KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has shown that he lacks the will to stand up to extremists by failing to fulfil his promise to repeal the Sedition Act 1948, DAP said today. Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Najib’s promise to repeal the colonial-era law was made in 2012 and carried in an interview with BBC World News. “However, Najib’s flip-flop attitude over the Sedition Act clearly shows that he does not dare to stand up against extremists,” Lim, who is also Penang chief minister, said in a statement.
Yesterday, Putrajaya said it was still mulling whether to keep the Sedition Act or replace it altogether, as no new laws have been drafted as replacement. The Prime Minister’s Office said the Attorney-General’s Chambers would draft the National Harmony Act only after principal and basic issues have been decided. “By reneging on his promises to repeal the act, Najib has proven he is a hostage to extremists,” Lim said. “Najib should just admit that his coalition of moderates and 1Malaysia concept are doomed to failure considering recent events,” Lim said.
“It is interesting to note that Najib recently decided to set up a new personal website to distance himself from the www.1malaysia.com.my which is littered with broken promises.” Commenting on the sedition blitz by Putrajaya, which has seen a number of opposition lawmakers, an academician, two preachers, a lawyer and a journalist charged or probed for sedition, Lim said: “This indicates selective prosecution by the Attorney-General, which DAP strongly opposes and condemns. “No stern action has been taken against Perkasa or other Umno leaders for making inflammatory statements against non-Malays and non-Muslims.”
Lim said the prosecution of Universiti Malaya law lecturer, Associate Professor Azmi Sharom, for sedition based on the latter’s academic views showed that there was no respect for the rule of law. “While Putrajaya is busy prosecuting Malaysian citizens, fundamental problems of high debts and budgetary deficits are not being addressed. “The national debt has risen from RM266 billion to RM542 billion between 2007 and 2014,” he added. “Household debt is the second highest in Asia at 87% of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product. Increasing cost of living is a serious problem for low-income groups.” Lim pointed out that even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was concerned over the financial exploits of 1MDB. “1MDB’s debt is currently RM38 billion and its operating income is insufficient to cover interest payments,” he noted. “As Malaysia prepares to celebrate Malaysia Day on September 16, our rights and feelings are being trampled upon by extremists.”