Public Health Law In Malaysia And The United States: Comparing Current Applications


  • Justen Han Wei Wong Ministry of Health
  • Tahir Aris Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Ministry of Health, Malaysia
  • Ismuni Bohari Perlis State Health Department, Ministry of Health, Malaysia
  • Mohd. Zamre Mohd. Zahir Faculty of Law, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia



Comparative Law, History, Public Health, Malaysia, United States


Background: The main objective of public health law is to pursue the highest possible level of physical and mental health in the population, consistent with the values of social justice.

Aims: To elaborate on Malaysia’s public health laws that share unique commonalities with those of the United States of America, due to both countries’ colonial past as part of the British Empire.

Methods: Historical review and analysis of current public health law issues in both nations.

Results: The United States of America gained full independence from the British Empire on 3 September 1783, while almost three years later, on 11 August 1786, the Union Jack was raised on the island of Pulau Pinang in Malaysia. When the colonies first formed the United States, there was no national public health law; the American colonies adopted the English laws on the control of diseases. This is similar to Pulau Pinang, after the implementation of the Charter of Justice in 1807.

Conclusion: Current applications of the law, which include quarantine, sanitation, disease reporting, and vaccination,exhibit interesting similarities as well as differences between the United States and Malaysia.


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How to Cite

Wong, J. H. W., Aris, T., Bohari, I., & Mohd. Zahir, M. Z. (2024). Public Health Law In Malaysia And The United States: Comparing Current Applications. The Journal of Medicine, Law & Public Health, 4(2), 352–360.



Law and Ethics