We stand with Dr Azmi Sharom

Azmi Sharom's arrest has implications for academic freedom

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We, the 300 undersigned academics and concerned individuals, stand united and in solidarity with Dr Azmi Sharom, whose only alleged ‘crime’ is to think and to publicly share his considered opinion on matters related to his professional expertise as a law professor.


Reportedly, all Dr Azmi did was to caution the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat to not resort to the Court of Appeal’s ‘landmark’ ruling of effecting a transition of government and Menteri Besar in the Perak case but to revert to the universally accepted convention of testing its support and its candidate for Menteri Besar in a vote of confidence in the state assembly. What is so seditious about that?

Charging Dr Azmi Sharom with ‘uttering and publishing a seditious statement’ only shows up the hypocrisy of this government. After all, does not this same government also employ Dr Azmi to teach students about our legal system, to undertake research, to study judicial pronouncements and to opine what constitutes justice within a democracy? Does it not defeat the very purpose of his work and indeed the work of thousands of other academics within a nationwide university system if he is to be summarily hauled up for merely doing his duty as an academic?

Charging Dr Azmi Sharom with ‘uttering and publishing a seditious statement’ for his informed views reveals the lack of respect this government has towards the universal principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression. By its actions, this government reveals it is led by politicians who are unable to appreciate civilised democratic values nurtured by enlightened universal education. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s on-going mantra of commitment towards academic excellence, democracy, government and economic transformation rings hollow.

We are of the view that, as long as one does not espouse violence or promote hate, there is no law in our modern world that can justify the criminalising of thought and public speech. Indeed, the colonial-era Sedition Act 1948 under which Dr Azmi is being charged only indicates a painful irony, namely after 57 years of Merdeka we remain shackled and oppressed by the very government that claims to have freed us from British colonial rule.

There is no place in a modern, progressive and democratic Malaysia for an archaic, backward and oppressive law that is the Sedition Act 1948. It is a repugnant law and must be repealed. It runs afoul of the fundamental liberties as enshrined in the federal constitution. It runs afoul of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And it runs afoul of our nature as enlightened human beings with thinking minds.

Free Dr Azmi Sharom from this perversion of justice! Free Malaysia!

