Explain probe under Sedition Act


Stepping on a photograph of the Prime Minister and his wife cannot be an offence under the Sedition Act 1948.

Gobind Singh Deo

I call upon the IGP to explain why and how it is Ong Sing Yee, 19 and others were arrested and detained for investigations under the Sedition Act 1948.

Stepping on a photograph of the Prime Minister and his wife cannot be an offence under the Sedition Act 1948.

Section 4 of the Act makes it an offence for any person who does or attempts to do any act which has or would have a seditious tendency.

Section 3 of the Act defines and outlines what is meant by the words “seditious tendency”.  Of the 6 instances, (a) defines it as being a tendency to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government.

And as for the definition of “Government”, section 2 of the Act says it means Government of Malaysia and of any State in Malaysia.

Clearly therefore the Act does not apply to the Prime Minister and his wife individually. It must be taken in its proper context. The acts complained of must relate to the Government in terms of its governance and not otherwise.

To extend the application of the word Government to individuals who are part of the Government would be to stretch its definition too far.

It is further disappointing to note that despite the government saying openly that it proposes to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 because it is outdated, the Act is still being used.

In July this very year, the Prime Minister himself announced the proposed repeal of the Act.

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was thereafter quoted in the Star of July 14 2012 as saying:

“The Sedition Act has a provision of not allowing the raising of anger against the government, but now we have discarded it as criticism levelled at the government and its leaders is legitimate under the freedom of speech guaranteed under the Constitution.”

The action of the police in moving to do what to my mind isn’t condoned by the Act and against the July declaration aforesaid is therefore, and without explanation, an abuse of process.

As such, it would be best for the police to clear the air and explain forthwith.