Malaysia can descend into chaos with abolition of sedition act: Tun M

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today Malaysia could descend into chaos if the government went ahead with a proposal to abolish the Sedition Act 1948.

He said the proposed new law to replace the act would not be able to prevent all kinds of sedition that would occur.

“The people will be subjected to all kinds of sedition, including incitement to amend the Federal Constitution. It is not inconceivable that they would agitate for the institution of the monarchy to be abolished,” he said in his latest post on his blog.

Dr Mahathir said the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Banishment Act had resulted in a rise in various kinds of crime in the country.

“Sedition, despite its occurrence, has not exceeded the limits,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that without the Sedition Act, the extremists among the people would be free to openly criticise the rulers and the monarchy and eventually call for the abolition of the institution of the monarchy.

“No other law can stop them after the abolition of the ISA and the Sedition Act,” he said, adding that Malaysia did not have legislation that could prevent any ridicule of the rulers and the monarchy like the ‘Lese Majeste’ in Thailand.

He said many people might be angered by the agitation to abolish the monarchy but, because sedition was allowed, those interested in making Malaysia a republic would have the right and freedom to proceed with their campaign.

“The possibility is that chaos will occur in the country. This is a result of the liberal attitude that we exalt now,” he said.

The government announced on May 30 a proposal to introduce a new law to replace the Sedition Act and confirmed having received the drafts of three bills on national harmony.

This followed an announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2012 to abolish the controversial act to, among other things, enhance freedom of expression among the people.


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