4 Sept 2014

1Andrew AeriaAcademicKuching
2Lee Hwok AunAcademicKuala Lumpur
3Faisal HazisAcademicKuching
4Ahmad Fauzi Abdul HamidAcademicPenang
5Ahmad Fuad RahmatAcademic Shah Alam
6Aishah KnightAcademicPenang
7Amanda WhitingAcademicMelbourne, Australia
8Aznijar Ahmad YazidAcademic & PKAUMKlang
9Chai Ming Hock AcademicKuching
10Chiew Thiam KianAcademicKuala Lumpur
11Chua Hang Kuen AcademicPenang
12Datin Dr. Sameem Abdul KareemAcademicKuala Lumpur
13Dato’ Chatar SinghPhysicist & Academic /RetiredPenang
14Dato Dr Toh Kin WoonResearch FellowPenang
15Dato Dr.Sharom AhmatAcademic/RetiredPenang
16Dr Ahmad Farouk MusaAcademicKuala Lumpur
17Dr Jeff TanAcademicLondon
18Dr Lai Suat Yan Academic & PKAUMKuala Lumpur
19Dr Lee King Siong Academic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
20Dr Mavis PuthuchearyAcademic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
21Dr Mohd Faizal Musa AcademicBangi
22Dr Mustafa K AnuarAcademicPenang
23Dr Nur AfifahVanitha AbdullahAcademicKuching
24Dr Ooi Kee BengAcademicPenang
25Dr Subramaniam PillayAcademicKuala Lumpur
26Dr Tessa J. HoughtonAcademicSemenyih
27Dr Wong Chin Huat AcademicPenang
28Dr. Bridget WelshSenior Research AssociateKuala Lumpur/Taipei
29Dr. Cecilia Ng AcademicPenang
30Dr. Corinne HydeAcademicBaton Rouge, USA
31Dr. Khoo Gaik ChengAcademicKuala Lumpur
32Dr. Koo Yew Lie
AcademicKuala Lumpur, UK & Australia
33Dr. Lee Chai Peng Academic/RetiredPetaling Jaya
34Dr Lee Su KimAcademic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
35Dr. Leong Yueh KwongEcologistPenang
36Dr. Lim Mah Hui City CouncillorPenang
37Dr. Lim Teck Ghee Policy Researcher Kuala Lumpur
38Dr. Lucy BaileyAcademicSemenyih
39Dr. Patricia Anne Martinez AcademicPetaling Jaya
40Dr. Rajeswari Kanniah Academicputrajaya
41Dr. Rusaslina Idrus AcademicKuala Lumpur
42Dr. Tan Liok Ee Academic/RetiredPenang
43Dr. John Whalen-BridgeAcademicSingapore
44Edmund Terence GomezAcademicKuala Lumpur
45FK Phang AcademicKuala Lumpur
46Francis LohAcademic/Retired & Civil Society ActivistPenang
47Goy Siew ChingAcademicKuching
48Gregore Pio Lopez Research FellowPerth, Australia
49Helen TingAcademicKajang
50Ho Sinn-Chye AcademicPenang
51Ivy LooAcademicPenang
52James ChinAcademicKuala Lumpur
53Jayaeswari Sangaralingam AcademicPenang
54Jenny Chew Saw Chin AcademicPenang
55Joanne Lim AcademicSelangor
56Jonathan JS Kovilpillai AcademicKuala Lumpur
57K.ThiruchelvamAcademicPetaling Jaya
58Kam Suan Pheng Academic Penang
59Kamal Salih Academic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
60Kamal Solhaimi Fadzil AcademicKuala Lumpur
61Khoo Ying HooiAcademicKuala Lumpur
62Kua Kia SoongAcademicKuala Lumpur
63Law Tzuo HannAcademicTaiping
64Lee Hock GuanSenior Research FellowSingapore
65Lim Hong ShengAcademicJohor Bahru/Oxford
66Loh Kong KenAcademicKuala Lumpur
67Loh Wei Leng AcademicKuala Lumpur
68Loo Hong Chuang AcademicKuala Lumpur
69maimuna hamid merican AcademicKuala Lumpur
70Mary Varghese AcademicPetaling Jaya
71Molly NN LeeAcademic Penang
72Ng Kah ChuanAcademicKuala Lumpur
73Ng Mei Peng AcademicPetaling Jaya
74Ngo Sheau ShiAcademicPenang
75Ngu Ik Tien AcademicKuala Lumpur
76Noraida Endut AcademicPenang
77Paul Lim Academic/RetiredTaipei
78Petra GimbadAcademicKuala Lumpur
79Phua Kai LitAcademicShah Alam
80Por Heong Hong Academic/Independent ResearcherKuala Lumpur
