KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — The Cabinet has agreed that changes should be made to limit the Sedition Act 1948’s use to only matters involving the royalty, minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said today.

Azalina, who is minister in charge of law and institutional reform, said she had presented today the outcome of a recent dialogue on the “3R” issues — religion, race and royalty — to the Cabinet.

“The Cabinet has agreed in principle for the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) to be reviewed to ensure this law is used only to protect the institution of Rulers from any provocation,” she said in a statement today.

“Other aspects regarding provocation involving religion and race will be scrutinised, including enacting new laws if necessary regarding national harmony and unity by taking into account the institution of the Rulers as the head of the religion of Islam, and international best practices and principles.

“The Prime Minister’s Department’s Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) will take the appropriate steps to review the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) in detail and ensure that proposed amendments that will be proposed are truly intended to protect the institution of Rulers holistically,” she concluded.

The “3R” legal dialogue that Azalina was referring to was held on July 21 at the Asian International Arbitration Centre, and which was attended by over 50 representatives from the government — including the National Unity Ministry, the Home Ministry, the police, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) — and non-governmental organisations such as legal professional bodies, civil society organisations, academics and religious organisations.

Previously on July 21, Azalina had said the government intended to review the relevance of several laws — including the Sedition Act 1948 — that can be used to deal with “3R” issues to ensure that they keep up with current developments, as some of these laws were enacted seven decades ago.

Azalina had also noted that enforcement agencies are facing challenges in terms of investigation and prosecution, in light of the rapid spread of information through advanced technology, fake or hacked online accounts, anonymity and artificial intelligence.

Azalina said participants of the 3R legal dialogue and focus group discussion on July 21 were asked to discuss three main options, including whether Malaysia needs to abolish existing laws such as the Sedition Act and to replace it with new laws containing offences that are more specific and whether new laws that are criminal or quasi criminal/civil should be introduced.

The two other options that the participants were asked to discuss was whether Malaysia should amend existing laws to ensure that the issue of 3R provocations can be handled holistically, and whether Malaysia should maintain status quo where no changes to the country’s laws are required and where efforts to tackle 3R provocations could instead be continued through different approaches.

Azalina had at that time said the government would continue to involve stakeholders in considering a holistic policy and legal direction as a guide for the government in tackling 3R issues while also encouraging tolerance, harmony and unity. She had said the July 21 3R legal dialogue’s outcome would be presented to the Cabinet.

At that time, Azalina said the unity government supported the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed to Malaysians under the Federal Constitution and in line with the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, while also taking into account that such freedom should be used responsibly. - Malay Mail, 25/7/2023

Home Minister: 255 investigated for sedition from 2020 to 2022, only four charged


Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023 9:10 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 255 suspects were investigated under the Sedition Act over a three-year period, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Home Minister said the investigations by the police were conducted between 2020 and 2022 with only four cases charged in court.

"In 2020, a total of 117 investigations papers were opened which led to the arrest of two men.

"However, no cases were prosecuted in court," he said in a written reply to a question raised by Datuk Ngeh Koon Ham (PH-Beruas) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 21).

Ngeh wanted to know the number of individuals investigated, detained and charged under the Sedition Act between 2020 and 2022.

He also wanted to know the gender, race and age of those investigated, detained and charged.

In 2021, Saifuddin said that a total of 84 investigations were conducted in with 36 arrests involving 29 male and seven female suspects, with their ages ranging from their 20s to their 60s.
He said that of those detained, 27 were Malays, five Chinese, three Indians and one of other race.

"Only two cases, involving two Malay male suspects in their 30s, were charged," he added.

Saifuddin said that a total of 54 investigations were carried out resulting in 24 arrests in 2022.

He said all suspects were males between 20 to 70 years old, of which 12 were Malays, five Chinese, two Indians and five of other races.

He added that only two Malay male suspects, in their 20s and 30s, were charged in court.- Star, 21/3/2023

Laksana prinsip keadilan tanpa pilih kasih: Agong
oleh NIK AMIRULMUMIN NIK MIN 05 September 2022 01:20pm

Al-Sultan Abdullah menyempurnakan Perasmian Kompleks Mahkamah Syariah Negeri Pahang yang dimasyhur dengan nama Kompleks Syariah Al-Sultan Abdullah di sini pada Isnin.

KUANTAN - Tiada sebarang keistimewaan atau pengecuali kepada pihak yang melakukan kesalahan dalam melaksanakan keadilan.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah bertitah, ketegasan prinsip keadilan Islam juga tidak membenarkan sebarang ketidakadilan kepada sesiapa pun termasuk pihak yang tidak disenangi.

Titah Seri Paduka Baginda, undang-undang hanya memiliki satu bahasa; satu prinsip; satu hukuman dan satu aplikasi kepada sesiapa pun.

"Keadilan yang diamalkan tanpa memilih kasih berjaya mengangkat martabat Islam pada zaman Rasulullah.

"Prinsip keadilan yang telus dan terbuka turut berjaya membangunkan masyarakat yang adil, saksama, makmur dan sejahtera,"titahnya.

