KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should keep to its GE14 promise to repeal the Sedition Act instead of using it to demand an investigation of their detractors, the president of the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) said today.
Gurdial Singh Nijar noted DAP lawyer and lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh had invoked the colonial-era law earlier today when he asked the police to investigate Tun Hanif Omar for the retired national police chief’s recent allegations against Lim Kit Siang.
The former Universiti Malaya law professor further noted the irony in using the same law that had been created by the colonial British to deal with local freedom fighters.
“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 and prospect of abolishing the Sedition Act in Parliament.
“It is thus only right that PH lawmakers keep true to their words, at all times,” he said in a statement tonight on behalf of Hakam’s executive committee.
He urged the PH government to live up to its promise to expedite the repeal of the Sedition Act and to suspend all cases under it pending its abolition.
“The Sedition Act is arbitrary, anti-democratic and 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,” Gurdial said.
His statement was in response to an earlier statement today by DAP’s national legal bureau chief Ramkarpal, who said he had been instructed by Lim to initiate a defamation lawsuit against Hanif.
The suit is said to be over the former inspector-general of police’s claim that Lim had pushed for the division of peninsular Malaysia into two after the 1969 race riots.
Ramkarpal was reported urging police to investigate Hanif for sedition, saying there was no doubt that his statement showed a tendency to pit one race against each other.