Ramkarpal backs down from endorsing Sedition Act, regrets ‘error’

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
In a statement issued today, Ramkarpal backtracked on his statement calling for the use of the Sedition Act against Hanif. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh has backtracked on his statement calling for the use of the Sedition Act against former police chief Tun Hanif Omar.

“I wish to state that it was an error on my part to suggest the same as I too am of the view that the Sedition Act ought to be abolished in line with my party’s stand and what was promised in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto as the said Act is draconian and has outlived its purpose.

“The error is regretted,” said the DAP national legal bureau chairman in a statement.

This was in response to backlash Ramkarpal had received, specifically from the National Human Rights Society (Hakam).

Ramkarpal is representing DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in the latter’s decision to sue former inspector-general of police Hanif for reportedly accusing Lim of pushing for the division of the peninsula into two after the 1969 race riots.

Hanif had reportedly told a forum in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) last Thursday that DAP had advocated for Malays to get the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and for the west coast to go to the Chinese after the controversial 1969 general election.

Ramkarpal, in today’s statement, stressed Hanif’s statements may be criminal in nature, which could pit one segment of society against another. He urged police to investigate Hanif under Section 505 of the Penal Code for making statements that could cause public mischief.

“It would be most unfortunate and worrying to allow such statements to be made without fear of any penal consequences as it can affect the racial harmony in this delicate society of ours which must be defended,” he said in the statement.

“It is hoped such legislation is introduced in the near future for the betterment of the country,” he added.

Ramkarpal’s brother and DAP national deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo insisted today that the DAP’s stand was to abolish the Sedition Act.

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