Remember when Najib promised on 11 July 2012 to repeal the repressive Sedition Act, a relic from the colonial era? The repeal was part of a slew of reforms he had pledged ahead of GE13.
“(The) Sedition Act represents a bygone era in our country and with today’s announcement we mark another step forward in Malaysia’s development,” Najib had said (See Sin Chew report).
Two years since Najib’s landmark announcement, opposition MPs and Aduns continue to be probed or charged under the Sedition Act.
Let’s take a roll call of recent cases:
Khalid Samad (Shah Alam MP – Pas) – charged with sedition today for his statements against the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Sultan.
N Surendran (Padang Serai MP – PKR) – probed for sedition for a second time this month, for his claim that Prime Minister Najib Razak was influencing the courts in fixing the dates for Anwar’s sodomy appeal.
N Surendran – charged with sedition for criticisms he made against the judgment of the appellate court in Anwar’s sodomy appeal.
Rafizi Ramli (Padang Serai MP – PKR) – Probed for sedition for his comments in an article: “Will Rafizi quit if Selangor not toppled?”, published by The Edge in February.
R S N Rayer (Seri Delima Adun) – charged with sedition this morning for alleged using the word celaka when referring to Umno politicians.
Teresa Kok (Seputeh MP – DAP) – charged with sedition over a Chinese New Year spoof video.
Karpal Singh (then Bukit Gelugor MP – DAP, now deceased) – fined RM4000 for sedition for questioning the Sultan of Perak’s action in removing Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak MB in 2009.
Nizar Jamaluddin, the Changkat Jering Adun (Pas) has been charged too, but under criminal defamation laws, for allegedly defaming Najib. Tian Chua (Batu MP – PKR) has been charged under the Penal Code for his remarks at the police while being arrested in April.
Have I missed out any other recent cases? Is there a pattern here?