Suhakam: POTA, Sedition Act tweaks regressive

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https://hakam.org.my/wp/2016/04/20/suhakam-pota-sedition-act-tweaks-regressive/
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Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee speaks to the media at a press conference on current affairs, August 24, 2015. — Picture by Zurairi AR

Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee speaks to the media at a press conference on current affairs, August 24, 2015. — Picture by Zurairi AR

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — The National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) reiterated today its demand for the abolition of the Sedition Act 1948 on grounds that the law contravened freedom of speech.

The Commission, in its 2015 report, also called the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) regressive, citing provisions of the law that allow for arbitrary detention without trial which Suhakam said violated one’s constitutional guarantee for a fair hearing.

“The commission in various settings has expressed its views on the use of the Sedition Act. The use of Sedition Act is unjustified as the authorities may seek recourse through other laws or legal remedies.

“The commission since its inception has continually urged and called upon the government to repeal the Sedition Act to give full meaning to citizens’ right to freedom of expression and speech as enshrined under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution,” the report said.

Suhakam said while it acknowledged the positives in the amendments made to the British colonial-inherited law, it maintained its position that the continued use of the Sedition Act was unjustified.

On POTA, Suhakam vice chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee described the anti-terrorism law as “a step forward and two steps backwards”.

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