Penang Chief Minister said Rayer's full legal immunity as an elected representative has been taken away.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng said that he was shocked that Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer was arrested even though he never repeated outside the House what he said in the State Assembly.
“As such this sedition charge against Rayer is not only politically motivated but also a double-standard and selective prosecution by the Attorney-General.
“To be charged for sedition for a statement made against another political party and not against any racial groups inside the House is also disrespectful bordering on contempt to the supremacy of parliamentary democracy as well as to the sanctity of the Penang State Assembly as the highest institution in Penang,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim said elected representatives enjoy full legal immunity from prosecution except when they question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.
“UMNO is not protected by any of these four provisions in the Federal Constitution. If insulting another political party is the new yardstick for prosecution, then can the Attorney-General guarantee those UMNO leaders who use such vulgar and false language against the DAP inside Parliament or the State Assembly would be similarly arrested and charged under the Sedition Act,” he asked.
“For Rayer to be charged under the Sedition Act for statements made, which the Penang State Assembly Speaker had not directed him to withdraw is clearly an act of political vengeance and abuse of power by UMNO ,” Lim said.