Thursday, 4 December 2014

Sedition Act: Internet, religion, secession to be included

Home minister Zahid Hamidi says these elements are important in strengthening the Act and in line with the changing times.

MELAKA: Sedition through the Internet, particularly social media, touching on religious sensitivities and calling for Sabah and Sarawak to leave the federation of Malaysia are among the elements taken into consideration in strengthening the Sedition Act 1948.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the move was necessary to preserve unity and harmony among Malaysia’s multiracial society.

“These (three elements) are among the many elements that we have carefully studied in strengthening the Sedition Act…discussions were held with the legal advisers in the Home Ministry and Attorney-General’s Chambers on what needs to be tightened or amended.

“The bill to amend the Sedition Act is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March next year,” he said at a news conference after launching the “From Bikers 4 Gaza” programme and Melaka Motorcycle Carnival at Autocity, Ayer Keroh, here.

Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Idris Haron and state police chief Chuah Ghee Lye.

Ahmad Zahid said sedition through the Internet, especially the social media, should not be allowed to go on unchecked, but needed to be curbed to prevent the problem from becoming cancerous and destroying harmony in the country.

“The Sedition Act was introduced in 1948 where there was no Internet at the time. Therefore, this act now needs to be amended, taking into consideration the existence of this communication facility and other modern channels of communication,” he said.

However, he said, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 was a specific act for tackling misuse of the Internet in this country, with the police working together with the relevant authority, the Communications and Multimedia Commission, on this.




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