PETALING JAYA: Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has questioned if the police will investigate Attorney General Tommy Thomas as he attended and shared his views at the Rome Statute forum which is now under a sedition probe.
"It is regrettable that a sedition probe has been opened on a forum discussing the Rome Statute recently, according to Inspector General of Police (Tan Sri) Mohammad Fuzi Harun," he said in a statement on Monday (April 29).
Ramkarpal said those who participated in the forum were obviously there to debate the issue in a matured and rational manner and could not have had any intention to disrupt the peace in any way.
"I note the AG was also present as a speaker and shared his views on the matter together with other notable personalities such as constitutional expert Shad Saleem Faruqi," he said.
"Will Fuzi be hauling up the AG for questioning with a view to charging him under the Sedition Act?" he questioned.
Ramkarpal's statement came after Mohamad Fuzi said police would investigate the forum on the Rome Statute organised at Universiti Malaya on Saturday (April 27).
The IGP said several reports had been lodged over the forum and police would be calling in several people, including the organisers, to record their statements.
Ramkarpal said it is hoped that the government seriously considers abolishing the Sedition Act to avoid further restrictions on genuine freedom of speech.
"I am of the view that this is one of the instances which shows how the Sedition Act can be abused which was why its repeal was one of the promises of the Pakatan Harapan government before GE14," he said.
He said free speech is one of the most important of basic rights in any society and the continued use of the Sedition Act is a blatant disregard of that right – more so in a situation where a healthy debate was held with reference to various sound sources of information such as the Federal Constitution and case law.
"The government should be encouraging such debates and free speech instead of instilling fear by threatening the use of the Sedition Act on those who support or criticise the Rome Statute," he added.
Ramkarpal, who is also DAP national legal bureau chairman said he could not see any possible offence committed by the participants.
"If they have, then students in university may also suffer the same fate for studying and debating the said statute if they touch on issues deemed sensitive by some," he said.
The forum at Universiti Malaya on Saturday (April 27) on the Rome Statute was organised by civil society groups including Patriot, Sisters in Islam, G25, Abim and Gerak.
Apart from Tommy and Syed Husin, other panellists were UM constitutional law expert Emeritus Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi and former student activists Asheeq Ali Sethi Alavi and Lim Wei Jiat.