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DAP against Sedition Act, but still wants action against Hanif

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DAP has maintained that it wants to see the Sedition Act 1948 abolished, which was part of Pakatan Harapan's election pledge, said party deputy chairperson Gobind Singh Deo.

In a statement today, Gobind said the law was subject to abuse and had been used to stifle political dissent in Malaysia.

"We have consistently called for its repeal and that position remains," he said.

However, Gobind said, on a personal note, that he agreed that action should be taken against former police chief Mohammed Hanif Omar for insinuating that DAP had tried to split Malaya into two - east coast for the Malays and west coast for the Chinese.

Hanif had said this during a forum at UiTM last Thursday. He told the audience that he had prevented the split from happening by jailing then DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang.

Gobind had described this allegation as "reckless and baseless", but stressed that authorities should not resort to the Sedition Act 1948.

Gobind, an accomplished lawyer, did not offer suggestions on what law should be applied.

Hanif's statement had attracted scorn from Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh who accused Hanif of trying to pit the Malays against the Chinese and that the former police chief should be subject to a sedition probe.

Ramkarpal, who is also a lawyer, did not specifically mention the Sedition Act 1948.

Nevertheless, civil society groups such as the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) had construed it as a direct reference to the controversial law and criticised Ramkarpal for it.

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