KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the government would review comprehensively the Sedition Act 1948, without leaving out any options.
The prime minister said the tabling of the Security Offence 2012 Bill to replace the Internal Security Act 1960, did not mean the end of (political transformation) efforts that began seven months ago.
“Definitely the government will continue with the noble transformation and renewal efforts,” he said when tabling the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.
On Sept 16, last year in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration, Najib announced three initiatives, namely the Political Transformation Programme involving the repeal of the Emergency Declaration, Internal Security Act 1960, Restricted Residence Act 1933 and Banishment Act 1959, formulation of the Peaceful Assembly Act, and amending the Publications and Printing Presses Act 1984.
Najib said foremost, three principles must remain in any evolution of the new legal framework, that is, tackling actions and deeds that could create hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any of the rulers.
He said it was also to deal with seditious acts or words that could promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between the different races or classes of the Malaysian population.
The third principle, he said, was dealing with deeds or words that questioned any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.
Najib said the government would also be formulating a new law to replace the Publications and Printing Presses Act 1984, and would keep its promise of doing away with the need to renew the publishing licence annually.
He said a Media Council would be established for the media industry to be self-regulatory.
“We are not scared or afraid to compete in the arena of democracy, and we are not afraid to compare ideas and policies with anyone. We believe we have done the best for the people of Malaysia. And we will continue to do the best for them,” he said.
Najib said it was clear that the tasks had not yet been completed and the government needed to strive harder to ensure generations of Malaysians would continue to live in a peaceful and prosperous nation that was free of fear, tension and uneasiness.
“The important thing is, we are building a nation where the supremacy of the constitution and sovereignty of the law are the protection for each individual so that he or she is free to voice opinions, criticise, support, hold differing views, be involved in politics and be a member of any association.
“In short, no one will be punished for exercising his or her rights as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and the country’s laws,” he said.
Source : Bernama