Archive for category Law & Order

Again, Putrajaya shows its bark is worse than its bite

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
31 October 2014

In most countries, civil servants who do not obey cabinet directives are disciplined. But in Malaysia, cabinet ministers have to appeal or cajole civil servants to follow government directives or the law.

The latest is the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s move to seize some 300 Christian CDs and books containing the word Allah from Sabahan pastor Maklin Masiau in klia2 last week.

Masiau’s case is not the first, and is most likely not the last despite assurances from Putrajaya that it respects the religious rights of all Malaysians under the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gani Patail – what has happened to your Sept 9 promise to review the spate of sedition charges?

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s recent explanations have only reinforced public opinion that he has abused his discretionary powers and guilty of double standards in not prosecuting Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Bible while going on a spree with blitzkrieg of sedition prosecutions against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, activists and intellectuals.

Datuk Stanley Isaac, who was formerly head of prosecution in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said Gani’s reasoning that Ibrahim’s threat had no seditious tendency and that Ibrahim had “no intention to offend or provoke” are “flawed in law” and had not allayed public discontent over the AG’s decisions.

Isaac said it “boggled” “his mind how the AG could excuse Ibrahim on grounds of his good intention when the law says otherwise and that it also “boggled” his mind how burning the bible would defend the sanctity of Islam.
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Its not dotard but Mahathir’s classic perverse illogic believing the end justifies the means – whether lies, sedition or even treason – causing him to defend Ibrahim’s Bible-burning threat

Tun Dr. Mahathir is at it again – thumbing his nose at civil and rational society, declaring that he sees no harm in Perkasa President, Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning call.

Mahathir said it was not a problem calling for the Bible to be burned as long as there were good intentions.

He said Islam allowed for the Quran to be burned and not discarded all over the place, or to be stepped on, if it was no longer used.

“So, burning the Quran with good intention is not a problem”, he said.

This is not dotard but Mahathir’s classic perverse illogic believing the end justifies the means – whether lies, sedition or even treason. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Malaysia have a Jokowi?

By Maria Chin Abdullah
Malaysiakini
Oct 29, 2014

As politics unfold in Indonesia, many are impressed with their responses towards democracy building. On Oct 20, Indonesians witnessed a peaceful transfer of power with the inauguration of the seventh president of Indonesia.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, had defeated Prabowo Subianto by 6.3 percent in the presidential election on July 9, 2014. While Prabowo had initially submitted an election petition to challenge the results, he had gracefully accepted the court’s ruling when it rejected all his complaints. This sealed the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla team’s presidential victory in the eyes of the law and the voters.

Indeed, President Jokowi’s beginnings have been anything but impressive in his quest to eradicate corruption and build a clean government.

President Joko Widodo had announced his cabinet and he had strategically submitted his ministerial cabinet lineup to the Corruption Eradication Commission for their screening as a show of his commitment to “form a clean government”.

On Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 the commission had deemed eight of his cabinet selection as inappropriate due to their “alleged involvement in cases of graft and human rights violations.” (The Jakarta Post, Oct 22, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »

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Of burning holy books and sparking chaos

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
29 October 2014

Leave it to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to figure out that burning a holy book is showing it the same respect as Muslims burning Qurans that are old and no longer used.

And of course, it must be done with good intentions, said the former Malaysian prime minister who defended his protege Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the Perkasa chief’s threat to burn Bahasa Malaysia Bibles last year.

“They (Perkasa) have to show respect to the Bible, burn it as how they burn the Quran.”

Dr Mahathir also defended Ibrahim’s statement, saying it was not seditious as claimed by critics, as his intention was not to provoke.

“In other words, he was giving an opinion that could be accepted by Muslims as it was not seditious,” he added.

The acerbic politician is not alone in thinking that Ibrahim’s words were no threat as even the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) have justified the Perkasa chief’s statement as defending the sanctity of Islam.

