Malaysia backtracks on sedition law

2014-11-27 11:34
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Manan Vatsyayana, AFP)

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Manan Vatsyayana, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday said he would keep a colonial-era sedition law that he had promised to scrap.

Najib, who said he would abolish the 1948 law as part of wider political reforms, told members of his ruling United Malays National Organisation party that he had decided to keep the law after consultations with "party leaders, including my deputy, vice-presidents, NGOs and the grassroots".

Human rights and political activists say the Sedition Act has been used by the ruling party to stifle political dissent and cement its dominant position since Malaysia became independent.

The law criminalizes speech that could bring hatred or contempt or disaffection against the government. Conviction carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment or a fine of $1 600 or both.

Najib said the law will not only be retained but will also be strengthened.

"There will be a special clause to protect the sanctity of Islam, while other religions also cannot be insulted", he said.

Prosecutors have filed charges under the act against 14 political activists and members of the opposition since August, Suaram said, and nine more are being investigated, including a journalist.
Read more on:    najib razak  |  malaysia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.