Rights lawyer urges IGP to halt investigation against Kadir

Source: The Malay Mail

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, June 7 — Police should not investigate Datuk A. Kadir Jasin for sedition and other “oppressive” laws that the government has said will be repealed, said lawyer Latheefa Koya.

Responding to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun’s disclosure that investigations against Kadir were initiated under the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, and the Penal Code, she said the police must act consistently with the government’s reform agenda.

“The IGP must realise that Malaysia is no longer governed by the oppressive BN regime which had previously persecuted the people for merely exercising their right to free speech.

“Whoever is affected by Kadir’s article should respond in a civilised manner and not resort to lodging police reports. It is also possible for these parties to file civil defamation suits but there is certainly nothing criminal in what he had written,” she said.

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months.

He wrote another entry today defending his earlier post, telling critics he only meant to show how royals need no assurances beyond what the Federal Constitution provides.

Special committee set up to study security laws

Source: Borneo Post

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has set up a special committee to review existing laws, especially those in relation to national security which are allegedly contrary to human rights, its Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin said the committee, which was set up last week, is chaired by the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

“We will look at and review the laws that come under the Home Ministry. Among those raised are the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA).

“Our goal is to determine in implementing domestic laws the people do not feel that they are being used  for political purposes, to punish certain parties due to differences in ideology and so on,” he said. Read more

Adjourn Sedition Act cases pending review, Ramkarpal tells courts

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh today urged the courts to adjourn the Sedition Act 1948 cases as the new government plans to review and abolish the Sedition Act.

He said Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that the mandatory death sentence, the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, and other legislation seen to be archaic and draconian would be reviewed and probably abolished.

Ramkarpal said in a statement that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) had consistently maintained that the Sedition Act was outdated and was mainly used by the previous Barisan Nasional government as a political tool to stifle dissent.

“There can be no doubt that the said Act is a severe impediment to the right to freedom of speech which is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and must be completely abolished if the new PH government is serious in its reform agenda.” Read more

Muhyiddin: Home ministry to review seven ‘unsuitable’ national security laws

Source: The Malay Mail

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at the Department of Home Affairs in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 — The Home Ministry will review seven laws relating to national security which are no longer suitable in today’s landscape, said the new Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said these laws were the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948, Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,  Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota), and mandatory death sentence.

Muhyiddin said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), non-governmental organisations and social activists would be asked to give their views on these laws.

“These laws will be reviewed and, if necessary, replaced. It will need a bit of time, but not up to five years until the next general election,” he told reporters when asked for the time needed to complete the review.

Muhyiddin was speaking at his first press conference as the new Home Minister after attending a briefing given by heads of departments and agencies under the ministry. — Bernama

Use of Sedition Act unconstitutional ‘as it’s not made by Parliament’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

picture of Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram speaking at the launch of the Selangor Bar’s new auditorium in Section 13, Shah Alam, today. He says if a pre-Merdeka law cannot be brought to accord with the constitution because it violates the doctrine of separation of powers, then the court has ‘no choice, but to strike it down’. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin

THE use of the British-inherited Sedition Act 1948 to prosecute individuals is unconstitutional as it is a pre-Merdeka law, said a former Federal Court judge.

Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Anwar Ibrahim in the opposition leader’s second sodomy trial in 2014, said only Parliament had the power to impose restrictions on freedom of speech.

“The Sedition Act is an existing law. All right. It is good. You can frame it up on your wall. But, you cannot prosecute anyone under it because it is not a law made by Parliament.

“So, it is an existing law and a valid law, but it cannot be enforced,” he said during a lecture at the launch of the Selangor Bar’s new auditorium in Section 13, Shah Alam.

Read more

Suaram says fewer sedition cases recorded in 2017

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The use of the Sedition Act 1948 to curb freedom of expression took a backseat this year, with related offences largely falling under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), a Suaram report found.

The 55-page Suaram human rights report overview, which was launched today, said there were nine known documented cases under the Sedition Act, while the CMA had 146.

“While the overall reduction in arrest, detention and prosecution under the Sedition Act is a welcome improvement, the documented cases in 2017 suggests that the Act still stands as one of the more noteworthy laws in restricting freedom of expression, despite the existence of other more well-used legal provisions,” the report said. Read more

Arbitrary Sedition Act makes ‘promoting atheism’ a crime, lawyers explain

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — The Sedition Act could be used by the government against those who promote atheism in limited situations due to the law’s broad definitions and the current state of Malaysia, lawyers have said.

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan said there is no specific legislation that makes atheism an offence under civil laws, further arguing that the Sedition Act cannot be used against someone for being an atheist.

“Being an atheist is not seditious, especially if it is done in private.

“Spreading atheism may be deemed as seditious in certain circumstances, such as if it is done by insulting or undermining other faiths, especially Islam. But that is because the Sedition Act is so wide and arbitrary and can be used in many ways,” he said, adding that this was why the Sedition Act should be abolished. Read more

Political arrests: Paulsen disputes Zahid’s claim

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: Human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen has accused Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of hiding behind technicalities in asserting that the Najib administration has never been politically motivated to order the arrest of activists.

Speaking to FMT, Paulsen said Najib’s government had not flinched from using technically non-security laws such as the Peaceful Assembly Act and the Sedition Act against opposition politicians and other dissidents.

Zahid recently compared the records of Prime Minister Najib Razak and former premier Mahathir Mohamad and spoke of political arrests under the latter’s rule while the Internal Security Act (ISA) was still in force. He was quoted as saying that no such arrests had been made since Najib became prime minister. Read more

Tutup kes hasutan buktikan saya di pihak benar, kata Jufazli

Sumber: FMT News

Aktivis muda Jufazli Shi Ahmad berkata beliau dimaklumkan ketua pendakwaraya negeri menutup kesnya hari ini. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Aktivis Jufazli Shi Ahmad berkata keputusan ketua pendakwa raya negeri menutup kes berkaitan dakwaannya terhadap salahlaku dan rasuah dalam kerajaan Sabah menunjukkan beliau di pihak yang benar.

Menurut Jufazli, penutupan kes itu dimaklumkan kepadanya selepas menghubungi polis hari ini.

“Mereka memaklumkan ketua pendakwaraya negeri memutuskan secara rasmi kes saya yang dibuka di bawah kesalahan Akta Hasutan pada 9 November 2016 lepas ‘telah ditutup’,” kata Jufazli dalam kenyataan hari ini.

“Pihak pendakwaan membebaskan saya sepenuhnya dan tiada pendakwaan mahkamah daripada pertuduhan menghasut rakyat melawan kerajaan kerana tiada unsur-unsur jenayah menghasut.” Read more

ARTICLE 19 PRESS STATEMENT – Malaysia: Cease investigations of The Star newspaper and its journalists

Source: Article 19 Facebook

ARTICLE 19 condemns the investigation of five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code for sedition and religious hate. The Star is being investigated by police for their front page of 27 May, which featured a photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath a summary of a story which was, headlined “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”.

The Home Ministry issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. This Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, giving broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable. Criminal investigations were then opened on 30 May despite an earlier apology published by The Star and the suspension of Editor-in-Chief, Datuk Leanne Goh Lee Yen and Executive Editor, Dorairaj Nadason. Read more