Monday, July 09, 2018

Sedition Act, etc - Is the NEW government 'backtracking'? Not repealing NOW? Review ...maintain?

Is the new Pakatan Harapan-led government 'backtracking' on its promises? That is my worry because rather than speedily repealing bad laws like the Sedition Act, Detention Without Trial Laws like POCA(Prevention of Crimes Act) and POTA(Prevention of Terrorism Act), SOSMA, Peaceful Assembly Act, etc...

Remember, when in Opposition, they strongly opposed...before GE, they opposed and promised to rid these 'bad' laws...but, now in power and in government, are they backtracking after 'thinking about' the ways that they now can use such 'bad laws' against others....?

SEDITION - whether what you said is the truth or not is irrelevant here - for the question is roughly whether the words and/or acts had a "seditious tendency"

(1) A "seditious tendency" is a tendency -
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government;
(b) to excite the subjects of any Ruler or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any Government to attempt to procure in the territory of the Ruler or governed by the Government, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State;
(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or amongst the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;....
If the it was DEFAMATION - truth...and even fair comment is a Defence ....but not so for Sedition. Now, in Malaysia, even the rulers and their families are not above the law - and Malaysia also have special courts to deal with the royalty and their family....

ABOLISH SEDITION ACT - and, if there are things that may be made law later, you can always enact such laws ...which could criminalize words/actions that causes racial/ethnic/religious conflicts, etc. Although, then it may go against the freedom of speech and opinion...but that is a later discussion.

Now, the new 'Law' Minister(Liew Vui Keong) is suggesting that the Sedition Act will not be repealed now....because...? This really is the problem with former UMNO-BN cabinet Ministers - they still think and behave like UMNO-BN...All the more, why I would prefer no former UMNO-BN politician and/or Cabinet member in our new Pakatan Harapan government now ...YES, they have experience but they still cannot escape the 'UMNO-BN' way of thinking...

Liew Vui Keong was reported saying ...."I have come back now and I guess I would have to continue to look into the Sedition Act and make recommendations to the cabinet. - What recommendations? Just REPEAL THE SEDITION ACT

Liew Vui Keong was also reported saying ...."We don't want the people to use seditious remarks against the institutions of the nation, especially against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. These need to be protected," Liew explained. - SO, he thinks Malaysians should not say or do anything to highlight wrongs or criticize the government, the judiciary, the Parliament, the Rulers...So, Malaysians are expected to just 'keep quite' footyball and movies ...and say 'thank are great?'

Sadly, Liew also seem to be not very clear about law....He said the ISA was replaced with SOSMA? One may say that SOSMA was a replacement for ESCAR - but certainly not for ISA. SOSMA (like the ESCAR) gives the ability of the police/prosecution the ability to not strictly comply with existing requirements in our Criminal Procedure Code and/or Evidence Act...). 

One would realize that what the previous UMNO-BN government to 'replace' ISA was to simply expand the scope of the POCA (which now can be used against any person who commits ANY offence under the Penal Code with allegedly another or more). The ISA in fact was, as such, more restrictive because it could only be used for 'national security', 'public order', etc. Well, UMNO-BN was smarter they brought in more draconian Detention Without Trial laws like the 'improved' POCA and POTA which could be used for a wider reason - but it matters not, because the victim cannot even challenge the alleged reasons used to detain him...restrict him...Is there?

Wonder if the new Pakatan Harapan government has continued using the POCA, POTA and other Detention Without Trial laws against 'new' victims since 10 May 2018? That would clearly make the new PH led government a HYPOCRITE..

Has SOSMA been used against anyone since the Pakatan Harapan led government came into power? HYPOCRITICAL?

Special Report

New law minister wants to liberate rakyat with reformed laws

Kow Gah Chie & Hafiz Yatim  |  Published:  |  Modified:
  • INTERVIEW | Liew Vui Keong is no stranger to his current ministerial portfolio of de facto law minister, for he was a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department overseeing law and parliamentary affairs between 2009 and 2013 
  • The 58-year-old Batu Sapi parliamentarian returns to Putrajaya with a mission to liberate Malaysians from restrictive laws prohibiting them from speaking out their mind, movement and freedom to be associated with various associations.

"I want the people not to be fearful of living in this new Malaysia. This is the new Malaysia, with us out of the 60 years of rule by BN and Umno," the Batu Sapi parliamentarian told Malaysiakini in an interview yesterday.

While the permanent chairperson of Parti Warisan Sabah may not come from the Pakatan Harapan parties that pledged to abolish several draconian laws, Liew nevertheless shares Harapan's views on the need to abolish or reform these laws.

Liew, who has yet to be briefed on the full nature of the law reform process, pledged to look into, among others, the Sedition Act 1946 and Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA), to push for the possibility of the abolition or amendment of these two laws.

He particularly emphasised on the Sedition Act, which was on the list of the Malaysia Law Reform Committee (MLRC) that he chaired since 2009, but could not complete his work as he lost in the 2013 general election.

"I have come back now and I guess I would have to continue to look into the Sedition Act and make recommendations to the cabinet. I will look at it earnestly as I know that it affects the aspirations of the people, as stated in Harapan's manifesto, and (I will) recommend to the cabinet for an immediate decision," he said.

"At the same time, we need to ensure that the citizens of the country will be well protected and no party can use certain remarks against the others in this multiracial country.

"We don't want the people to use seditious remarks against the institutions of the nation, especially against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. These need to be protected," Liew explained.

MLRC was first up in 2009 when then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak pledged to relook into archaic laws and to update commercial laws, development laws and laws relating to trade and commerce.

ISA out, but Sosma came in

The committee also reviewed laws deemed to be in conflict with the Federal Constitution. MLRC had also recommended the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other related laws.

The government instead introduced the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) after repealing ISA in the same year.

However, the National Harmony Act, another new law promised by Najib to replace ISA, has not materialised despite spoken about for six years.

Liew distanced himself from Sosma, saying that MLRC's mission was to review the existing laws and that he was not in charge of proposing a new set of laws.

"When they introduced the Sosma, I was not in the picture. It eventually came to me and I was quite shocked to see the proposed law," he recalled.

He revealed that the government initially proposed for a longer detention period as compared with the maximum 28 days detention period proposed under Sosma.

"I gave my views and it was subsequently reduced to 28 days. I had said what I needed to say, but of course they had a better say as I was only a deputy minister then," he added.

Asked about the National Harmony Act, Liew said he would look into whatever that is good for the country.
Liew joined Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1991 and helmed the party from 2006 to 2014. He was then reported to have a fallout with the party leadership and he joined Parti Warisan Sabah two months before the May 9 general election.

Liew was elected as the MP for Sandakan in 2008 but lost the seat to DAP's Stephen Wong Tien Fatt in the 13th general election. He then contested and won the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat in GE14.

Besides looking into the draconian laws, Liew said the recent Kota Kinabalu magistrate's court judgment that saw two Chinese tourists being fined only RM25 each for dancing disrespectfully in front of a mosque reminded him of the need to review the Minor Offences Act 1955 as well.

It is quite a laughable for the magistrate to fine them just RM25, he said.- Malaysiakini, 8/7/2018


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