Bar: Zahid possibly committed offence under Sedition Act
The Malaysian Bar feels Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi may have stepped over the line and possibly committed an offence under the Sedition Act by uttering controversial statements at a ‘security briefing ceremony with community leaders' in Malacca last Saturday.Its president Christopher Leong described Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's statement as "shameful and had brought the country into disrepute".Expressing shock with the minister's statement as reported in the media, Leong said what Ahmad Zahid had stated meant in effect that:
- The police are to shoot first and ask questions later.
- The amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 providing for detention without trial was his own law.
- In the event there is insufficient evidence, the suspects would be put away for two years."The Malaysian Bar deplores and condemns the statements by the home minister because it reveals his complete disregard for the rule of law, his indifference to human rights and utter lack of respect for debate and argument in Parliament."His statement could be interpreted to support extra-judicial killings by the police. This is extremely worrying and is irresponsible conduct by the home minister. He appears to have overstepped the line and possibly committed an offence under the Sedition Act," Leong (left) warned in a statement.While Leong did not state under which provisions of the Sedition Act the minister may have crossed, Section 3 (e) of the Act says statements that have seditious tendency are those promoting feelings of ill will and hostility among the different races or classes of the population of Malaysia.The home minister was reported to have said the majority of gangsters were Malaysians of Indian descent, that the victims were of another race, and that there was therefore nothing wrong in arresting or shooting them.Leong also pointed out that Zahid was further reported to have said that a criminal group known as Tiga Line, which had been declared unlawful by the Home Ministry, to be benevolent gangsters, and encouraged them continue with their activities.He said the minister's scant regard for the views of fellow MPs demonstrated that any talk about considering the views and proposals of others, including non-governmental organisations and civil society, was a charade.Leong noted that Zahid promised to produce data and statistics to Parliament and the public to justify his statement that the spike in serious crime was due to the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969.However, the Bar president said the minister has failed to provide an iota of evidence to support that contention."Instead it is reported that he resorted to collusion with the inspector-general of police and the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs in the push for the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959."Leong also touched on Zahid's threat to reporters that the ministry would shut down the newspapers that reported the Malacca event, calling this an attempt to silence the media."It is outrageous for the home minister to threaten to use his official position in an attempt to cow the media and shield himself."Zahid who is defending his post of vice-presidency in this month's Umno elections, had made these remarks in a 20-minute speech, of which Malaysiakini has obtained a recording.
[To hear the full recording of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's speech, click here] - Malaysiakini, 9/10/2013, Bar: Zahid possibly committed offence under Sedition Act http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/243355
(a) the police are to shoot first and ask questions later;(b) the recent amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 providing for detention without trial was his own law; and(c) in the event there is no evidence or there is insufficient evidence, the suspects would be put away for two years.