Both Dr Mahathir and the AGC see no wrong and wonder what the fuss is all about. Read the rest of this entry »

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In UM student protest, leaders see third-wave rising for reform

By Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
October 28, 2014

PETALING JAYA, Oct 28 ― Malaysia looks to have a brighter future with a new generation of student activists who last night stood up to an authoritarian administration to preserve their academic freedom, several civil society leaders and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers said.

The prominent speakers at a fundraising dinner attended by close to 1,000 people here last night pointing to the mammoth in-campus demonstration in Universiti Malaya (UM) led by its student council to show solidarity for alumnus Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who returns to the courtroom today to challenge his controversial second sodomy conviction.

“I say we need a third wave of uprising. An uprising of the people of Malaysia to fight and arise,” said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, to much applause from the crowd.

According to the Gelang Patah MP, the “first wave” happened in 1998 following Anwar’s sacking from government and first sodomy charge. That period in time has come to be knows as the “reformasi” period.

The “second wave”, Lim added, was in 2008 when PR was formed to go toe-to-toe against the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition in the 12th General Elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Speaking about context, what about other sedition cases?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
27 October 2014

Context, the Attorney-General Chambers said today, was the important ingredient to consider when deciding whether Datuk Ibrahim Ali committed sedition when he threatened to burn bibles that contained the word “Allah” last year.

“As decided by the court, before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made …

“When studied in its entire context, Datuk Ibrahim’s statement is not categorised as having seditious tendencies.

“It was clear Datuk Ibrahim Ali had no intention to create religious tensions, but was only defending the purity of Islam‎,” the AGC said, noting the Perkasa chief also said: “This is not a sentiment or (an attempt) to provoke religious tensions, but to defend the purity of Islam which is clearly (stated) in the laws.”

“He also did not commit any offence under Section 298 or 298A of the Penal Code as he was clearly defending the purity of Islam.”

Right. So the context is this, Ibrahim was not charged because he said he was not attempting to provoke religious tensions but was defending the purity of Islam.

Well, to put it in context, that is a half-baked explanation by the AGC, a comment after the fact.

In any court, this type of mitigation would have been laughed at. Read the rest of this entry »

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When Malaysians flee to get justice

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
26 October 2014

In the same week that Malaysia won a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, a Malaysian shockingly fled Malaysia to seek asylum and protection from what he called oppression from authorities and gangsters.

Activist Ali Abd Jalil is the second Malaysian in as many weeks who ran away, citing oppressive laws and lacking faith in the system to protect his rights.

Posting in his Facebook page, Ali said “Now I am in Sweden, looking for asylum… the Malaysian government and sultan treated me like rubbish.

“I have been threatened by gangsters and racist Malay groups in Malaysia. Malaysia is not safe for me, police and gangsters are following me all the time.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Gani Patail fuelling worst crisis of confidence in nation’s history over the role and powers of Attorney-General

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail is fuelling the worst crisis of confidence in the nation’s history over the role and powers of the Attorney-General (AG) as a result of his silence over the escalating controversy over non-prosecution of Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible on the one hand and the sedition blitzkrieg against scores of Malaysians who did not make incendiary statements to create a climate of fear on the other.

This is because the continued absence of satisfactory accountability and acceptable explanation that there have been no arbitrary abuse of the AG’s prosecutorial discretion as highlighted by the decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali despite the threat to burn the Malay-language Bible and the mass sedition blitzkrieg have raised serious questions whether the Attorney-General is committed to uphold the Rule of Law and to act as guardian of the public interest.

Gani’s predecessors as Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib from 1980 to 1993 and Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah (1994 – 2000) had their controversies when they served under the country’s most controversial Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir but Gani Patail had put both Talib and Mokhtar in the shade both in the volume and gravity of controversies since becoming AG in 2002.

