KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 – A group of Islamic university undergraduates staged a protest outside the Home Ministry in Putrajaya today and threatened to organise a street demonstration to protest the continued use of the Sedition Act 1948. Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis) president Abdul Malik Abdul Razak said a memorandum had been handed to the Home Ministry. “We won’t hesitate to go to the streets,” he said at today’s protest. “We urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to fulfil his 2012 promise and immediately repeal the Sedition Act 1948, and not use it for political interests,” Malik said.
“We are of the opinion that the Sedition Act has been used to ensure the political survival of Umno and Barisan Nasional, and not to maintain public order and unity among the various communities in Malaysia.” Malik said they would continue to pressure the Prime Minister’s Office until they received an answer. More than 100 undergraduates gathered in front of the ministry today urging Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to repeal the Act. They used a loudspeaker and a replica of a corpse to signify the death of democracy in order to pressure Zahid to accept the memorandum.
The ministry’s special officer Datuk Saufi Abdul Rahman represented Zahid in receiving the memorandum after about an hour of the students’ protest. Malik said it was unfair if the Sedition Act was only used against opposition leaders and students but government and pro-government figures escaped unscathed. “Why is it student leaders and Pakatan Rakyat leaders were charged under the Sedition Act? But Umno leaders and even Zahid escaped without being probed?” Today, former Solidariti Mahasiswa (SMM) chairperson Muhammad Safwan Anang @ Talib was sentenced to 10 months jail by the Sessions Court.
Safwan, 24, was found guilty of sedition after delivering a speech on May 13 last year in which he urged the public to overthrow the government. Bernama reported that Sessions Court judge Norsharisah Awang found Safwan guilty under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act. Safwan was granted a stay of execution pending an appeal and was released after posting bail of RM15,000.