DAP: Sedition Act Amendments an ‘attack’ on the people

In a strongly-worded statement, the DAP today called the proposed amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 an attack on all Malaysians.

Lim Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said “the harsh strengthening of the repugnant laws is a historic act of national betrayal by the Prime Minister and the BN government”.

“Instead of fulfilling his promise first made on the eve of Malaysia Day 2011, and which he repeated twice, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has chosen to dishonour it by breaking his word to repeal the Sedition Act,” the Bagan MP said.

“We hold the Prime Minister and BN parties personally responsible for this historic act of national betrayal to their principles, to their own promises, to the upholding of parliamentary democracy and most important of all to the people of Malaysia.

“Worse, the BN Federal government is now trying to accumulate and amass greater and wider oppressive and arbitrary powers with these repugnant amendments,” Lim said.

He is referring to the amendments to the pre-Independence Sedition Act, which is being debated in Parliament today. Among the amendments include greater penalties towards actions or words deemed seditious to religion and race, and words or actions that incite the issues of cessation of Sabah and Sarawak are also now deemed seditious.

“Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak will also feel betrayed if their right to question whether the failure of BN to abide and adhere to the terms, conditions and guaranteed rights for Sabahans and Sarawakians in establishing Malaysia based on the 1963 Federal Constitution would also give rise to questions of the right to secede is now considered seditious. After all Sabahans and Sarawkians may ask why can’t they raise such question when the BN Federal government betrays their promises guaranteed in the 1963 Malaysia Federal Constitution.

“If so, then why is the BN government also not making it a seditious offence for those who fail to abide and adhere to these terms for Sabah and Sarawak agreed to in forming Malaysia or those who fail to respect the inalienable rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians?” he said.

Lim said the amendments are an open attack in at least 10 key areas, including human rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, rule of law and even on the judiciary.

“DAP urges the Prime Minister and the BN government to return to sanity and calls for the Sedition Amendment Bill to be withdrawn, deferred or at least referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee. These amendments will only instil fear. Let our children live free, free from fear,” he added.

– The Rocket

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