that allowed detention without trial.”

Dangerous Drugs Act 1952  

The Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (Act 234) sets out the regulations for the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale and use of dangerous drugs and substances as well as the jurisdictions of courts in respect of the related offenses.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the Dangerous Drugs Act gives the government specific power to detain suspected drug traffickers without trial for up to 39 days before the home affairs minister must issue a detention order. Once the ministry issues the detention order, the detainee is entitled to a hearing before a court, which has the authority to order the detainee’s release. Authorities can hold suspects without charge for successive two-year intervals with periodic review by an advisory board, whose opinion is binding on the minister.
Section 31B(1) of the Act provides the following procedure for pre-trial detention:

“Whenever any person is arrested and detained in custody by any officer of customs for an offence against this Act, and it appears that the investigation cannot be completed within a period of twenty-four hours from the time that the person is arrested, any officer of customs may produce such person before a Magistrate and the Magistrate may, whether he has or has not jurisdiction to try the case, from time to time, authorize the detention of such person in such custody as such Magistrate thinks fit for a term not exceeding fifteen days in the whole.”

International or Multilateral Treaties Concerning Arbitrary Detention

According to the 2010 UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Malaysia has not ratified most of the major international human rights treaties. Malaysia is not a party to the following international human rights instruments:

However, the Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia website notes that, “by virtue of being a member of the United Nations, Malaysia has subscribed to the philosophy, concepts, and norms provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Pretrial Rights International has provided a summary of the Declaration on their website. Subject to the provisions of the Malaysian Constitution and the applicable laws and policies, the Attorney General’s website states that Malaysia also adheres to the principles laid down in various human rights instruments, including:

Convention of the Rights of the Child

Malaysia acceded to the Convention of the Rights of Child on February 17, 1995. Under Article 37(b)-(d) of the Convention, States Parties shall ensure the following:

(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily;
(c) The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(d) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is consider in the child’s best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances; and
(e) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision of any such action.

Case Examples / Practical Observations

Mohamad Faiq bin Hafidh

According to a 2005 Human Rights Watch report, Mohamad Faiq bin Hafidh was one of the detainees in the Kamunting Detention Center, held without charge or trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA). The report described how more than twenty-five detainees were beaten by prison guards in Kamunting Detention Center, after detainees in one cell block resisted the unannounced search of their cells on the morning of December 8.
Describing the events of Dec. 8 and 9, 2004 to Human Rights Watch, Mohamad stated: “I was handcuffed…and my head was pushed down to waist level. My head was struck with a baton…I was continuously beaten and then forced to strip naked, ordered to crawl while entering the room and then my buttocks were kicked and that was how I stumbled inside, naked.”
The report said that ISA detainees have no effective recourse to challenge their detention because the law prevents the courts from reviewing the merits of ISA detentions.

Shamsudin Sulaiman

According to a SUARAM press release, Shamsudin Sulaiman, an Assistant Accountant at the Health Ministry, was arrested in April 2002 and was the longest serving detainee under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA). He was first sent to the Police Remand Centre (PRC) at Kampung Batu, and was kept there for 56 days. On 13 June 2002, he was transferred to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak.
Sulaiman was arrested and accused of being a member of Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM), a militant group. The Malaysian authorities later dropped this charge against him and accused him of being a member of another militant group. He was held in solitary confinement for eight years, without charge or trial, before being released in 2010.
SUARAM welcomed the news of Sulaiman’s release, but noted that “this development [was] another ugly episode of the arbitrary nature of the ISA…the Home Minister has no obligation to disclose to the public or the courts the details of the detention or release. He has absolute power to detain a person without trial or proof, bypassing any judicial process as well as to extent the detention arbitrarily.”

