HAKAM notes with grave concern the recent call for the authorities to investigate former IGP Mohammed Hanif Omar under the Sedition Act – in relation to an allegation that Lim Kit Siang had pushed for the division of peninsula Malaysia into two after the 1969 race riots.
This is inconsistent with civil society’s longstanding position that this archaic act must be repealed in its entirety. The Sedition Act is arbitrary, anti-democratic & has been abused by the previous administration on many occasions.
Further, there are sufficient existing laws and measures to ensure that the fundamental constitutional rights of all citizens are scrupulously protected. Lim Kit Siang himself is pursuing a civil remedy vide a defamation action against the former IGP.
This recent call also clearly violates Pakatan Harapan’s own manifesto to revoke the Sedition Act, which was a critical tool of the British colonial authorities to deal with freedom fighters like Ahmad Boestamam & India’s Mahatma Gandhi.
Pertinently, it is also inconsistent with the previous appeals to courts, by the same lawmakers, to adjourn sedition cases pending the Home Ministry’s review & prospect of abolishing the Sedition Act in Parliament. It is thus only right that Pakatan Harapan lawmakers keep true to their words, at all times.
HAKAM reiterates its call for the urgent repeal of the Sedition Act and for a moratorium on all cases pending its repeal in Parliament.
Dr. Gurdial Singh Nijar
On behalf of the HAKAM Executive Committee