Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Don't expect BN senators to repeal law they helped bulldoze through

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘They understand nothing of human rights, only BN rights.'

Hanipa apologises for failing to convince Senate on AFN Act repeal

Cogito Ergo Sum: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin, it's not your fault at all. The Anti-Fake News (AFN) Act 2018 is a creature of BN aimed at muzzling the then opposition.

BN senators would be seen as admitting wrong if they supported repealing a law they themselves had passed. No, this rejection of the repeal has nothing to do with whether the BN understood you or not. It’s about admission of guilt.

Guilt of suppressing the truth from the rakyat. The composition of the Senate must be changed to reflect the wishes of the people.

Rakyat Malaya: I would well back the decision of Senate with regards to rejecting the repeal bill if there was an element of bona fide and sincerity. But in this case, there is no such thing and their rejection was coloured with political motivation.

This repeal bill upheld freedom of expression and constitutional rights enshrined in our supreme law of the land.

It's good to have members of Senate who are different from the ruling party. But here, they have shown they acted in bad faith. They have misused their position for political purposes, not for upholding the rule of law.

Ultimately: The Act was rushed through just for GE14 to scare people from spreading the truth about BN and 1MDB. The drafters admitted before Parliament was dissolved that they had trouble crafting a bill that was legally sound.

The end result was a hack job that gave overreaching powers to laws that could be used in the existing Penal Code.

There is nothing in laws prior to AFN that could not be used to stop fake news from being published. The only thing lacking was the fear factor and overreaching powers.

VGV: These "idiotic" BN senators are a confused lot who know nothing about the AFN Act. They were part of former premier Najib Razak's regime that supported the bulldozing of the AFN Act in Parliament during their "horrible rule".

No worries, Hanipa, it's just a matter of time. Let them "eat their own words".

Dont Just Talk: Yes, there is nothing much you can do with the BN-majority senators sitting in the Dewan Negara, which is akin to the infamous back-door 'gaji buta' (freeloaders) for defeated BN candidates.

Just find an excuse to remove this pile of BN bottom-feeders from the Dewan Negara, all of whom serves no purpose and are a waste of taxpayers' money.

Cocomomo: Hanipa, it's not your fault. These are senators with no honour or dignity. In the first place, they should have logically honourably resigned or at the least offered to resign after BN was rejected at the polls.

History will record them as what they are - disgraceful and without honour.

Someonroutthere: The rakyat and the NGOs should petition the Agong to remove these senators from the Dewan. It’s certain these people serve not the rakyat, but their own interests and that of the party they feed off.

They are not lawmakers because they only understand money and are rubber stamps.

Hanipa need not apologise, because I know how dedicated and principled he is as an MP. The BN senators had already made up their minds, and no matter what Hanipa said, it would have made little difference.

The BN senators were there to 'syiok sendiri' and BN, and are there just to oppose for the sake of opposing.

They understand nothing of human rights, because they only understand BN rights, and what Biro Tatanegara (BTN) had drummed and brainwashed into them.

Royal Salute 21Y: It's okay, Hanipa, since they want this evil piece of law bulldozed through by them, let's use it against all of them who voted for it in the first place.

First up should be ex-MO1 (Malaysia Official 1) who is issuing half-truth statements every other day, next should be former law minister Azalina Othman Said who drafted it, although she has been smart by withdrawing into her own shell and can hardly be heard these days - eventually she will make a mistake, and when that happens make sure you charge her under AFN.

Dewan Negara rejects Anti-Fake News Act repeal

Gerard Lourdesamy: The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 has to be repealed. The Senate rejection is only a one-year delay.

The bill can be retabled again in the Dewan Rakyat and approved. After the expiry of one year from the date of the passing of the original bill, it can be sent again to the Senate for their approval within one month. If it is rejected again, the bill will be sent directly to the Agong for his approval within 30 days.

Seventeen senators terms will expire this year and another 17 next year. The Pakatan Harapan government can appoint the new senators to replace them.

If the Senate persists in objecting to bills purely on a partisan basis to save the face of Umno/BN, the government has ways and means of dealing with recalcitrant senators without resorting to Article 45 (4) of the Constitution for the time being.

In the meantime, the home minister and the AG can instruct the police that the law is not to be enforced. This can be done by de-gazetting the law so that it does not come into effect at present.

The government should consider a referendum on the role and powers of the Senate. The AG should also advise the cabinet on the purport of Article 68 (2) of the Constitution because the bill was defeated on the second reading and not on the third reading.

My view is that the bill can be retabled in the Senate once the government has a clear majority in the House. There is no need to resend it to the Dewan Rakyat and defer it for one year. Attorney-general Tommy Thomas and former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram being experts on the Constitution should be able to advise the government on this.

It is clear that Umno/BN is going to use the Senate as a tool to block all institutional reforms by the Harapan government, including the repeal of other oppressive and draconian laws.

If the unelected Senate wants to start a war with the rakyat's elected representatives, they are asking for trouble. Revolutions have happened for far less.


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