Malaysia cannot become a successful democracy with the existence of the Sedition Act, said National Unity Consultative Council panel member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the launch of The Abolish The Sedition Act Movement or Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH).
Published: Tuesday September 16, 2014 MYT 1:46:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday September 16, 2014 MYT 1:51:11 PM
by Victoria Brown
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia cannot become a successful democracy with the existence of the Sedition Act, said National Unity Consultative Council panel member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the launch of The Abolish The Sedition Act Movement or Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH).
“There is only one reason to retain the act and the only reason is to incite fear among the people,” said Saifuddin at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Monday.
“We cannot be a good democracy if we continue to nurture the culture of fear,” he said.
“I have been long been linked to political parties, but the Sedition Act affects everybody. Anybody can be hit with the act, and there are many problems with it,” he said.
“There is a low threshold, anybody can be prosecuted. It is also hard to defend yourself from the act, and that is why it is a draconian law,” said Saifuddin.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called for the Sedition Act to be abolished three times.
“I am confident that the prime minister really does want to abolish the act, but there may be some in his inner circle that is preventing him to do so,” said Saifuddin.
Saifuddin concluded that the abolishment of the act will not only make Malaysia a successful democracy, but also a better place.
Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said that the act will not silence the voices of Malaysia.
“Bersih launched a campaign called ‘Make My Day’, with the purpose for the people to show no fear,” said Chin.
“We have the right to have a voice, we have the right to bring up important issues about our country, we have the right to share our thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.”
“The rakyat will continue to fight for that right,” she said.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who was charged with sedition by the Session Court for her controversial Chinese New Year video this year said that the government cannot stifle the voices of the people.
“People have come up to me after watching the video and asked me why I was charged (with sedition), and I would not say that I do not know,” said Kok.
“Whatever they do now, we see that something good is going to happen and it will start from tonight. The most important thing is for this movement to spread,” she said in reference to the movement to abolish the Sedition Act.
DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said that the rakyat have the voice and the power.
“That is why we are asking for all Malaysians to unite for democracy, for human rights,” said Lim.
Johor PKR vice-chairman Hassan Abdul Karim said that he drove all the way from Johor to deliver his speech.
“I am thankful for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I fight for the voices of the people to come through,” he said.
“This (the Sedition Act) affects our future generations, we must fight for our for our them,” added Hassan Karim.