Cabinet agrees to temporarily suspend actions under Sedition Act

By BERNAMA / Pic By www.finas.gov.my

The Cabinet has decided to temporarily suspend actions under the Sedition Act 1948, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said the decision was made at the Cabinet meeting yesterday. “A decision was made that since we are going to abolish the Act, actions under the Act should be suspended temporarily.

”That’s the decision of the Cabinet and it should be communicated to the attorney general (AG) and it’s up to him to decide what to do next,” he told the media after opening the E-Commerce Entrepreneurship Summit yesterday.

The minister was reported by a local news portal recently as saying that the AG was already preparing the necessary legislation to repeal the contentious law. It was also reported that the Pakatan Harapan government is on track to repeal the Sedition Act and it should be tabled at the next sitting of Parliament.

Prior to the May 9 general election, Pakatan Harapan had pledged to abolish “oppressive laws”, which include the Sedition Act 1948, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, National Security Council Act 2016 and laws that prescribe mandatory death by hanging.

Meanwhile, the restructuring of the National Film Development Corp Malaysia (Finas), including the appointment of a new DG, is not connected to an internal audit involving a fund leakage of RM25 million, he said.

Gobind said the new appointment is to facilitate bringing in a new (board) team, which will be announced soon, to restructure Finas so that it would perform better in the future.

“The film industry has expanded rapidly, especially the digital world, which has taken films to a very different level. The whole industry is changing. The reason for the new board is to give ideas so that Finas remains relevant and is able to assist the film industry.

“The removal of the (old) DG and deputy DG is not related to any enquiries. It is an internal restructuring process. I never said they were in any way involved,” he said.

Gobind stressed that, among others, the new Finas board will review all the agency’s undertakings to be included in the audit. “If there is anything that needs police or MACC attention, then a report will be lodged,” he said.

Gobind said the ministry is in the process of presenting the internal audit, which will be conducted in detail once all related matters are completed.