[GHAH] Hari Yang Kelam Buat Kebebasan Bersuara

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Kenyataan Media GHAH
6 Oktober 2015
Untuk hebahan segera

HARI YANG KELAM BUAT KEBEBASAN BERSUARA

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) hari ini melahirkan rasa kecewa atas keputusan yang telah dibuat oleh Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam semakan kehakiman kes Akta Hasutan yang telah difailkan oleh Prof Azmi Sharom.

Akta Hasutan 1948 seperti yang diketahui umum selama ini, adalah akta drakonian dan zalim yang dicipta oleh penjajah untuk menahan individu dan menyekat kebebasan bersuara terutama dalam perjuangan menuntut kemerdekaan negara suatu masa dahulu.

Mengekal dan menggunakan akta tinggalan penjajah ini malah boleh dianggap sebagai suatu penghinaan besar kepada kemerdekaan dan kedaulatan negara kita.

Mengulangi semula tuntutan yang diperjuangkan oleh GHAH sejak sekian lama; dengan perkembangan hari ini yang mnyaksikan bahawa Akta Hasutan 1948 kekal digunakan biarpun dengan begitu banyak hujah yang mewajarkan pemansuhan dan ketidak berperlembagaannya, kami tetap dengan keras menggesa kerajaan untuk memansuhkan Akta Hasutan 1948 dengan serta merta, tanpa perlu digantikan dengan mana-mana akta lain.

Biarpun apa keputusannya, GHAH akan meneruskan gerak kerja sehingga akta zalim ini dihapuskan serta merta.

Dalam masa yang sama juga, GHAH ingin mengingatkan kerajaan bahawa perkembangan mutakhir ini turut mendapat perhatian kami apabila sekian ramai aktivis dan pemimpin politik ditahan dan disiasat di bawah 124B dan 124C Kanun Keseksaan, sebagai ganti kepada Akta Hasutan. Kenyataan atau tindakan mengkritik dasar dan kecurangan kerajaan dan pemimpin negara, adalah hak dan tanggungjawab setiap warganegara. Isu ini sama sekali tidak dipandang ringan oleh kami. Sebarang bentuk pencabulan hak kebebasan bersuara rakyat Malaysia seperti yang dijamin oleh Perkara 10 Perlembagaan Persekutuan akan terus kami tentang bersama.
Mansuhkan Akta Hasutan!

Di sediakan oleh,
Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH)

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In the Absence of Justice: Sanctioned Human Rights Violations

Suaram press statement
6 October 2015

SUARAM express great disappointment at the Federal Court’s decision made in relation to the Sedition Act 1948 in Azmi Sharom’s case.

The acknowledgement and ‘approval’ of the Sedition Act 1948 as constitutional would undoubtedly constrain freedom of expression in Malaysia. With the tacit approval of the Federal Court of Malaysia, SUARAM have no doubts that prosecution and persecution of civil and political rights defenders under the Sedition Act 1948 would proceed with renewed zeal. The 207 cases of documented investigations and/or remands made under the Sedition Act 1948 would be merely a prelude to what may come.

Recalling the equally disappointing decision made by the Court of Appeal in relation to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Malaysians have much to fear for in regards to our rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. As one of the primary defender of the Federal Constitution and all rights enshrined in our Federal Constitution, It is unfortunate that we have seen the Judiciary in Malaysia indirectly facilitate the deterioration and possibly the demise of human rights and civil liberties in Malaysia.

The worrying trend of human rights violations and erosion civil liberties by the Government of Malaysia would likely continue unabated following the tacit approval of the judiciary. This unfortunate trifecta of disappointing circumstances leaves Malaysians with little to no recourse to justice when it comes to human rights and civil liberties.

As the primary body task to uphold the Federal Constitution and dispense justice to all Malaysians without fear nor favour, the Federal Court of Malaysia must not forget their legal and moral duties to Malaysians.

On this note, SUARAM would like to remind the esteemed and respectable judges of Malaysia of the famous saying that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. In light of the decent decisions, it is disappointingly clear that there is still much to be done before there is true justice in Malaysia.

