KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) urged the government today to impose a moratorium on use of the Sedition Act 1948 and other laws considered “oppressive” pending their repeal.
Hakam reminded the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of their 27th election manifesto pledge, which was to revoke the Sedition Act and to abolish draconian provisions in the Communications & Multimedia Act 1998.
“Hakam heavily condemns the authorities’ continued reliance and enforcement of repressive laws such as the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
“These oppressive laws are arbitrary in nature, chillingly restricts our freedom of expression and have no place in a democracy such as Malaysia,” Hakam secretary-general Lim Wei Jiet said in a statement.
This was in response to lawyer and activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri being summoned by Brickfields police to have her statement recorded today, concerning an article she had published last Monday on www.malaysiamuda.wordpress.com that was critical of the royalty.
She is being investigated under the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act that prohibits making offensive posts online.
Fadiah, in the article titled “Don’t Kiss the Hands That Beat You”, had referred to a photo of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kissing the hand of Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar that was posted on social media several months earlier.
She had in the feature called out Anwar, saying his actions embodied a feudal culture.
“The freedom of expression is a cherished constitutional right and the building block of every democracy.
“Any issue, however controversial and sacred, must be open to discussion and criticism,” said Hakam.