Institut Rakyat aims to:
Conduct research and formulate policies that are directed towards social justice and a sustainable future at national and state levels.
Generate discourse with the public, civil society and policy-makers, corporate and public sectors through workshops, forums, conferences and publications.
Provide a platform for nurturing and training young leaders, policy-makers and thinkers.
Institut Rakyat envisions a Malaysia that flourishes under sustainable economic development matched with social, environmental, ethnic, regional and religious harmony.
We are motivated by the need for policies that are guided by a comprehensive understanding of human development, social justice, fundamental rights and equal opportunity.
We subscribe to the philosophy that no Malaysian must be left behind on account of their ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, gender, and religion.
Institut Rakyat has played an active role in both policy advocacy and research. Our approach to policy advocacy has a strong emphasis on coalition work with like-minded civil society organisations to jointly advocate critical reforms addressing democracy and social justice in Malaysia.
We have been active members of BERSIH, the civil society coalition for free and fair elections; #TakNakDiktator, the coalition mobilising on the excessive powers granted to the Prime Minister via the National Security Council Bill; Gerakan Mansuh Akta Hasutan (GHAH, Abolish Sedition Act Movement), another coalition that actively campaigns for the abolition of the draconian Sedition Act; and, Bantah TPPA, the coalition mobilising against the Trans-Pacific Partnership investment agreement. Partner organisations in our coalition work include leading human rights organisations such as HAKAM, SUARAM, Lawyers for Liberty, International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International Malaysia, while our other civil society partners include Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu, Third World Network, and the Malaysian AIDS Council.
Our research work has covered critical overviews of Parliamentary legislation affecting civil liberties, such as the Sedition Act Amendment 2015 and the National Security Council Bill 2015; work on the ‘shadow’ Alternative Budget presented annually by the Parliamentary Opposition; federalism (in conjunction with the Penang Institute); affordable housing; inflation and impacts of the Goods and Services Tax; and, more recently, work to bridge the security and human rights communities at both regional and international levels on counter-terrorism policies and human rights.