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PAS: Retain Sedition Act but don’t abuse it

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PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has urged the government to retain the Sedition Act 1948 but not abuse it.

Drawing a parallel between the Sedition Act and the now-abolished Internal Security Act 1960, Hadi said both laws were intended to safeguard a nation but had been abused.

As calls to abolish the ISA have reached a fever pitch, Hadi said it is as though the country doesn’t need laws to protect itself.

“Have we got caught up to that extent? Do the latest calls and promises to abolish the Sedition Act mean we can incite anything? Sometimes that seems to be what the voices suggest.

“The reason for this is that an individual's or a group’s political struggle disregards the nation as a whole and (fails to) realise the tenets to uphold a nation.

“No country can be formed unless there are people, territory, leaders, fundamental laws (such as the constitution) and sovereignty. Thus, laws and their enforcement have to guarantee that.

“Although PAS had been a victim of its abuse, PAS had previously supported the ISA because the country was facing communist threats. That is another story.

“Now we hear calls to abolish the Sedition Act, so let it not reach the point where all incitement is allowed.

“Isn’t what needs to be discussed are the definition of sedition and things that can be deemed seditious and not its abolition?” he said in a Facebook post today.

His statement came two days after Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed by that the government would repeal the Sedition Act before replacing it with a new one “as soon as possible”.

The Sedition Act’s repeal is also among the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s election promises.

Earlier this week, Muslim preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin’s sentence to a year's jail for sedition sparked a new wave of calls for the government to honour its pledge.

 


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