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Govt has no plans to abolish Sedition Act

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 June 2009: The government has no plan to abolish the Sedition Act 1948 as its provisions are still relevant at present, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

He said the provisions enabled the government to act if individuals or organisations attempted to undermine security and public order.

“Individuals who use words of a seditious nature in their speech or writing can be prosecuted under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act,” he said in a written reply to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) in the Dewan Rakyat.

Karpal Singh had asked whether the government was prepared to abolish the Sedition Act 1948, which was formulated to stop protests against the formation of the Malayan Union proposed by the British administration then.

Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question from Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur), Hishammuddin said Internal Security Act (ISA)  detainees were given a conditional release in order to monitor them and to ensure that they did not get involved in any activity thatcould threaten national security or public order.

He said the government would only remove the conditions when it was satisfied that the released detainees were no longer involved in such activity. — Bernama

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3 Responses to “Govt has no plans to abolish Sedition Act”

  1. tangkup says:

    If the statement by the home minister is true that “individuals who use words of a seditious nature” can be prosecuted, then why [didn’t] the BN government prosecute Ahmad [Ismail] in Penang when he said that the Chinese were “pendatang”?

  2. Nicholas Aw says:

    I am of the opinion that the Sedition Act is still relevant today but the Act has to be amended to make the provisions clear and that there is no ambiguity in its interpretation.

    Currently, the government uses the Sedition Act whenever they are not able to charge under any other laws of the country. They try if possible not to abuse the Internal Security Act as the PM wants to regain the confidence and support of the people. And since the Sedition Act has very general provisions that are open to various interpretations, what better way then to use this law to charge the likes of Karpal and others.

    Still, I believe it [takes] political will to enforce the laws fairly and that whoever is fanning racial and sensitive issues should be brought to justice immaterial of their political inclinations.

    Note: What has happened to that fella, Ahmad Ismail of Umno Penang? Still walking free … ? He has to thank the BN government for practising selective prosecution.

  3. Pei Ling says:

    The Sedition Act is an insult to public intelligence. It assumes that the Malaysian public could be easily fooled by “seditious” individuals or organisations and thus act to undermine security and public order.

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