81Por Lip YeeAcademic & PKAUMKuala Lumpur
82Professor Abdul Rahman Embong Academic/ResearcherBangi
83Professor William G. TierneyAcademicLos Angeles, USA
84Professor Andrew Harding AcademicSingapore
85Professor Khoo Boo TeikAcademicTokyo
86Professor Maude E Phipps AcademicPetaling Jaya
87Professor Surichai WungaeoAcademic Bangkok
88Rafidah Md. Noor AcademicKuala Lumpur
89Raja Ariffin Raja Ghazilla Academic & PKAUMKuala Lumpur
90Richard Mason AcademicKuala Lumpur
91Rokiah AlaviAcademicKuala Lumpur
92Rom NainAcademicSelangor
93Rosli H MahatAcademic & PKAUMKuala Lumpur
94Rosli OmarAcademic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
95Ruhana bt. PadzilAcademicKuala Lumpur
96Santhiram RamanAcademicPenang
97Shamsul AB Social Anthropologist Seremban
98Sharifah Muhairah Shahabudin AcademicPetaling Jaya
99Sharon A. Bong Academic Petaling Jaya
100Sharon Kaur AcademicPetaling Jaya
101Soon Chuan YeanAcademicPenang
102Sue Khor AcademicPenang
103Sumit MandalIndependent ScholarPetaling Jaya
104Suresh Narayanan AcademicPenang
105Tamir MoustafaAcademicBurnaby, Canada
106tan beng huiAcademicKuala Lumpur
107Tan Ka Kheng AcademicKuala Lumpur
108Tan Sooi Beng AcademicPenang
109Tan Sri Dato’ Emeritus Professor Gajaraj DhanarajanAcademicPenang
110Thock Ker Pong AcademicKuala Lumpur.
111Ting Su HieAcademicKuching
112Too Shaw WarnAcademicSemenyih
113VGR Chandran GovindarajuAcademicPetaling Jaya
114Wan Chang Da AcademicPenang
115Wan Manan AcademicKota Bharu
116Wang Lay KimAcademicPenang
117Wei Keong Too AcademicSemenyih
118Wong Mun LoongAcademicKajang
119Wong Soak KoonAcademic/RetiredKuala Lumpur
120Yap Tuan GeeAcademic & Medical DoctorKuala Lumpur
121Yeoh Seng GuanAcademic Kuala Lumpur
122Yuen Kok LeongAcademicKuching
123Zabdi ZamrodAcademic/RetiredPenang
124Zaidi RazakAcademic & PKAUMKuala Lumpur
125Zawawi Ibrahim AcademicKuala Lumpur
126Aerleen Justim Concerned CitizenPetaling Jaya
127Ahmed Bin CheeEngineerPenang
128Aidan YangConcerned Citizen/RetiredPetaling Jaya
129Alex Heng Bank Manager/RetiredPenang
130Al-Mustaqeem M Radhi WriterKuala Lumpur
131Altaf Deviyati IsmailResearcherPenang
132Ambiga SreenevasanLawyerKuala Lumpur
133Anas Alam Faizli
Project Management ProfessionalKuala Lumpur
134Ang Hiok Gai EducatorPetaling Jaya
135Angela TanPR ConsultantKuala Lumpur
136Angeline LohWriterPenang
137Angie SanthanamTeacherKuala Lumpur
138Anil NettoFreelance WriterPenang
139Anna Har Mei YokeFilmmaker and ProducerKuala Lumpur
140Anne LasimbangSocial/Community ActivistKota Kinabalu
141Annette Vijiarungam Web AdministratorKuala Lumpur
142Annie LimAdministratorPenang
143Anwar FazalSocial Activist/Concerned CitizenPenang
144Basil Fernando Attorney At LawSri Lanka
145Ben RethualConcerned CitizenKuala Lumpur
146BK OngSocial ActivistKota Kinabalu
147Boon Kia MengPhD CandidateKyoto, Japan
148C.L.Chan Concerned Citizen/RetiredKuala Lumpur
149Charles Hector Lawyer, Human Rights Defender and WriterTemerloh
150Chi TooArtist Kuala Lumpur
151Chia Che Hieng EngineerSingapore
152Chin Khuan Sui TeacherPenang
153Chitra Alagan ManagerPenang
154Chok Pit Yuen SecretaryKuala Lumpur
155Chong Wui HoweBusiness Analysis Manager Ipoh
156Chow Chee KeongPrincipalPenang
157Chua Ai LingAdvocate & SolicitorPenang.
158Chua Sieh MannLawyerPetaling Jaya
159Chua Tee Tee EducatorPetaling Jaya