As we did with the Internal Security Act 1960, SUARAM together with Malaysian Civil Societies and NGOs will work hard with Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) to repeal the Sedition Act 1948. SUARAM hope that this unfortunate turn of events would not silence the brave voices including but not limited to those of Azmi Sharom and the students of University Malaya.

Lastly, SUARAM would like to offer Professor Azmi Sharom and other victims who are charged and penalized for exercising their freedom of expression our deepest sympathies and would reiterate that SUARAM will stand in solidarity by your side through these trying times.

Released by,

Sevan Doraisamy

Executive Director

SUARAM

[GHAH] Peguam Negara Harus Gugurkan Semua Pertuduhan di Bawah Akta Hasutan 1948

KENYATAAN MEDIA
18 September 2015
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Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) merujuk kepada berita bahawa Peguam Negara telah menggugurkan pendakwaan hasutan terhadap Presiden Persatuan Veteran Angkatan Tentera Melayu, Mohamad Ali Baharom, atau lebih dikenali sebagai Ali Tinju dan ingin menyatakan bahawa ini adalah satu perkembangan yang baik.

Ini adalah kerana Akta Hasutan 1948 merupakan akta zalim yang menindas, yang digubal oleh penjajah untuk menekan dan mencengkam rakyat. Walau bagaimanapun, menurut Pendakwa Raya sebagaimana yang dilaporkan dalam berita, kes Ali Tinju digugurkan kerana kononnya kekurangan bukti. Ini amat sukar diterima kerana ucapan Ali Tinju telah dibuat di khalayak ramai dan disebar luas.

GHAH juga ingin mengingatkan Peguam Negara bahawa Akta Hasutan telah baru dipinda dan definisi ‘kecenderungan menghasut’ telahpun tidak merangkumi pihak ‘kerajaan’ dan juga pembangkitan ‘perasaan tidak setia terhadap pentadbiran keadilan di Malaysia atau di mana-mana Negeri’ – dan oleh itu bukan lagi merupakan satu kesalahan hasutan.

Ali Tinju merupakan seorang individu yang jelas penyokong Barisan Nasional, maka adalah amat penting Peguam Negara bertindak professional dan memberi layanan yang sama rata kepada para akitivis dan ahli politik yang mengkritik kerajaan juga.

Kami dengan ini menuntut agar Peguam Negara kini mengkaji semula dan menarik balik kesemua pertuduhan lain di bawah Akta Hasutan demi keadilan saksama. Sekiranya tidak, maka akan dilihat Peguam Negara akan dituduh sebagai beraksi secara dwi standard dan bersifat berat sebelah.

[GHAH]: Insiden Plaza Low Yat : Akta Hasutan 1948 Bukan Jalannya

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) memandang kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, yang menyatakan di dalam akaun facebook rasmi beliau, bahawa Akta Hasutan 1948 akan digunakan terhadap mana-mana kenyataan yang mengganggu keharmonian berhubung rusuhan yang berlaku di Plaza Low Yat, sebagai satu tindakan yang tidak demokratik dan tidak membantu. Sebaliknya ianya merupakan satu alasan untuk mengekang kebebasan media sosial.

Jelas peristiwa di Low Yat adalah satu insiden kecurian yang mengakibatkan pergaduhan antara dua kumpulan. Kini sesetengah pihak telah mengambil kesempatan di atas isu ini untuk mengapi-apikan sentimen perkauman dan menyebarkan berita palsu.

Oleh itu tindakan undang-undang yang tegas harus di ambil terhadap individu-individu yang terlibat, bukannya secara melulu menghalang penggunaan media sosial.

Adalah amat membimbangkan insiden Low Yat dipergunakan bagi menyekat kebebasan bersuara yang tulen memandangkan jauh lebih banyak isu sedang disuarakan oleh rakyat kini melibatkan pihak berkuasa.

GHAH turut melahirkan kekecewaan terhadap insiden yang berlaku di Plaza Low Yat, yang membawa kepada rusuhan yang mengakibatkan kecederaan, namun secara tegas menolak penggunaan Akta Hasutan, kononnya bagi menjaga keharmonian.

