Selepas mahkamah memutuskan Akta Hasutan 1948 adalah berperlembagaan, walaupun ia tidak digubal di parlimen, dan walaupun ia digubal sebelum negara kita mencapai kemerdekaan dan digubal oleh penjajah British, kini kegilaan Akta Hasutan 1948 kembali bermula. Khalid Ismath kini disiasat dan direman selama empat hari di bawah Akta Hasutan 1948. Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) melahirkan kekecewaan di atas perkara ini.

Khalid yang ditahan dipejabatnya pada 7 Oktober lalu, kerana dikatakan menghina Sultan didalam kenyataan beliau di laman sosial, tidak sepatutnya disiasat di bawah Akta Hasutan. Beliau dikatakan ditahan kerana satu kenyataan di laman Twitter pada 6 Oktober yang menyebut “Jangan kita lupa, ada 2 orang yang sedang ditahan dipenjara sebelum dibuktikan bersalah. 1) Kamal Hisham 2) Khairuddin – mereka berdua melawan berhala”. Kenyataan itu sendiri tidak lah berbaur hasutan.

GHAH mendesak agar Khalid Ismath dibebaskan segera. Reman yang dibuat bermula 7 Oktober selama 2 hari dan kemudian lanjutan 4 hari lagi adalah tidak wajar jika tujuannya hanya kerana ingin menyiasat satu kenyataan di media sosial. Pihak Polis tidak seharusnya menghabiskan masa menyiasat perkara remeh ini sedang jenayah meningkat saban hari yang memerlukan lebih banyak tumpuan.

GHAH secara tegas mendesak agar pihak kerajaan berhenti menggunakan akta drakonian ini serta menuntut Dato’ Seri Najib menunaikan janji yang dibuat pada tahun 2012 untuk memansuhkan akta zalim ini bagi menjaga diversiti dan menghormati kebebasan bersuara dan memberi pendapat.
GHAH juga sekali lagi mengulangi tuntutan yang dibuat iaitu:

1. Mansuhkan Akta Hasutan 1948
2. Gugurkan semua pertuduhan dibawah Akta Hasutan 1948 dan bebaskan semua tahanan
3. Tiada akta gantian lain dengan peruntukan yang sama zalim

Disediakan oleh,
Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH)

The call to ban all mass rallies is immature and against Human Rights!

SUARAM strongly disagree with the narrow views espoused by MCA President YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai in regards to rallies taking place in Malaysia. SUARAM would like to inform the good minister that rallies are not illegal by default and the legalities of rallies in Malaysia are subjected to the whims of the Ministry of Home Affairs and other related government agencies.

Contrary to his well-informed views, Article 10 of the Federal Constitution provides all Malaysian a right to peaceful assembly. Further the implementation of Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 itself indirectly reinforces the undeniable fact that Malaysians have the right to assemble peacefully in Malaysia. With the decision handed down by the Federal Court striking down part of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 that limits Malaysian’s right to peacefully assemble, it is of upmost certainty that Malaysians have the right to peaceful assemblies.

SUARAM understand and empathize with the minister’s concerns of possible violent confrontation instigated by mass rallies and would like to point out that all parties including the organizers of sensible rallies are equally concerned with such confrontations. With a willing and capable police force assisting and facilitating a rally, we fail to see a good reason how a peaceful assembly devoid of any racists and fascist remarks could lead to violent confrontations.

SUARAM would like to remind the good minister that the freedom to assemble and espouse our views is crucial to any democratic system. Without such freedom, we cannot in good conscience consider ourselves as a democratic and mature society. As a component party of Barisan National, we believe that the good minister does not need SUARAM to remind him that MCA itself should be no strangers to the idea of openly discussing issue with their partners in Barisan National. The call for action against all mass rallies itself runs contrary to the ideal of being able to openly discuss issues that form the basis of Barisan National.

Rather than earning Malaysia a bad name as posed by the minister, a successful peaceful assembly such as the Bersih 4.0 rally showcase Malaysia’s restraint and peace-loving nature to the world. Rather than painting Malaysia as a country that suffers from political instability, the international community would more likely feel confident in investing in Malaysia knowing that any dissatisfaction against the government would not result in a coup d’etat but would be addressed through peaceful means.

SUARAM certainly do not agree with deplorable behaviour showed by some of the protestors in the rallies that have took place in Malaysia. SUARAM believes that addressing the individuals at fault for such incidents is the proper way forward. Malaysian’s right to peacefully assemble should not be jeopardized due to the actions of a minority. The notion that we should ban and limit all form of mass rallies and public protests due to the ill-advised actions of a small minority is at best juvenile and immature; and at worst, tyrannical.

If MCA wish to minimize the risk of violent confrontations in the future rallies, we implore the good minister who is in control of MCA to clearly condemn those who were instigating and supporting such behaviours and not penalize other Malaysians who wish to express their views through peaceful assemblies.