160Chung Tack SoonMarketing Manager Kuala Lumpur
161Clare Rewcastle BrownJournalistLondon
162Colin Kirton ArtistSubang Jaya
163Colin NicholasIndigenous Rights’ Activist/ Researcher Petaling Jaya
164Daniel John Jambun Civil Society ActivistKota Kinabalu
165Daniel Soon Social Care GiverPenang
166Datin Fakhitah Mohd. DarusWelfare Officer/RetiredPenang
167Dato VL KandanLawyerKuala Lumpur
168Dato’ Thasleem Mohamed IbrahimEntrepreneur & Civil Society ActivistKuala Lumpur
169Dorathy Benjamin Civil Society ActivistSubang Jaya
170Dr SP ChoongMedical DoctorPenang
171Dr Yolanda AugustinMedical DoctorLondon
172Dr. Beth BaikanEnvironmental ConsultantKota Kinabalu
173Dr. Carol YongIndependent Consultant & ResearcherKuala Lumpur
174Dr. Regina Lim Legal ResearcherKota Kinabalu
175Dr. Thomas Mason ConsultantKuching
176Edda de SilvaPublisher/RetiredKuala Lumpur
177Engku Kamanurrull Zahara Bt Engku Kamarudin, Legal Assistant Kuala Lumpur
178Esther GauriProject ManagerKuala Lumpur
179Esther YewSales & MarketingKuala Lumpur
180Evelyn TangAdministratorPenang
181Farida Jivamala binti Md IbrahimTeacherPetaling Jaya
182Gebril AtongIndigenous Peoples’ ActivistMiri
183Geh Cheng Lok Advocate & SolicitorPenang
184Gerard F. RoblessConcerned Citizen/RetiredPenang
185Gurdip Singh, Concerned Citizen/RetiredIpoh
186Haris IbrahimActivistKuala Lumpur
187Harrison Ngau Laing LawyerMiri
188Ho Yock LinSocial ActivistKuala Lumpur
189Honey Tan Human Rights ActivistKuala Lumpur
190Ibrahim SuffianResearcherBangi
191Ineke Roskam NursePetaling Jaya
192Ir. Lam Kar KeongEngineerKuala Lumpur
193Ir. Lim Thean HengEngineerPenang
194Ir. Tan Keng Tong EngineerPenang
195J HoonLawyerPenang
196Jacqueline Ann SurinJournalist & EditorSelangor
197Janarthani, A.Social ActivistPenang
198Janet PillaiIndependent ResearcherKuala Lumpur
199Jayanath Appudurai Concerned Citizen/RetiredKuala Lumpur
200Jeffrey Wei Concerned Citizen/RetiredKuching
201Jerald JosephHuman Rights TrainerKuala Lumpur
202Joan ShoriEconomist Penang
203Joe Sidek Festival DirectorPenang
204John Kim Lean HwaSocial Worker/RetiredPenang
205Jonson K.W. ChongEducatorPetaling Jaya
206Josef BenedictCampaignerPetaling Jaya
207Josephine HoSecretaryKlang
208Josie FernandezCivil Society ActivistKuala Lumpur
209Jude Manickam TechnicianBukit Mertajam
210Julie WongCommunity Organiser/FacilitatorKuala Lumpur
211Julitah PalalunLawyerKuala Lumpur
212Kavitha Rajan LawyerSingapore
213Khoo Salma NasutionEditorPenang
214KJ JohnColumnist/Civil ActivistPetaling Jaya
215Lau Chee BoonEntrepreneur & Civil Society ActivistSeremban
216Lee Cheng Tue EngineerPetaling Jaya
217Lee Chin ChuahTeacher/RetiredKuala Lumpur
218Lee Kiong HockConcerned Senior CitizenWashington DC
219Lee Soo WeiSocial ActivistKajang
220Lee Soon ChingTeacher & School Principal /Retired; WriterIpoh
221Lena HendrySocial activistKuala Lumpur
222Leong Yew Kee Concerned Citizen/RetiredIpoh
223Lim Kah ChengCompany Director/Lawyer
224Lim Kai Shen Teaching AssistantPetaling Jaya
225Lim Poh Yan Concerned CitizenPetaling Jaya
226Loh Cheng KooiCivil Society Activist & Executive DirectorPenang
227Loo Ah HooiInvestor Ipoh
228Low Ai Yun Concerned Citizen/RetiredPetaling Jaya
229Low Siak Kheang,Concerned Citizen/RetiredPenang
230Lucia LaiAdmin ClerkPenang
231M ShanmughalingamManaging DirectorKuala Lumpur
232M. Nadarajah ConsultantPenang