Akta Hasutan 1948 adalah akta zalim tinggalan penjajah, yang digunakan bagi tujuan menekan rakyat. Ianya adalah akta yang regresif, melanggar aturan undang-undang, mencabuli sistem demokrasi, menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan melanggar hak asasi manusia.

Pihak polis boleh sahaja menggunakan peruntukan lain seperti Kanun Keseksaan bagi menjamin keharmonian.

Kami dengan ini sekali lagi bertegas, mengecam penggunaan Akta Hasutan dalam insiden ini serta mengulangi tuntutan kami agar Dato’ Seri Najib menunaikan janji yang dibuat pada tanggal 11 Julai 2012 tersebut untuk memansuhkan akta drakonian ini. Kami menuntut agar pihak kerajaan Malaysia :-

1)         Memansuhkan Akta Hasutan 1948

2)         Menggugurkan semua pertuduhan di bawah Akta Hasutan 1948 dan bebaskan semua tahanan

3)         Tiada akta gantian lain dengan peruntukan yang sama zalim

 

Di sediakan oleh,

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH)

 

 

 

For inquiry, please contact:

Mr. Amir Abd Hadi, coordinator of GHAH  at +60 12 3744647 or [email protected]

Ms. Michelle Yesudus, lawyer of Lawyers for Liberty at +60 12 259 9237 or [email protected]

Ms. Serene Lim, Program Coordinator of Suaram at +6012 547 7989 or [email protected]

GHAH is a movement supported by 133 civil societies in Malaysia spearheaded by SUARAM, Lawyers for Liberty, IKRAM, among others. The objective of GHAH is to carry out a national campaign to bring to an end to the ever present threat against freedom of expression and opinion by the Sedition Act 1948 that hangs over every Malaysian.

[GHAH] Memorandum: FULFILL THE PROMISE MADE IN 2012: REPEAL THE SEDITION ACT 1948

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Since the launch of Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) on the eve of Malaysian Day, 15 September 2014, we have been firm on our three demands – to repeal the Sedition Act, to drop all sedition charges and to have no replacement Act with similar draconian provisions – to the Malaysian government. The Sedition Act is repressive, unjust and it has been used to oppress the rakyat of Malaysia.Almost a year since the launch of the movement, not only has the government remained unresponsive and failed to uphold the people’s rights to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, the Sedition Act was used discriminately more and more frequently to stifle legitimate voices.
The amendment to the Sedition Act, which the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pledged to abolish in 2012, was bulldozed by the BN-majority Parliament on 10 April 2015. The amendment effectively imposes a greater threat to the people’s right to freedom of expression which was already at a deplorable stage before the amendment. The wide-ranging provisions, which make the definition of “seditious tendency” indeterminate, would render constructive, legitimate and logic-based views a criminal offence.

The draconian Sedition Act was enacted by the British before the independence of Tanah Melayu. It is a residue law by British colonialism used at a time when they needed to counter communist propaganda. It is ironic that the government of the day is still using the same draconian law against the rakyat of Malaysia.
Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak pledged to repeal this draconian act on 11th July 2012, on the grounds for seeking the best mechanism to achieve a balance between the need to guarantee freedom of expression, and the need to respect the diversity that exists in this country since its inception. On 5th September 2012, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak once again promised to abolish the Sedition Act 1948, but until today, it still applied deliberately. In the statement made by Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak on 11th July 2012, at the “Majlis Makan Malam Jabatan Peguam Negara Bersama YAB Perdana Menteri”, as quoted in “Open Memorandum by the Bar Council to the Prime Minister “, he clearly states:
“Kerajaan telah membuat keputusan agar Akta Hasutan 1948 dimansuhkan dan digantikan dengan suatu rang undang undang yang dikenali sebagai Akta Keharmonian Nasional. Keputusan menggantikan Akta Hasutan dibuat kerana kita mahu mencari mekanisme yang dapat menentukan keseimbangan terbaik diantara keperluan menjamin kebebasan bersuara setiap warganegara sesuai dan selaras dengan peruntukan dan jaminan yang terkandung di dalam Perlembangan Pesekutuan dan keperluan untuk menangani kompleksiti kemajmukan yang wujud dinegara ini. With this new Act we would be better equipped to manage our national fault lines. It would also help to strengthen national cohesion by protecting national unity and nurturing religious harmony….”
The Sedition Act 1948 has no place in our democratic country and it must be repealed:
1. Sedition Act 1948 is a draconian colonial relic, which is used for the purpose of suppressing the people. It is a regressive act, violates the rule of law, contrary to the fundamental principle of democracy, restricts freedom of speech and violates human rights.