Lastly, SUARAM hope that the good minister would take a good look at Malaysia and realize that peaceful assemblies and rallies are not the threat to the fabric of our nation. Contrary to that, SUARAM would point out that peaceful assemblies and rallies WAS the values of our founding fathers when they pushed for the independence of Malaysia. Rather than denying this heritage of ours, we should happily adopt and embrace their values and strive to develop Malaysia they dreamt of in those times.

Released by,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director

[Malaysian Insider] Penang Suaram to hold roundtable on local government elections


Published: 14 August 2015 2:15 PM

Penang local government exco Chow Kon Yeow (left) and Suaram secretariat member Jeffrey Phang are hopeful the roundtable will present new ideas and workable strategies on how  to boost local democracy. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Looi Sue-Chern, August 14, 2015.

Penang local government exco Chow Kon Yeow (left) and Suaram secretariat member Jeffrey Phang are hopeful the roundtable will present new ideas and workable strategies on how to boost local democracy. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Looi Sue-Chern, August 14, 2015.

Penang Suaram, in collaboration with the state government, is holding a roundtable discussion on local government elections, to mark International Democracy Day, on September 14, in Komtar, George Town.

Among the prominent individuals to have confirmed participation in the discussion are lawyer and constitution expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) chair Maria Chin Abdullah, Global Moderates Movement head Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism co-founder Cynthia Gabriel, Penang Institute fellow and political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat and Aliran president Dr Francis Loh.

Others expected are lawyer Andrew Khoo, academician and former local councillor Datuk Dr Goh Ban Lee, Machang Bubuk assemblyman Lee Khai Loon and Suaram’s Jeffrey Phang and Sevan Doraisamy.

Phang, who is Suaram secretariat member, said the roundtable would discuss strategies to revive local government elections.
He said although the Penang government had exhausted the legal avenues to revive local government elections, the state should continue to encourage local democracy by appointing non-governmental organisation members into the local councils.

Phang said the state could still encourage the people to participate in the process of making decisions that affect their lives.

“We hope the discussion will present new ideas, possibilities and workable strategies to encourage the participation of the public.

“The people must be part of the process so that they can make the government and the councils improve performance and delivery. The people should not act as bystanders,” he said at a press conference in Komtar today.

The Penang government had previously tried to bring back local government elections. In 2012, the state legislative assembly passed the Local Government Elections (Penang Island and Seberang Prai) Bill and enforced the new legislation in January 2013.

It filed a petition at the Federal Court in March 2013, seeking a declaration that the passed local government election enactment was legal in Penang. The court last year ruled that the enactment was inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, however, and the petition was rejected.

State local government exco Chow Kon Yeow said despite reaching the end of the road in its attempt to revive local government elections, the state would continue to support and promote activities that encouraged the people to take part in the democratic process.

He said for five years now, the state has collaborated with Suaram on such activities.

“We hope that the roundtable will help us find ways to boost local democracy and people participation,” he said.

The roundtable is among Penang Suaram’s activities held under the Local Democracy Festival.

It will begin at 2.30pm at Komtar’s Bilik Mutiara on level 52. – August 14, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/citynews/georgetown/article/penang-suaram-to-hold-roundtable-on-local-government-elections/penang-suaram-to-hold-roundtable-on-local-government-elections#sthash.w5joORGe.dpuf

Suaram Urging IIUM To Review The Decision And Withdraw The Suspension

SUARAM condemns the decision of the IIUM of giving two semesters of suspension to the student who invited Rafizi, the vice president of PKR, to the GST forum held in the school campus last May. SUARAM therefore urges the management of IIUM to review the decision.

The two students, Hanif  Mahpa and AfiqahZulkifli, who are the student council president and council’s academic and intellectual secretariat chairman respective, both had the goodwill of organizing an intellectual forum for the student to know more about the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The management of UIA was informed of the list of attending speakers and it has initially approved the forum but only cancelled their approval last minute. In such event, the students should not be blamed for holding the forum without approval as the management should have given advance notice instead.

The UIA should be an educational institution which encourage sharing of intellectual, especially among the younger generation. At the forum, the microphone of one of the speakers, Rafizi, was snatched away by a police officer and the forum was immediately dismissed. The unreasonable move has showed the management has deliberate disregard of the right to freedom of expression and obstructing an intellectual forum.

The act of the management of UIA is to be criticized for bringing political belief into an educational institution. An institution like UIA should not be seen to favor the ruling political party and prohibit those from other political parties from sharing their knowledge on non-political issues such as the GST in this current case. The management of UIA is indirectly disrupting the intellectual growth of the students evidenced by the grave punishment of the members of the student council for organizing such an event.

The gravity of the punishment in this case is too excessive and unnecessary for organizing an intellectual forum, if the management must say, without approval. The students did not committed severe misconduct that deserves such punishment whilst their good intention to organize an informative forum should not be twisted.

In conclusion, SUARAM strongly urges the management to review its decision and to withdraw the suspension on the students.