Home Civil Society Voices Rerun of BN-era harassment of activists?

Rerun of BN-era harassment of activists?

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is concerned with the harassment and arrest of activists, unionists and political opponents by the Perikatan Nasional administration.

The news of activists and politicians subjected to repressive laws and facing harassment by state agencies was the hallmark of the Barisan Nasional regime when they were in power prior to the 2018 general election.

The resurgence of such incidences in recent days suggests that the Perikatan Nasional administration is no different and is willing to abuse its authority and strong-arm state institution against legitimate activities of activists and political opponents.

Notable recent incidents of concern include:

  • Investigation of activists against the political coup in February and March
  • Police investigation of journalist Tashny Sukumaran
  • Investigation of Xavier Jayakumar under the Sedition Act 1948
  • Arrest and prosecution of five activists from the National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services in Ipoh, Perak
  • Investigation under the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 and Sedition Act 1948 of Cynthia Gabriel from the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism
  • Allegation of arrest and harassment of political opponents by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency
  • Prosecution of R Sri Sanjeevan under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998

These individuals have been harassed and punished using repressive laws that Muhyiddin Yassin refused to abolish during his tenure as the home affairs minister.

This is an affront to the people’s struggle for democracy that culminated in the 2018 general election. The democratic space reclaimed by the people on 9 May 2018 must not be eroded with the mere change of administration or subverted by the will of unconscionable politicians.

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Suaram calls for the immediate withdrawal of politically motivated investigations into activists and an end to harassment against political opponents.

Suaram calls for an independent investigation into the abuses by the current administration in silencing activists and political opponents and call on the parliamentary select committee to convene as soon as possible to address the matter.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram

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