This article has been updated as of 13 August 2018.
To say that Malaysia has a bad history with the Sedition Act 1948 would be an understatement.
In fact, our Ministers…
… even some of their fellow, Pakatan Harapan Members have ‘experience’ the law.
However, when Pakatan Harapan – i.e the now GOVT – ran for election, one of their promises was to repeal several laws. One of them being the Sedition Act 1948.
As our dear 7th PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad said,
Our stance is that when we form the government, we will repeal these acts that are deemed oppressive to the people
So when Pakatan Harapan won GE14, everyone was like…
But, while we might have thought that that is the end of us seeing the Sedition Act 1948 being used, this happened!
I’ve been called in by the police for investigation under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. The questioning will be held at IPD Brickfields tomorrow at 4pm
— Fadiah Nadwa Fikri (@FadiahNadwa) July 10, 2018
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Section 4(1) Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act, here’s the brief version of what they are.
S. 4(1) of the Sedition Act states that
if one (aka person) was to print, utter or publish any statement that was of seditious tendency, the person is deemed to commit an offence under the Sedition Act 1948.
Whereas, S.233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998:
criminalizes the use of network facilities or network services by a person to transmit any communication that is deemed to be offensive and could cause annoyance to another person.
Safe to say, both laws are very controversial. Even the Malaysian Bar Council has written to express their concern.
But, what did Fadiah Nadwa do?!
Wrote my thoughts on the disturbing picture of Anwar Ibrahim bending down, kissing the hand of the Sultan of Johor which emerged on the internet post-GE14—>>Don’t Kiss the Hand that Beats You https://t.co/HfS07xFcDp
— Fadiah Nadwa Fikri (@FadiahNadwa) July 9, 2018
But, wait?! Doesn’t someone have to first lodge a police report for there to be an investigation?
Well, someone did.
The Malay supremacist group claimed the commentary was seditious, malicious & attempted to influence public to abolish the power & position of the Rulers. pic.twitter.com/NRubTchDVU
— Zurairi A.R. (@zurairi) July 10, 2018
Note: Technically the PDRM can still launch an investigation without a police report,
So, what does this mean now?
Well, as no laws – i.e. The Sedition Act 1948 – have been amended or repealed by Parliament, the investigation will continue.
But don’t worry. Our MP’s are definitely taking notice and are making their moves.
I have spoken with @FadiahNadwa and will be at IPD Brickfields with her tomorrow.
This new Malaysia should be more open to differences of opinion, and our constitutional right to freedom of speech must be defended.
— Fahmi Fadzil (@fahmi_fadzil) July 10, 2018
Following the Fadiah Nadwa’s sedition investigation, another activist has been called up by the police under ANOTHER investigation under the Sedition Act 1948.
Student activist Asheeq Asli, has been asked to present himself to the police in regards to the solidarity speech he made in support of Fadiah Nadwa. The incident occurred last month at IPD Brickfields.
What do you think? Is it high time to say goodbye to these types of laws?