Thursday, 27 November 2014

‘Najib bowed to extremists on Sedition Act’

Progressive forces in Umno were losing their case and risk being marginalized.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has taken the position that Umno President and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has shown his “cowardice” by bowing to the extremists on the Sedition Act and questioned his commitment to the reform agenda.

He also pointed out that Najib had pledged, not once but thrice in the recent past, that he would do away with the Sedition Act.

“I am disappointed that Najib has broken his promise to abolish the Sedition Act,” said Anwar, an ex-Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee at the Parliament lobby. “The failure is not just the Act but also the issues over governance and corruption and justice, this does not augur well for the government.”

“He has bowed to pressure from the right wing and extremist groups that want to use the law to suppress freedom and oppress the opposition and other activists.”

The Opposition Leader described Najib as a failure as a leader, as Prime Minister and as president of Umno. “His weak leadership has resulted in him caving in to demands of the right-wingers in his own party,” he added.

Anwar underlined that progressive forces in Umno were losing their case and risk being marginalized as the country is being taken back to the dark days of the draconian ISA which has since been abolished.

The main criticism against the Sedition Act, introduced by the British but abolished in the United Kingdom, is that it circumvents the Federal Constitution on the right to free speech.

The Sedition Act, in a 2nd Prong to acts considered seditious, allows legitimate criticism of mistakes made by the Government.

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