Amend Sedition Act First If Repeal Is Delayed, Says Law Expert

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 – If Putrajaya won’t repeal the Sedition Act now, it should at least amend it immediately to prevent the 1948 law from being abused for political interests, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said today. The constitutional law expert said although Putrajaya had promised to repeal the law in 2012, it was still being used for reasons completely different from its original purpose. “The promise to repeal the Sedition Act has already been made. So at the very least, the law should be reviewed,” he said. “At least if the law is studied and reviewed, the situation might not be as bad as it is now,” Aziz said. Aziz said presently, the law had been abused and misused, hence it was a good idea to study and review the law.

“We have identified the problems which needs to be resolved, so it should not be left to fester.” Yesterday, student activist Adam Adli Abd Halim was sentenced to a year’s jail for allegedly making a seditious statement at a forum on May 13 last year. Adam Adli had questioned the results of the 13th general election and asked Malaysians to participate in street demonstrations to overthrow the Barisan Nasional government. The court had allowed Adam Adli to delay serving his sentence while waiting for the outcome of his appeal with a bail of RM5,000. Aziz said the definition of the Sedition Act had been narrowed and was inconsistent with the original purpose of its existence in 1948. “There is no need for this act to be maintained even if certain parties want it to be retained,” he said.

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