Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Seductive Sedition Act

The pressing of charges on Sedition Act 1948 recently had shown the shadow of another draconian law which had been abolished - The Internal Security Act (ISA). 

The then Home Minister told the public that the government arrested a journalist and Teresa Kok (Seputeh MP) under ISA was based on protection offered to them. However, the much debatable Sedition Act is now being utilised to persecute the opposition, and even academician.

Yesterday, an associate law professor from University Malaya, Azmi Sharom was charged under S4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act with S4(1)(c) as alternative charge. Both charges carry a jail term up to three years or maximum RM5,000 or both upon conviction.


(picture taken from Malaysian Insider)

What amounts to Seditious?

Under the said Act, "Seditious" means any act or speech or word or publication qualifies as having "Seditious Tendency".

"Seditious Tendency" is given a wide interpretation under the Act. It covers, inter-alia, to bring hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or any against government, and also to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population in Malaysia.

This could explain why the government may press charges on a student who had "liked" a facebook page entitled "I Love Israel", as the liking act amounted to an act in promoting feelings of ill will among the muslims in Malaysia.

Prosecuting the opposition appears not extraordinary in our political phenomena. However, charging an academician from a well established public higher learning institution is the first time. I have taken the opportunity to read the statements uttered by Prof Azmi Sharom that allegedly seditious enough to promote hatred in the country. 

Prof Azmi Sharom had made the statements below, which had been published in an online news portal's article, entitled "Take Perak Crisis Route For Speedy End To Selangor Impasse, Pakatan Told", when he commented on the perak constitutional crisis after the 308 general election as an constitutional expert.


“You don’t want a repeat of that, where a secret meeting took place,” the University of Malaya lecturer said, referring to the Perak crisis.

“I think what happened in Perak was legally wrong. The best thing to do is do it as legally and transparently as possible.”

Personally, I believe the seditious content lies on the words "where a secret meeting took place", and possibly "I think what happened in Perak was legally wrong." It should be noted that the prosecution did not read out the seditious statements in the court room.

To understand the factor that motivated the prosecution, we should at least understand how Prof Azmi Sharom came to such comment. "A secret meeting took place" essentially refers to a private, or I would rather call it an [Informal Meeting] between the 31 BN/pro-BN assemblyman led by PM and the late HRH Sultan Perak Azlan Shah, after 3 Pakatan ADUN from Perak State Assembly quit PKR and DAP and thereafter pledged their support to Barisan Nasional.

The questions raised in and outside the court room were whether the then Pakatan MB Nizar Jamaluddin would have to lead the executive council (EXCO) to resign after the late HRH refused to dissolve the State Assembly in accordance to the Perak Constitution, and also whether the late HRH possessed executive power to remove Nizar as MB Perak without a vote of no-confidence being moved in the state assembly. I strongly believe this was the "secret meeting" referred by Prof Azmi Sharom.

I adhere to the Attorney General's absolute discretion to initiate prosecution enshrined under the Federal Constitution. However, selective prosecution matters now. We have not seen other extremists like Ridhuan Tee or Ibrahim Ali being charged under the Sedition Act for the time being. Nonetheless, the iron claw of Sedition Act even slipped into learning institution and attack the academic freedom. 

Government officials said, it is now a matter for the court to decide, which in turn the judiciary must shows faith and courage in defending the pillars of rule of law, by acting as guardian of the people. 

True enough, I have not seen how seditious are the academic criticisms made by Prof Azmi Sharom. I agree that the state has liberty to charge anyone as she deems fit and proper, notwithstanding it could be seen as a political move in doing so. However, under major circumstances, the people and civil society will press for a change, resulting in a serious political consequence. 

The authority seems have gone into a berserk state to utilise the Act. Instead, it is seductive enough to behave so.  

I would be more prepared to see, how the judiciary going to react with these malicious and selective prosecution initiated under an extremely old statute left by the colonial master, where the primary purpose was to combat communist insurgents at that time.

Similar with ISA, the Sedition Act has become a seductive tool for the government to prevent academician from purportedly inciting people to rebel against them, which is wrong. Law must cause justice to be done and seen to be done. Any old laws must be amended to fit and suit the current society progressive development.

The Sedition Act must go now. #MansuhAktaHasutan   

2 comments:

IBU RISKA said...

Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWAIRE saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWAIRE kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWAIRE di nomor 085-316-106-111...karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWAIRE












Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWAIRE saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWAIRE kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWAIRE di nomor 085-316-106-111...karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWAIRE

pak slemett said...

saya PAK SLEMET posisi sekarang di malaysia
bekerja sebagai BURU BANGUNAN gaji tidak seberapa
setiap gajian selalu mengirimkan orang tua
sebenarnya pengen pulang tapi gak punya uang
sempat saya putus asah dan secara kebetulan
saya buka FB ada seseorng berkomentar
tentang AKI NAWE katanya perna di bantu
melalui jalan togel saya coba2 menghubungi
karna di malaysia ada pemasangan
jadi saya memberanikan diri karna sudah bingun
saya minta angka sama AKI NAWE
angka yang di berikan 6D TOTO tembus 100%
terima kasih banyak AKI
kemarin saya bingun syukur sekarang sudah senang
rencana bulan depan mau pulang untuk buka usaha
bagi penggemar togel ingin merasakan kemenangan
terutama yang punya masalah hutang lama belum lunas
jangan putus asah HUBUNGI AKI NAWE 085-218-379-259
tak ada salahnya anda coba
karna prediksi AKI tidak perna meleset
saya jamin AKI NAWE tidak akan mengecewakan













saya PAK SLEMET posisi sekarang di malaysia
bekerja sebagai BURU BANGUNAN gaji tidak seberapa
setiap gajian selalu mengirimkan orang tua
sebenarnya pengen pulang tapi gak punya uang
sempat saya putus asah dan secara kebetulan
saya buka FB ada seseorng berkomentar
tentang AKI NAWE katanya perna di bantu
melalui jalan togel saya coba2 menghubungi
karna di malaysia ada pemasangan
jadi saya memberanikan diri karna sudah bingun
saya minta angka sama AKI NAWE
angka yang di berikan 6D TOTO tembus 100%
terima kasih banyak AKI
kemarin saya bingun syukur sekarang sudah senang
rencana bulan depan mau pulang untuk buka usaha
bagi penggemar togel ingin merasakan kemenangan
terutama yang punya masalah hutang lama belum lunas
jangan putus asah HUBUNGI AKI NAWE 085-218-379-259
tak ada salahnya anda coba
karna prediksi AKI tidak perna meleset
saya jamin AKI NAWE tidak akan mengecewakan