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Liew: M'sia will 'never' consider lèse majesté law

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Da facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong said Malaysia "will never" consider enacting lèse majesté law to protect its royal institution from criticism.

He also denied a media report last month which stated that he did not rule out the possibility of such a law being created in order to protect the country's monarchy.

“First, I want to clarify that when I answered the question on the lèse majesté (law), I never said that it will not be ruled out.

“It will never be considered, in fact. That’s why I said we will never consider a lèse majesté law in Malaysia. Full stop," the minister in the prime minister's department was quoted saying by news portal The Malaysian Insight today.

Lèse majesté - or injured sovereignty - law is famously implemented in Thailand, where acts deemed insulting to the monarchy are punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment.

Instead, Liew said the government was looking to transfer provisions in the Sedition Act 1948 - used to prosecute acts deemed insulting to the rulers - to the Penal Code in preparation for abolishing the act.

He reportedly said: “Whether you like it or not, our system is a constitutional monarchy. So it is very important that the monarchy has to be protected.

“But, of course, at the same time, we also have to ensure that the monarchy cannot simply take the liberty to make statements that may affect people who have the right to make whatever comments they want,” he added.

He added, however, that Putrajaya has yet to decide on when the Sedition Act will be abolished as all "relevant factors" and alternative laws, must first be considered.

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