Home Civil Society Voices Discontinue police probe into politician under oppressive laws

Discontinue police probe into politician under oppressive laws

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

Lawyers for Liberty refer to the statement yesterday by Bukit Aman that politician Xavier Jayakumar is being investigated under the Sedition Act and Section 233(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) over remarks he made relating to the Parliament sitting.

Both these laws should not have been resorted to by the authorities. They are oppressive legislation and are harmful to the right to free speech.

It was in recognition of the troubling nature of these laws that the former Pakatan Harapan government had promised in their election manifesto to repeal the Sedition Act and amend the CMA.

However, despite holding federal power between May 2018 and February 2020, the former PH government took no steps to repeal or amend both these laws, contrary to the promise in its Buku Harapan. As a result these laws continue to be available to be used against alleged wrongdoers.

Both Section 4(1) Sedition Act and Section 233(1) CMA are drafted in wide terms, leading to ambiguity to what is or is not an offence under these laws. This has a chilling effect on free speech.

Further, the Sedition Act is a notorious pre-independence legislation, which has long been criticised by the Bar Council and human rights bodies.

We understand that, unlike the former PH govt, the new Perikatan Nasional government is not bound by any manifesto. Nevertheless, we urge the new government to seriously consider the repeal of the Sedition Act and the amendment of the CMA.

Meanwhile, we strongly urge the authorities to discontinue the probe into Xavier Jayakumar under the Sedition Act and the CMA.

READ MORE:  Drop charges against Heidy Quah

We also urge the new government to place a moratorium on all investigations under the Sedition Act and Section 233(1) CMA pending their repeal/amendment.

Zaid Malek is legal coordinator of Lawyers for Liberty

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x