Abdul Malek Husin

SUARAM expressed its serious concern when a RM2.5 million award to former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Abdul Malek Husin was overturned, after an appeal by the Malaysian government. Abdul Malek Husin was arrested in September 1998, after addressing a demonstration earlier that afternoon in Masjid Negara. He was detained without trial for 57 days.
During his detention, Malek Husin was physically assaulted for about 60 times, beaten, and hit on the head until he passed out. His interrogators also threatened to inject him with the HIV/AIDs virus.
Malek Husin filed a civil suit in 1999 against special branch officer, the then police chief, and the government. In 2007, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Malek Husin’s detention in 1998 was made in bad faith under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and rewarded him RM 2.5 million for the damages.
However, the Court of Appeal’s panel of three judges reversed the High Court decision and ruled that Malek Husin detention was lawful and rejected his allegations of torture while in custody. The Court of Appeal thus ruled that Malek Husin will not receive the damages awarded to him by the High Court and ordered Malek Husin instead to pay RM 50,000 in costs.

Local Organizations

U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur

American citizens in Malaysia are subject to local law and judicial procedures, which differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available under U.S. law. Further information about Malaysian local law can be found here.
If arrested, American citizens should ask the Malaysian police to notify the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately at 03-2168-5000. Under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Malaysian government is obliged to notify the Embassy expeditiously of the arrest or detention of an American citizen.
The U.S. Embassy can assist American citizens detained in Malaysia by providing them with a list of local lawyers in different specialties, but cannot recommend specific attorneys or law firms. Further information on retaining a foreign attorney can be found here. Officials from the U.S. Embassy visit detained American citizens in Malaysia periodically to ensure that they are not abused and have access to food, medical care, and legal representation.
The U.S. Embassy can assist American citizens to contact their families, facilitate the transfer of funds for attorney’s fees or fines, but the U.S. Government cannot pay these costs. The Embassy also cannot represent American citizens in court proceedings or demand their release from prison.
American citizens should carry their U.S. passport and current social visit pass (visa) with them at all times, so that if questioned by local officials, they will have proof of their identity, U.S. citizenship, and legal status in Malaysia readily available. In two separate incidents, the Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (RELA) has arbitrarily and mistakenly detained a U.S. African-American citizen and South Asian-American citizens during immigration raids.
Contact the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur:

  • Address: Embassy of the United States Kuala Lumpur, 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-4997/4979
  • Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(60) (3) 2168-5000 (press 1 at the recording)
  • Fax: +(60) (3) 2148-5801
  • Email Address:
  • U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia: Joseph Y. Yun

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) was established by Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597. According to a SUHAKAM response to a questionnaire on arbitrary detention, it is deeply concerned about the existing preventive detention laws in Malaysia, which allow detention without trial. SUHAKAM is of the view that these preventive detention laws are not in line with the fundamental human principles as enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
SUHAKAM’s power to address complaints and conduct public inquiries is restricted by Section 12(2) of the Act 597, which provides that SUHAKAM shall not inquire into any complaint relating to any allegations of infringement of human rights which is the subject matter of any proceedings pending in any court or any appeal; or has been determined by any court.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is a non-governmental organization established in 1989 to monitor and advocate for the respect of human rights in Malaysia. It is one of the key human rights organizations which Malaysians turn to for information and support.
SUARAM has also campaigned for better protection of the rights of detainees and campaigned against detention without trial. SUARAM has also provided urgent legal support for those who have been unjustifiably and arbitrarily arrested.
Contact SUARAM:

  • Address: SUARAM (Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd), 433A, Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia [Main Office]
  • Hours of Operation: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Telephone: +603-7784 3525
    Fax: +603-7784 3526
    Email Address:

