The DAP supremo launches a broadside against the PM over the AG Chambers' decision not to withdraw the sedition charge against him.
Karpal told reporters that the AG Chambers’ insistence on continuing the sedition charge against him proved Najib’s “insincerity and immaturity” when announcing the repeal of the Sedition Act earlier this month.
He said Najib should not be a hypocrite by announcing the repeal of the Sedition Act on one hand, while continuing to prosecute individuals like him and Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar with sedition.
When making the announcement on July 11, Najib said that the Sedition Act 1948 would be replaced with a new National Harmony Act.
“The decision was made as the government wanted to find a mechanism that could best balance the need for freedom of the speech with the provisions stipulated in the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Following Najib’s announcement, Karpal, who is also the DAP national chairman, made a written representation on July 19 to Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to drop the sedition charge against him.
In his representation, Karpal stated that the prime minister’s announcement reflected that the Act was no longer relevant in this time and age.
However, in a reply dated July 26 to Karpal’s legal firm, AG Chambers head of trial unit, Noorin Badaruddin, stated that Gani had decided to continue the sedition case against Karpal.
Karpal was charged with uttering seditious words against the sultan of Perak three years ago.
“The Sedition Act was a relic and legacy of British colonialism.
“It was originally enacted to counter opposition by the Malays against the Malayan Union. It’s a draconian legislation,” Karpal told reporters today.
Mahathir was not charged
He pointed out that under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution, all citizens were equal before the law and shall be given equal protection under the law.
“I am not given equal protection here,” he said, recalling the 1993 Constitutional crisis when the then AG Abu Talib Othman failed to charge anyone for uttering seditious remarks against the royalty.
Karpal said the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his ministers and Barisan Nasional MPs were all guilty of making seditious remarks in Parliament.
“But none of them were charged even though Parliamentary immunity did not protect them for sedition,” he said.
He said Najib should be sincere and mature when making policy announcements.
“I call on the prime minister to accept my representation with good faith and drop the sedition charge against me.
“The sedition charges against Uthayakumar and others should also be withdrawn,” he added.
He also warned that the sedition charges against him and Uthayakumar would become an election issue.
“We will leave it to the people’s court,” said Karpal, adding that he was prepared to battle and win the sedition case against him.
Defends Kit Siang, Guan Eng
On another matter, Karpal dismissed MCA’s criticism against DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and his son, Guan Eng for not standing up like him against PAS’ Islamic agenda.
He said Kit Siang and son has always stood up against PAS’ agenda to establish an Islamic state and hudud law.
“As party chairman, my stand is not an individual stand … it’s the party stand,” he added.
He urged MCA not to waste time trying to implicate DAP with PAS’ Islamic agenda to gain political mileage.
He also reminded MCA that the party was nearly eliminated altogether in the 2008 general election.
“I’m sure MCA will be completely eliminated in the next election and people will give DAP a thumping win,” he said.