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Sedition Act a good law, says Federal Court

 | June 25, 2012

A panel of five dismisses Uthayakumar's application to declare the act null and void.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today unanimously dismissed Hindraf activist P Uthayakumar’s application to declare the Sedition Act 1948 as null and void.

Chief Justice of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who led a panel of five judges, said there was “no merit” in the argument made by Uthayakumar’s lawyer, M Manoharan.

“The Sedition Act is a good law,” he said. “It is not ultra vires against Articles 4, 5, 8 and 10” of the Federal Constitution.

The other judges in the panel were Suriyadi Halim Omar, Hasan Lah, Zaleha Zahari and Zainun Ali.

The application to declare the act unconstitutional was first filed in the High Court in 2010, after Uthayakumar was charged under the act over an open letter that he addressed to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007.

In the letter, he described racial clashes in Kampung Medan as ethnic cleansing.

Last year, the Appeals Court also rejected the application on the grounds that there was no merit in the case.

Manoharan argued that the act should be declared null and void on four grounds – seditious tendency is insufficient, intentions are irrelevant, truth is irrelevant in sedition, and the act violates Articles 4, 5, 8 and 10 of the Federal Constitution.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badawi, appearing for the government, said the Sedition Act maintained public order.

She also said Article 10 of the Federal Constitution did not provide for absolute freedom.


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