A federal lawmaker vowed to continue fighting for the repeal of the Sedition Act after the Dewan Rakyat today rejected an emergency motion on the law. PKR MP Shamsul Iskandar put in the motion following the latest charge against Subang MP R. Sivarasa under the act for remarks against the judiciary in the jailing of former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, the Bukit Katil MP said he was disappointed with the decision but vowed to carry on fighting for the law to be abolished.
He said there had been a 1,000% increase in the number of persons prosecuted under the act over the last two years.
According to Shamsul, between 2007 and 2012, three people were charged, but since 2013, 34 persons had been prosecuted under the act.
He added that they hoped to raise the issue during the debate on Budget 2016, and reminded the prime minister of his earlier promise to repeal the act.
Sivarasa was charged on Tuesday under the Sedition Act for remarks against the judiciary at a #KitaLawan street rally in March.
He was charged under Section 4 (1)(b) and if convicted, will face a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years’ jail, or both.
Najib had promised in 2012 to repeal the Sedition Act, but announced in November last year at Umno’s annual general assembly that the act will remain and be strengthened.
Parliament approved amendments to the Sedition Act in April. Among the changes was the de-criminalisation of criticism of the administration of justice and government, but the amendments have not yet come into force.
By Jennifer Gomez, The Malaysian Insider