Nazri: Don’t repeal Sedition Act, amend it instead

  • Nation
  • Friday, 14 Aug 2020

THE Sedition Act 1948 should be modernised instead of being repealed as it is needed to preserve racial harmony, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas).

Instead, Nazri, who’s also a former minister, said the Act should be amended according to current needs.

Earlier, Nazri argued the importance of ensuring racial harmony in Malaysia while praising Perikatan Nasional for emphasising the matter through the introduction of a National Unity Ministry.

He said much effort had been made to ensure Malaysia stays a peaceful country, adding that the Act had played a role in ensuring racial harmony among the people.

“One important document that unites us today is the Sedition Act, although it has been disputed by many among us,” he said in his speech in Parliament yesterday.

Nazri argued that the law was introduced by the British to ensure no conflicts would arise from the different ethnicities that resided in their administration.

He said the law might have been abused by certain leaders but it should not be repealed, as he quoted a Bahasa Malaysia idiom that says: “marah pada nyamuk, jangan kita bakar kelambu” (we might be angry with the mosquito, but let’s not burn the mosquito net).

“If a leader abuses the Act for personal gain, then the person we should burn is that leader. Not that Act. Some said this Act is ancient, yes it is, because it has been in existence since 1948. It’s 2020 now, so make amendments to the Act, adjust it to current needs.”

Hassan Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) subsequently interjected and asked if Nazri agreed that amendments to the Act should include a provision that requires the element of intention in proving an accused person guilty.

“I agree, this can be discussed. That is what I meant by modernising the Sedition Act because it is useful to us,” said Nazri.

Nazri proposed a parliamentary caucus to deliberate amendments to strengthen the Sedition Act.

Nazri also said that Malaysians should not look at the issue from a western perspective.

“We must look at the uniqueness of our beloved country and citizens must be protected.

“That is why I want to state here that the Sedition Act should be modernised according to local issues and amended according to current times,” he added.

The former Pakatan Harapan government had pledged in its GE14 election manifesto to abolish the Sedition Act if it was elected into power.

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