Reintegrating Former Security Detainees in Malaysia: The Challenges & Opportunities




Kuala Lumpur, 26 March 2024 | Upon their release from sentences under anti-terror laws, former security detainees (FSDs) in Malaysia confront substantial socioeconomic and psychological challenges as they seek to reintegrate into society. These challenges extend to their family members, who often experience vicarious difficulties. Despite the inherent obstacles, Malaysia currently lacks a comprehensive reintegration programme tailored to the specific needs of FSDs and their families. A comprehensive reintegration programme is essential in the deradicalisation process of FSDs, facilitating their return to normal societal life while concurrently mitigating the risk of recidivism.

This policy brief contends that cross-sectoral collaboration is a pivotal component in developing a comprehensive reintegration programme. Collaboration between government agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs), and the corporate sector is currently deficient but is inevitable for achieving successful rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R).

The research methodology for this study entailed an extensive series of  consultations and interviews. These were conducted to gather diverse  perspectives from former security detainees (FSDs) and their families, as  well as technical insights from government ministries, law enforcement  agencies, corporate entities, and both Malaysian and Indonesian civil  society organisation (CSO) networks specialising in Counterterrorism  (CT) and Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (PCVE). The  aim was to analyse local and regional insights, identifying best practices  in reintegration programmes