233M.Jaya GobiConsultantPetaling Jaya
234M.Sujata LawyerPetaling Jaya
235Magdalene TangGeologistKuala Lumpur
236Mark BujangIndigenous Peoples’ ActivistMiri
237Michael QuahTeacher /RetiredPenang
238Mohamed Kamar Managing Director/Retired and EnvironmentalistPetaling Jaya
239Nicholas ChanResearcherPenang
240Nicholas Mujah ak Ason Indigenous Peoples’ ActivistKuching
241Nimai BhattacharjeeFinancial ConsultantIpoh
242Noor Mahnun MohamedArtistKuala Lumpur
243Noraini Dhiauddin Concerned Citizen/StudentBangi
244Noreen AriffLegal CounselJohor Bahru
245Noriah bt AbdullahTeacher/RetiredPenang
246P.RamakrishnanTeacher/Retired & Civil Society ActivistPenang
247Pan Choi Yen General ManagerPetaling Jaya
248Peter JohnRadio Journalist/Social ActivistKuching
249PY WongSocial ActivistKuala Lumpur
250R. MageswaranLawyerPetaling Jaya
251Ragahavan A/L AnnamalaiEntrepreneur & Civil Society Activist Kuala Lumpur
252Ramesan NavaratnarajahConsultant GynaecologistPetaling Jaya
253Ramon NavaratnamCivil Servant/Retired & Author Bangsar
254Rayner Sylvester YeoCivil Society Activist/WriterKuala Lumpur
255Robert Cheong Eng Tick Concerned Citizen/RetiredKuala Lumpur
256Robert Foo Wealth Management ConsultantKuala Lumpur
257S. ArutchelvanSocial ActivistKuala Lumpur
258Santalia Deane-JohnsStudentSydney
259Sarah Karmila BenedictLawyerKuala Lumpur
260Sarajun Hoda Entrepreneur & Civil Society ActivistPort Klang
261Satish Chand BhandariFederal Inspector Of Schools, Ministry of Education/RetiredPenang
262Selvaratnam SabaConcerned Citizen/PensionerKluang
263Sharaad KuttanJournalistPetaling Jaya
264Sharifuddin Abdul LatiffFreelance Media SpecialistKuala Lumpur
265Sheila Pakiam CounsellorPenang
266Siah Sy JenLawyerKuching
267Sivin KitDoctoral ResearcherKristiansand
268SK Tio Concerned Citizen/RetiredPenang
269Sophie Marie Helene ChaoEnvironmentalistJakarta
270Susanna George Organisational ConsultantPetaling Jaya
271Suzanne Tan Gaik LengDecorative PainterKuala Lumpur
272Syerleena Abdul RashidSocial Activist Penang
273T.S. GillConsultant EngineerPetaling Jaya
274Tan Gaik HoonAccountantPetaling Jaya
275Tan Hwang-Ee LawyerPenang
276Tan Keat ChooiExecutive SecretaryPenang
277Tan Paik SimConcerned CitizenIpoh
278Tan Pek LengResearcherPenang
279Tan Pong SooEntrepreneur & Civil Society ActivistKuala Lumpur
280Tan Seng KeatResearcherBangi
281Tan Yew SingEntrepreneur & Civil Society ActivistKuala Lumpur
282Tengku Idaura Concerned Citizen/RetiredPenang
283Teo Ann SiangSocial ActivistKuala Lumpur
284Terry Ch’ng Hwa Lian, Concerned Citizen/PensionerAlor Setar
285Thomas Jalong Indigenous Peoples’ ActivistMiri
286TK FongConcerned CitizenKuala Lumpur
287Tricia YeohPublic Policy AnalystKuala Lumpur
288Vicky ChanWebmasterPetaling Jaya
289Vijaye Jayanath EngineerKuala Lumpur
290Wan Saiful Wan JanResearcherKuala Lumpur
291Wong Hoy Cheong ResearcherPetaling Jaya
292Wong Siew LynFreelance WriterPetaling Jaya
293Yap Swee SengSocial ActivistPetaling Jaya.
294Yee Lai WanResearcher/RetiredPenang
295Yew Wei LitPhD CandidateHong Kong
296Yin Shao Loong ResearcherKuala Lumpur
297Yoong Chew Hing Teacher/RetiredKuala Lumpur
298Yow Chee KeongSoftware EngineerSydney
299Yow Lee FungEducation ActivistKuala Lumpur
300Zaid KamaruddinCivil Society ActivistKuala Lumpur
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