Opposing views against government is not sedition

By Azril Mohd Amin

A primary principle of democratic government that can and should be imported into the Muslim Ummah is self-regulation by means of opposition dialogue and political parties. Political opposition, accomplished through the right channel and by reasonable means, is NOT the same as “sedition”, therefore blogs and other forms of detraction from majority party views may not be labeled as “seditious”, as is the habit here in Malaysia.

“Sedition” is a weapons-based plan for the violent overthrow of the existing government, and this dictionary definition has been completely deformed in modern-day Malaysia. Indeed, the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) seems to rely on any meaning of “seditious” that the central government finds convenient for expressing its paranoia, whether or not it is reality-based.

Some might say that it most often is not, although the absence of oppressive security around Malaysian hotels is some evidence of the effectiveness of Special Branch in keeping the bombers out of Malaysia. Even so, your average public demonstration will not become violent unless it is deformed, when central government or police exert their typical “over-control”. Viewing some of these young citizenry being indiscriminately handcuffed and forced into police trucks recently has shown the tragic misapplication of government, and especially police force.

It is this tragic misapplication of police force that caused business losses during the recent anti-ISA demonstrations, and it is the government itself that should be held accountable for those losses, which never would have occurred had the demonstrations been allowed to proceed according to their entirely peaceable intentions.

Accordingly, the recent discussion at the Pakatan Rakyat-initiated “Parliamentary Roundtable on a New IGP for a safe Malaysia” seems quite relevant. Four resolutions were unanimously passed at that discussion.

Read more at: http://wfol.tv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1424&Itemid=9