Legal Aid Centres in Malaysia

A list of Malaysian Legal Aid Centres with contact information can be found below.
Johor Legal Aid Centre
Tingkat 5, Mahkamah Sesyen & Majistret
Jalan Ayer Molek
80000 Johor Bahru
Tel: 07-223 5698
Fax: 07-226 9024
Bar Council Legal Aid Centre, Muar
(Bilik Peguam) Kompleks Mahkamah Muar
Jalan Temenggong Ahmad
84000 Muar
Tel: 06-951 4700
Fax: 06-951 4700
Kedah Legal Aid Centre (Alor Setar)
Kedah Bar Committee
No. 54, Jalan Utama 3/1
Kompleks Perniagaan Utama
Jalan Sultanah Sambungan
05350 Alor Setar
Tel: 04-733 3467
Fax: 04-730 8305
Email: ​
Kelantan Legal Aid Centre
Tingkat Bawah, Bangunan Mahkamah Tinggi
Jalan Hospital
15000 Kota Bahru
Tel: 09-744 8660
Fax: 09-744 8660
Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre                                          
Level 2, Wisma Hang Sam
1, Jalan Hang Lekir
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2072 2050 / 03-2072 2051 / 03-2072 2052
Fax: 03-2072 3005
Malacca Legal Aid Centre                                                        
No. 9373, Jalan Indah 1
Taman Indah Section 1
Bukit Sebukor
75150 Melaka
Tel: 06-284 5519 / 06-284 3396
Fax: 06-283 0755
Negeri Sembilan Legal Aid Centre                                  
No.3 Jalan S2 D38
Magistrate’s Square Seremban 2
70300 Seremban
Negeri Sembilan
(Opposite Court Complex Seremban 2)
Tel: 06-601 3844 / 06-601 3843
Fax: 06-601 3845 / 06-601 3353
Kuantan Legal Aid Centre                                                
No. B64, Tingkat 1A, Lorong Tun Ismail 6
Off Jalan Tun Ismail
25000 Kuantan
Tel: 09-515 9244
Fax: 09-515 9243
Temerloh Legal Aid Centre                                                
Bilik Peguam, Bangunan Mahkamah Tinggi
28000 Temerloh
Tel: 09-296 9410
Fax: 09-296 9410
Penang Legal Aid Centre                                              
No.21, Greenhall
Ground Floor
10200 Penang
Tel: 04-261 7451
Fax: 04-261 6840
Butterworth Legal Aid Centre                                        
No. 11, 2nd Floor, Lorong Jermal Indah
Taman Jermal Indah
12300 Butterworth
Tel: 04-310 8451 / 04-310 8452
Fax: 04-3108453
Perak Legal Aid Centre                                                    
No.39, Jalan Dato Maharajalela
30300 Ipoh
Tel: 05-255 0523
Fax: 05-243 1530
Perlis Legal Aid Centre
No.15, Tingkat Atas
Taman Guru Jaya
01000 Kangar
Tel: 04 9770272
Fax: 04 9770198
Selangor Legal Aid Centre
No. 41-A, Jalan Bola Jaring 13/15
Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam
Tel: 03-5510 7007
Fax: 03-5510 7009
Kuala Selangor Legal Aid Centre
No. 32, Jalan Bendahara 1/1
Taman Bendahara
45000 Kuala Selangor
Tel: 03-3281 2428
Fax: 03-3281 2427
Terengganu Legal Aid Centre                                        
Tingkat 5, Kompleks Mahkamah
Jalan Sultan Muhamad
21100 Kuala Terengganu
Tel: 09-622 0249
Fax: 09-622 0249


The International Center for Prison Studies reported that as of mid-2014, pre-trial detainees made up 24.8 percent of the total prisoner population. The International Center for Prison Studies noted that there were 11,911 detainees in pre-trial/remand imprisonment, up from a total of 10,472 in 2010. However, the percentage of pre-trial/remand detainees out of the total prison population went down from 37.5 percent in 2005 and 27.3 percent in 2010 to 24.5 percent in 2014.
Between 2008 and 2012, SUHAKAM also received complaints in relation to preventive detention laws, namely the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, Internal Security Act 1960 and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985. The data below shows the number of complaints received by SUHAKAM on the three preventive detention laws between 2008 and 2012.

Year Complaints received on Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 Complaints received on Internal Security Act 1960 Complaints received on Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985
2008 57 7 6
2009 32 2
2010 69 2 11
2011 44 3 6
2012 5 2 3

Note: These data are based on the number of complaints received by SUHAKAM in Peninsular Malaysia.


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