2. This draconian act, has become a tool to silence criticism against the government. It has been used to detain opposition politicians, activists, lawyers, academician, journalists, including the ordinary people that are not in line with the government. The government seems to be trying to inject a “culture of fear’ among the rakyat.

3. The amendments made on this draconian act were made without discussion before it was tabled and passed in the Parliament. The amendments do not deal with the unreasonable elements in the Sedition Act 1948, namely the intention of the individual who is being accused of sedition, is irrelevant. This is one of the elements in the Sedition Act 1948 that cannot be accepted and is one of the reasons why this draconian act should be abolished immediately. Although the amendment to Section 3(1)(a) eliminates provisions of criticism towards “government”, and the amendment to Section 3(1)(c) eliminates the provisions of criticism towards “judiciary” seemed good and praiseworthy, with the excuse the amendments are being made to guarantee peace and harmony among Malaysians, when reviewed and reassessed, proved more oppressive and give greater powers to the government. For example:

i. The amendment to Section 3(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, namely the addition of the word “hatred” in Section 3(1)(e) with respect to different classes or races in Malaysia, and the new provisions relating to seditious tendency in Section 3(2)(c)(ii) , of producing “feelings of ill will, hostility or hatred” “between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia”, or “between persons or groups of persons on the ground of religion”, are imprecise amendments. The criminal offences cannot be charge under an Act that the interpretation is too broad and inconsistent. It is unacceptable for criminal sanctions to be imposed based on unclear or ambiguous provisions of law. The life and liberty of accused persons cannot turn on, or be subject to, vague laws.

ii. The amendment to Section 4(1) is also worrying. A person convicted of sedition is now liable to be imprisoned for a minimum term of three years and a maximum term of seven years. The sanction of a fine in lieu of imprisonment has been removed. The imposition of mandatory imprisonment for sedition is harsh and disproportionate to the purported offence. In the case of a Member of Parliament, it will result in automatic disqualification. Moreover, by prescribing a minimum term of imprisonment, the Government curtails the discretion of the Judiciary in sentencing matters.

iii. It is clear that the new Section 4(1A) can be easily abused. All that is needed is for an agent provocateur to provoke an unsuspecting person to utter or publish allegedly seditious words, and for another person to cause “bodily harm or damage to property” purportedly as a result of those words. The former would be liable and would face imprisonment due to the purported conduct of the latter. It is to be noted that here again judicial discretion is curtailed as the Judge is obliged, upon a finding of guilt, to impose the minimum term of imprisonment. A further intrusion into judicial discretion is seen in the new Section 6A, which prohibits a Judge from discharging a person convicted of aggravated sedition either conditionally or unconditionally, or granting a binding over order or taking into account the fact that the person is a youthful offender or a first-time offender.

iv. The amendment in new Section 5A, to allow for restriction on travel, impinges on the constitutional rights of citizens. By obliging the Judge to act on the application of the public prosecutor to restrict travel, the Judiciary has been relegated to being a rubber stamp of the public prosecutor. This is an added assault on the independence of the Judiciary.

v. Another serious amendment is the deletion of Section 6 of the Sedition Act 1948, which protects any person from being convicted of sedition on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness. In other words, where the alleged sedition is attributable to a spoken word or words, a person can now be convicted for sedition on the unconfirmed evidence of one witness. This amendment removes a possible safeguard to a sedition charge, and exposes accused persons to conviction on the mere say-so of one witness.

vi. The amendments also seek — in the new Section 10A — to impose severe restrictions on electronic publications, such as publications on social media. Thus, where there is an allegedly seditious publication by electronic means, a prohibition order can be made to require the person making or circulating the publication to remove the said publication. Further, the person making or circulating the allegedly seditious publication will be prohibited from accessing “any electronic device”. While there is a case to be made for a more responsible and mature use of social media, the amendments goes well beyond that, and threaten the thriving exercise of freedom of speech and expression online.

