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Ramkarpal slams deputy home minister's remark on Sedition Act

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The statement by Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman that the Sedition Act 1948 will continue to be used until it is amended or abolished, reflects the lack of political will by the government to repeal draconian laws, said Ramkarpal Singh.

In a statement, the Bukit Gelugor MP said that Aziz' announcement also misses the point that such laws ought not to be used on anyone, regardless of political affiliation, as Pakatan Harapan had promised to repeal the act in its election manifesto. 

"In fact, the Home Ministry ought to make such an announcement forthwith so that government resources are not wasted on investigations into offences which are likely to become obsolete in the near future.

"It is not difficult to repeal the Sedition Act as such a move will likely be supported in parliament the way the goods and services tax (GST) was abolished," said the DAP lawmaker. 

Ramkarpal further urged the Harapan government to not follow its predecessor BN in "abusing" the said act, to stifle political dissent. 

In light of the remark by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself that he is not in favour of the police action against his critics, Ramkarpal urged Azis to work towards abolishing the Sedition Act, instead of continuing to defend its use. 

'Read the manifesto'

Meanwhile, incumbent PKR vice-president N Surendran also criticised Azis' explanation that police were merely following the procedure in carrying out arrests under the Sedition Act.

"If this fellow says this kind of thing, he's not fit to be a deputy minister! What nonsense to talk about police standard operating procedure.

"He should get a copy of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and read it," Surendran said on Twitter.

Earlier today, Aziz said police had arrested Azman Noor Adam, the brother of Umno supreme council member Lokman, because the Sedition Act had yet to be repealed.

As such, Azis said he was told by inspector-general of police Fuzi Harun that the police were only following procedure.

Azman was arrested for a social media posting critical of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir has urged the police to stop arresting his critics.

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