Seri Paduka Baginda bertitah demikian dalam titah diraja sempena Majlis Perasmian Kompleks Mahkamah Syariah Kuantan yang dimasyhur dengan nama Kompleks Syariah Al-Sultan Abdullah di sini pada Isnin.

Turut berangkat, Raja Permaisuri Agong,Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah dan Pemangku Raja Pahang,Tengku Mahkota Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah.

Hadir sama, Menteri Besar Pahang, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail dan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Hal Ehwal Agama), Datuk Idris Ahmad. - Sinar Harian, 5/9/2022



SINGAPORE -- Britain's royal family may be having a rough time these days, but at least none of its members has been accused of clubbing a golf caddy to death, fatally shooting a man from a helicopter or beating up a field-hockey coach.

These and other alleged offenses by the sultan of Johor, one of Malaysia's nine hereditary rulers, are being discussed publicly for the first time in the former British colony amid an unprecedented spate of royal-bashing that has accompanied the easing of a taboo against criticizing the sultans.

Fed up with a history of abusive, sometimes violent, behavior by some of the constitutional rulers, the Malaysian Parliament is considering a government proposal to strip the nine sultans of their immunity from prosecution.

With members of Parliament now airing charges of royal misbehavior openly, the normally docile Malaysian press has been having a field day recounting lurid tales that would have been punishable under the country's Sedition Act only a few weeks ago. The act, which prohibits any questioning of Malaysia's form of government, remains in force, but now is being largely ignored with regard to the sultans.

Under the Southeast Asian country's unique rotating monarchy, the sultans, who serve as titular rulers of nine of Malaysia's 13 states, hold elections among themselves every five years to choose one of their number as king. The controversial sultan of Johor, Mahmood Iskandar ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Ismail, 60, was king of Malaysia from 1984 to 1989 and now again rules his state of Johor on the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia across from Singapore.

Trouble for the royals began brewing in July when one of the sultan's younger sons, Tunku Abdul Majid Idris, 22, allegedly beat up the opposing goalkeeper after a field-hockey match that his team lost. The Malaysian Hockey Federation suspended the prince from playing in tournaments for five years.

In response, the sultan orchestrated the abrupt pullout of a Johor school hockey team from a national tournament in November, a move sharply criticized by the team's coach, Douglas Gomez. The hot-tempered sultan summoned Gomez to his palace Nov. 30 and thrashed him in the presence of royal bodyguards, Gomez reportedly told police. Police are investigating the incident.

Earlier this month the Malaysian Parliament publicly accused the sultan of beating the coach and unanimously passed a censure motion, the first time such an action had been taken against one of the hereditary rulers. Then on Dec. 15 Idris, who is not covered by the royal immunity, was charged in court with assaulting the goalkeeper. He faces up to a year in jail and a fine if convicted.

"If such incidents are repeated, it will affect the public's opinion of royalty like is happening in the United Kingdom," Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters.

After the censure motion, Mahathir, who has clashed with the sultans previously during his 11-year tenure, called for constitutional changes to remove the rulers' immunity from legal proceedings. A debate on the matter is scheduled for January. A potential obstacle is that under the constitution, any changes to the sultans' privileges must be approved by their "Council of Rulers," essentially giving the sultans a veto power.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghafar Baba warned that while no one is yet calling for abolition of the monarchy, its fate lies in the sultans' hands. "A fair king is respected," he said, "a cruel king dethroned."

He said that although the constitution gives the sultans certain rights, "it does not allow them to assault, kill or hurt any citizen."

Another member of Parliament, Shahidan Kassim, charged during the session that the sultan and his eldest son, Tengku Mahkota, were implicated in 23 criminal incidents since 1972 ranging from rape to assault and homicide.

Among the examples aired in Parliament was Mahmood Iskandar's conviction for manslaughter in 1977 on charges of shooting a man in a boat from a helicopter, ostensibly to prevent a smuggling attempt. He was sentenced to six months in prison, but his father, who was then Johor's sultan, pardoned him. He succeeded his father as sultan in 1981.

In another case, members of Parliament asserted, Mahmood Iskandar, while serving as king in 1987, bludgeoned a caddy to death with a golf club, reportedly for sniggering over a bad shot. The incident had long been rumored, but never previously publicized, and no action against the king was ever taken.

Neither Mahmood Iskandar nor his sons have commented on any of the allegations, which were published in the Malaysian press as a result of having been raised in Parliament.

Another ruler, Sultan Ismail Petra of Kelantan, stirred controversy earlier this year when he refused to pay the required duty on a Lamborghini Diablo sports car that he had imported. Invoking his royal untouchability, he walked into a customs area and drove off in the car.

In a separate case, government officials said this month that the royal family of Pahang was linked to contractors involved in illegal logging in that state.

While the sultans have long been revered among ethnic Malays in the racially diverse country, they have increasingly aggravated the growing Malaysian middle class in recent years with their inside-track involvement in all kinds of businesses, in addition to the payments they draw from federal and state budgets, political analysts said.

Nearly $50 million a year is paid to the royal families in federal stipends, Malaysian officials estimate, and millions more go for royal residences, vehicles and natural-resource concessions. - Washington Post, 29/12/1992