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Tamrin fails in bid to challenge constitutionality of Sedition Act

The Sessions Court in Petaling Jaya today dismissed the application by former Batu Berendam MP Mohd Tamrin Abdul Ghafar to refer the issue of constitutionality of the Sedition Act 1948 to the High Court.

Judge Azwarnida Affandi said there was no necessity to refer the issue to the High Court as the Sedition Act was constitutional.

The judge then fixed June 16 for Mohd Tamrin, 66, to enter his defence to a charge of giving a seditious speech in a ceramah (public talk) at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur between 8.55pm and 11.15pm on May 13, 2013.

The Sessions Court had on Oct 10, 2014, ordered Mohd Tamrin to enter his defence to the charge. However, on Nov 25, 2014, he filed his application.

Judge Azwarnida said the question raised by Mohd Tamrin had already been answered by the Federal Court in the sedition case of Universiti Malaya law lecturer, Associate Prof Dr Azmi Sharom.

The question is whether the Sedition Act is in conflict with Articles 5, 8 and 10 of the federal constitution, and that under Section 3(3) of the Act, the prosecution does not have to prove motive in sedition cases.

Mohd Tamrin was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act, an offence punishable under Section 4(1) of the same Act, which carries a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both.

DPP Julia Ibrahim appeared for the prosecution, while Mohd Tamrin was represented by counsel Eric Paulsen.

- Bernama