No timeline yet to repeal Sedition Act, says PM

According to Dr M, this is because the parliamentary process requires more time

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government will continue using the Sedition Act 1948 in charging transgressors until the unpopular Act has been passed for a repeal by the Parliament, Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said.

He said no timeline has been set in the abolishment of the Act as the parliamentary process requires more time.

“The (Sedition) Act is still there and the law requires some time to be repealed. It has to go through the Parliament. In the meantime, we still continue to apply the law,” he said at the Centennial Commemoration of the Birth of Governor Tun Ismail Ali in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Dr Mahathir added that apart from the Sedition Act, several other laws have also been listed to be repealed. “We have quite a number of laws to repeal and amend. The attorney general will go through all the new laws, and some involves the Constitution.

“In that case, we need a two thirds majority and we do not have it yet. I do not want to be bothered about this thing. Anyone who wants to call me names, they are welcomed,” Dr Mahathir said.

Recently, the government has been strongly criticised for using the Sedition Act on Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam’s younger brother, Azman Noor Adam, after he allegedly shared an insulting photo of the PM on social media.

Azman was arrested by the police at his house in Bukit Subang, Shah Alam, on Oct 2 and remanded for four days to facilitate the investigation.

The government has come under fire as Pakatan Harapan had pledged in their manifesto to repeal several laws including the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, Sedition Act 1948, Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and National Security Council Act 2016.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman earlier said he will stand by Pakatan Harapan’s promise to abolish the Act, despite it still being used by the police.

He said although he did not instruct the police to take any action under the Sedition Act, the law still exists and is valid until the Parliament passes it to be abolished.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said he will consider the suggestion to revisit several high-profile murder cases in the country.

“I have to see what the cases are and the matters behind them,” he said.

Previously, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has suggested to reopen some high-profile murder cases in the country, including that of Anthony Kevin Morais and Altantuya Shaariibuu.