[GHAH PRESS STATEMENT] – GHAH to Submit People’s Petition on Sedition Act to Parliament on 11 November 2014

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) launches today a people’s petition campaign to call on the parliament to review the abuse of the Sedition Act and violations of human rights and to repeal the Act.

GHAH hopes to collect 10,000 petitions and submit all the petitions to the parliament on 11 November 2014. GHAH will gather all petitioners to submit the petitions to the parliament on 11 November 2014 and we urge members of public to also come to parliament to support the submission of the people’s petitions.

GHAH also welcomes the lawyers’ walk organised by the Bar Council in support of the repeal of the Sedition Act. We call on all supporters of GHAH and members of public to join the lawyers’ walk from Padang Merbok to parliament on 16 October 2014.

We urge the government to heed the call of the Bar Council in repealing the Sedition Act and preserving the rule of law in our beloved country. The legal fraternity cannot function to serve justice and the rule of law when lawyers can be convicted for merely expressing their legal opinions such as in the case of Karpal Singh, law professor can be charged for giving his academic views on legal matters such as in the case of Professor Azmi Sharom and law student is investigated for his view expressed in private sphere such as in the case of Dalbinder Singh Gill in Penang.

We condemn the counter appeal by the Attorney General’s office against the sentence in the case of Adam Adli, seeking for a longer prison term to be imposed on Adam Adli who was originally sentenced for 12 month jail term by Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on 19 September 2014. This runs in direct contradiction to the promise of the Attorney General Abdul Ghani Patail to review all sedition cases on 9 September 2014 after public outrage on the abuse of the Sedition Act.

We further demand the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar to come clean and explain to the public the meeting with 60 heads of division of UMNO on 14 August 2014 in which it was reported that the UMNO division leaders demanded IGP and AG to act on the police reports lodged against government critics.

Soon after this meeting, government critics, one by one, were investigated and charged, starting with member of parliament of Padang Serai, N. Surendran charged on 19 August 2014 and member of parliament of Shah Alam, Khalid Samad charged on 24 August 2014.

According to documentation of SUARAM, there have been a total of at least 20 cases of investigation and 12 cases of prosecution under the Sedition Act in 2014. Only 6 cases of investigation and 4 cases of prosecution predated the meeting of IGP and AG with UMNO division leaders.

The spike of cases of investigation and prosecution against government critics under the Sedition after 14 August 2014 clearly raises question and concerns whether the IGP and AG are now acting as the political tool of UMNO division leaders and taking instruction from UMNO division leaders.

We call on the IGP and AG to be accountable to the people and inform the public why both of them met with the UMNO division leaders, who were the UMNO division leader and what were discussed and agreed in the meeting.

GHAH would like to call for an urgent meeting with AG to get his explanation on the selective prosecution under the Sedition Act.


For inquiry, please contact:

Mr. Yap Swee Seng, executive director of Suaram at +6012 2015272 or [email protected]

Mr. Eric Paulsen, executive director of Lawyers for Liberty at +60 12 7162972 or [email protected]

Mr. Liau Kok Fah, chairperson of Civil Rights Committee of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at +60 16 2265330 or [email protected]