Not Knowing This 7 Aspects You Will Be The Next
On 30 October, Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF)’s four group fellows and human rights, namely M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabathirau, were arrested and detained for taking part in the 2007 HINDRAF demonstration against the demolishing of a Hindu shrine in Kuala Lumpur. However, they were acquitted due to a lack of evidence of incitement and sedition.
The Sedition Act 1948 is a restrictive act. It can include those that have a tendency to incite hatred towards a ruler or against any government, excite people to take over any government territory using unlawful means, bring into abhorrence or contempt the administration of justice in Malaysia and endorsed feelings of ill-will and hostility among diverse races and classes.
It’s an antiquated British law, introduced to Malaya in 1948 and amended shortly after the 1969 riots. The founding fathers of our nation include Tun VT Sambanthan did not legislate it. It was actually imported directly to become our laws and was retained after Merdeka.
The Sedition Act applies to any act, verbal communication, words, or publications. Under publications factor, the Act interprets it as anything written or printed or in any other manner capable of suggesting words or ideas, and every replica and reproduction or substantial reproduction of any publication. Sedition is different from defamation, which includes libel such as published defamation and slander such as spoken false proclamation of offense.
What is considered seditious under the Act is very broad. Section 3(1) of the Act uses the phrase seditious tendency. An article on water cuts may amount to sedition, since it could be interpreted as the tendency to raise dissatisfaction or estrangement amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State. Many have said the problem lies with the arbitrariness of determining what is actually “seditious”, making the law very political.
If one is found to disobey the Sedition Act for the first time, the utmost term of imprisonment is three years or a fine of not more than RM5000 or both. If you are a guiltless recipient of seditious materials and you consciously do not hand the materials over to the police, you may also be liable for possession of seditious materials under section 7. A lesser sentence is imposed: a fine of RM2000 or imprisonment not more than 18 months or both. The wideness of the provision plus the interpretation of the courts has led the Sedition Act to become very vague.
In 2013, Malaysia 6th Prime Minister Najib Razak said he planned to replace the Sedition Act with a National Harmony Act that “will emphasize the development of the spirit of harmony and mutual respect among Malaysians of various races and religions. At the beginning of the 2013 legal year, the Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail acknowledged there will be revoked and substitute of the Act. But during the 2014 UMNO General Assembly, the Prime Minister said that the Sedition Act will stay and there will be amendments to make it stronger. You will be next if you’re ignorant on 7 aspects of incitement to rebellion. Please think wisely before act.
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