No shortcut to national harmony


SUARA Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is appalled by the statement by Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on the Sedition Act 1948 and calls for the government to reinstate the moratorium on the Act. (“Prudent use of Sedition Act will continue until it is repealed”, Nation, The Star, March 20; bit.ly/star_sedition.)

The Sedition Act 1948 is a draconian law introduced by the colonial government to suppress political dissidence. Under Barisan Nasional, it was abused to silence political opponents, human rights activists and others who voiced out against the injustice perpetrated by BN.

The repression turned public support towards Pakatan Harapan, which won the 14th General Election with the promise of a new Malaysia where fundamental freedoms and human rights are respected and upheld. Yet, almost a year since the elections, the Sedition Act continues to be a stumbling block to freedom of expression.

The Act was never designed to protect or maintain national harmony, and its application will never bring about national harmony. There is no shortcut to strengthen national harmony.

Pakatan needs to build a safe space where different views, ideologies and thoughts can be shared freely, with issues of concerns debated in a democratic fashion, and not rely on archaic and draconian laws like the Sedition Act.

Stop defending the Sedition Act and abolish it as promised in Buku Harapan.

SEVAN DORAISAMY

Executive Director

Suara Rakyat Malaysia