Media Statement MASA’s Submission To The Human Rights Council For Malaysia’s 4th Cycle In The Universal Periodic Review



5 JULY 2023


Institut Masa Depan Malaysia (MASA) has submitted its first stakeholder report for the 4th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to the Working Committee, Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, today.

An independent think tank, MASA had earlier conducted an exploratory study to identify and highlight the economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) on megaproject impacts of a land reclamation to the coastal communities in Penang.

Though the reclamation project carries the narrative of enhancing the livelihood of the people, it often has long-lasting impacts on various aspects of the society, including human lives, the economy and the environment which may impede the ESCR aspects.

Some 10 researchers who were experts from local universities, legal practitioners, analysts and activists formed part of the study group to contribute ideas and views on the publication of the report. The report presented carried the themes of widening democratic space, strengthening the rule of law, promoting respect and protecting human rights in Malaysia.

This Penang megaproject exemplifies spatial injustice where inequality and a lack of participation in the planning process can be examined from a critical spatial perspective and ESCR dimension. 

In this regard, MASA plays its people-friendly role to highlight the economic and social dimensions of the impact of urban public space reclamations in creating awareness amongst the multiple actors involved in the land reclamation activities.

The submission of the UPR report is also in line with MASA goal to promote prosperity among Malaysians and leaving no one behind as stated in the three key objectives of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030), namely, development for all, achieving decent standard of living and equitable distribution and a united, prosperous and dignified nation.

This is also in accordance with the principle and approach of MASA since its establishment in 2019 to provide quality research, data-driven policy recommendations and analysis on a full range of public policy issues, guided by shared prosperity values. These are also in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) 1990, Declaration of Human Rights ASEAN 2012 and the Federal Constitution.

MASA’s participation in the UPR Process has strengthened the voice of civil society organisations (CSOs) in voicing ESCR issues in an accurate and authoritative framework.

MASA will intensify its efforts to defend the economic, social and cultural rights of the Malaysian community based on its own mould and in consistent with Malaysia’s position as a member of the Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024.


Chief Executive Officer

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