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Silencing Azmi curbs intellectual discourse

COMMENT When Azmi Sharom, associate professor of Law at the Universiti Malaya, was charged under Malaysia's Sedition Act for providing a legal opinion on a constitutional matter, it shocked the academic community.

 

It was particularly alarming to academics as it is now well acknowledged that the Sedition Act is an obsolete relic of British colonial rule, introduced to curb dissent. Even Prime Minister Najib Razak had expressed the view, about two years ago, that this Act had to be repealed.

 

Najib's government is now preparing a National Harmony Bill to replace this Act. Azmi was, however, one of a number of people, many of them politicians in opposition parties, to be charged under this Act in the recent past...

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