Retain the Sedition Act but define it better, says PAS

While some call for the repeal of the Sedition Act, Abdul Hadi Awang says it should be redefined.

PETALING JAYA: The Sedition Act should be retained, said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang today, although others have called for repeal in the wake of the High Court upholding the conviction of a Muslim preacher under the controversial law.

Hadi said a clearer definition of what constitutes sedition was needed.

“Of late there have been demands for the Sedition Act to be abolished. Don’t let it come to a point where all kinds of provocations are allowed.

“Shouldn’t we be discussing the definition of sedition and what constitutes sedition instead of doing away with the law altogether?” the Marang MP said in a statement.

Pakatan Harapan Youth and rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) have called for the law to be repealed after the Shah Alam High Court upheld the conviction of preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin for making seditious remarks against the Selangor ruler.

Wan Ji’s sentence was also increased to a year from the original nine months.

Pakatan Harapan had promised to repeal the colonial-era law in its election manifesto last year. On Thursday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government will repeal the act and replace it with a new law.

Hadi said he found it interesting that those who are calling for the law to be abolished are personally connected to issues related to it. “They have now shown their true selves.”

Hadi went on to say that the Islamic party had previously backed the equally controversial, but now-defunct Internal Security Act to be used against communist, despite party members being detained under the very act.

“We were victims as the ISA was abused, but that is another matter,” he said, in a reference to the arrest of several PAS leaders and activist under the ISA during Operation Lalang in 1987.