(source: The Malaysian Bar Open Memorandum to PM Najib)

4. The Sedition Act 1948 will not guarantee peace and harmony, killing freedom of speech and expression, and will only create a “culture of fear” among Malaysians. The called for moderation that is often propagated by Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, will only be a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Harmony and unity cannot be achieved by coercion; especially through legal compulsion. Lasting harmony and unity requires time, hard work, good education, as well as the cooperation of all parties. Using the draconian act in the name of peace, unity and harmony is greatly unacceptable and clearly violates the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution.
After 58 years of independence, the people of Malaysia should have gone through a process of maturity in thinking, working, interaction, communication and behaviour in a civilized society. The government should focus on education that can educate the rakyat, not punishment by using an act that is obsolete, unjust and oppressive.
GHAH is hereby, calling upon the government to fulfill its mandate as the representative of the people and reiterating further our demands:
1. Repeal the Sedition Act 1948,
2. Drop all existing charges and release all those who have been incarcerated under the Act,
3. No replacement Act with the same draconian provisions.

[GHAH] INSIDEN GEREJA TAMAN MEDAN: BUKAN ALASAN UNTUK GUNA AKTA HASUTAN

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) merujuk kepada insiden protes yang berlaku baru-baru ini di sebuah gereja di Taman Medan dan memandang serius tindakan para himpunan sebagai cubaan membuli and menakut-nakutkan gereja tersebut.

Kebebasan untuk beragama dan menjalankan setiap amalan yang dituntut oleh agama masing-masing adalah hak asasi setiap warga negara seperti yang dijamin oleh Perkara 11 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Toleransi antara ras, budaya termasuklah agama adalah elemen penting yang menjamin keharmonian sebuah negara demokrasi yang berbilang kaum seperti Malaysia.

Insiden yang berlaku di gereja yang terletak di Taman Medan tersebut harus dikecam oleh semua pihak dan harus ditangani dengan tegas dan adil.

Biarpun begitu, kita tidak seharusnya memberi ruang dan kesempatan kepada pihak berkuasa untuk menggunakan insiden ini sebagai satu lagi alasan untuk terus menggunakan Akta Hasutan kononnya bagi memelihara kepentingan dan ketenteraman awam.

GHAH tetap tegas dengan pendirian bahawa Akta Hasutan adalah akta drakonian yang mencabuli prinsip kemanusiaan serta tidak berpelembagaan. Kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi bahawa Akta Hasutan bakal dijadikan dasar kepada siasatan ke atas insiden tersebut sama sekali tidak boleh diterima dan harus dikecam. Penggunaan Akta Hasutan dalam kes ini tidak akan menyelesaikan sebarang masalah dan polemik yang telah timbul, sebaliknya hanya akan menambah lagi episod pencabulan hak asasi ke atas warganegara.

Insiden yang berlaku tersebut, biarpun telah dengan jelas menimbulkan ketidaktenteraman kepada masyarakat, boleh ditangani dengan banyak pendekatan lain seperti berdialog, kritikan dan tekanan dari pemimpin dan masyarakat.
Penggunaan Akta Hasutan adalah tidak perlu sama sekali, apabila kes seperti ini sekiranya ada unsur-unsur jenayah boleh disiasat dengan peruntukan undang-undang sedia ada didalam Kanun Keseksaan.

Kami turut menyeru beberapa pihak yang sebelum ini bersama dalam mengkritik Akta Hasutan tetapi kini menggesa pihak berkuasa untuk menggunakan akta drakonian ini ke atas pihak yang terlibat supaya kembali menentang akta ini dan terus berpegang pada prinsip bahawa akta hasutan ini sudah lapuk, zalim dan bertentangan dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan tidak boleh digunakan sama sekali.

Kami dengan ini sekali lagi bertegas mengulangi tuntutan kami menggesa pihak kerajaan memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dengan serta merta, menggugurkan semua pertuduhan hasutan yang sedia ada, dan tidak ada akta gantian dengan peruntukan yang sama zalim.