PETALING JAYA: The youth party Muda has called for the repeal of the Sedition Act as soon as possible, reminding the government of Pakatan Harapan’s long commitment towards scrapping the law.
Muda secretary-general Amir Hadi said the party does not condone insulting remarks made towards any party, but it questioned the government’s commitment, especially that of PH, which is part of the unity federal coalition.
Amir said use of the law had gone up by more than 10-fold between 2011 and 2015 after the controversial Internal Security Act was repealed.
He said the increase showed that the Act was used prevalently for political reasons, where opposition activists and politicians, some of whom are part of the current government, were investigated and charged.
Muda’s call for repeal of the Sedition Act came in the wake of independent preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin being taken to jail today to begin a nine-month sentence for sedition against the Sultan of Selangor in 2012.
Amir said: “I urge the government, especially (our) friends in PH to stick with its long-championed reform agenda. I pray that power will not blind us (and) hope that all goes well for brother Wan Ji.”
He reminded government leaders that in 2014 members of the opposition and hundreds of civil society groups had backed the formation of the Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan in 2014 which called for the repeal of the Act, release of detainees under the Act, drop of charges made under the Act, and for the law not to be replaced with another equally draconian one.
In July, law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said the Cabinet had agreed to review and limit the scope of the sedition law to those who insult royalty. However, opponents of the law such as the Bar Council, Lawyers for Liberty and former Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah called for the law to be repealed altogether.