Gani has gained another distinction of having been criticized by his predecessor, as last month Talib excoriated Gani Patail for undertaking to review the sedition cases against Pakatan Rakyat leaders, academicians and social activists like Prof Dr. Azmi Sharom after the charges were framed, as the barrage of sedition charges came across as “persecution” and not “prosecution”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Malaysia got the most powerful Attorney-General in the Commonwealth who is more powerful than the Prime Minister and Cabinet and is not bound by any principle of accountability to Parliament and the nation for the exercise of his discretionary powers

I refer to yesterday’s Malay Mail Online (MMO) report with the headline: “DAP vows to hound Nancy Shukri over Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning threat”.

The MMO headline is wrong and misleading as I had never made any vow, threat or statement to justify the headline “DAP vows to hound Nancy Shukri over Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning threat”.

For the record, this was what I said in my statement yesterday:

“It may seem unfair that Nancy had been hounded for over two weeks for her parliamentary answer that Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible, but this national outrage will not cease simply because right-thinking Malaysians cannot accept the two reasons which had been given for the Attorney-General’s decision not to prosecute – that Ibrahim was protecting the sanctity of Islam and Ibrahim’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution.

“Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Malay-language Bible and his ability to get away scot-free enjoying immunity from any sanctions of the law will continue to dog Nancy wherever she goes in the country until the Najib government can give a satisfactory and acceptable accounting on the matter.”

It is not that DAP would “hound” Nancy over the issue, but that she would be dogged by the issue wherever she goes in any part of the country, as this would be the question uppermost in the minds of Malaysians, including the media when they meet her, as the gross miscarriage of justice of the non-prosecution of Ibrahim Ali over such provocative and incendiary threat is so palpable that it stands out in direct contrast to the “white terror” regime of sedition blitz launched recently by the government, resulting in the investigation or prosecution of some 40 Pakatan Rakyat leaders, social activists, academicians and members of the press under the Sedition Act and other laws for the most legitimate and inoffensive expression of views. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nancy is forgetful and confused

– Ravinder Singh
The Malaysian Insider
21 October 2014

In one breath Nancy said that her parliamentary reply “would have been similar, if the threat was to burn the Quran”.

In the very next breath she said “But I had to answer based on what was done, what was carried out. Based on their analysis, there wasn’t enough evidence (to charge), that is their answer,”

So, can Nancy clarify: if the answer she gave was “their answer”, how could she assure the public that “if the threat was to burn the Quran”, “their answer” would be the same, for she would only be reading “their answer” again. No?

She is all confused. While saying that the answer she gave was “their reply”, she is at the same time asserting that it was her reply. For only if it were her own reply, could she give an assurance that she would give the same reply if the threat was to burn the Quran.

If somebody takes her courageous words to heart and threatens to burn the Quran, can she guarantee that her reply would be the same? How would that be since the reply would be prepared by the A-G Chambers, or would she do a ‘copy and paste’ job and would the A-G let her do so? He might charge her for plagiarism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nancy is right that Cabinet cannot decide prosecutions for AG but wrong when she implied Cabinet is impotent or must accept an AG guilty of selective or malicious prosecution

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri is right when she said today that the Cabinet could not make decisions on charges against Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali as this would be tantamount to meddling in the prosecutorial discretion of the Attorney-General stipulated in the Constitution.

But Nancy is wrong when she implied that the Cabinet is impotent or must accept an Attorney-General who is guilty of selective or malicious prosecution, like the failure to prosecute Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali despite his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible or the “white terror” regime of sedition blitzkrieg since the beginning of this year to investigate or prosecute some 40 Pakatan Rakyat leaders, social activists, academicians and members of the press under the Sedition Act and other laws for the most legitimate and inoffensive expression of views.

While the Cabinet cannot interfere with the Attorney-General’s prosecutorial discretion under Article 145(3) of the Constitution, Cabinet Ministers, in particular the Prime Minister and the Minister vested with the powers of de facto Law Minister, cannot be indifferent to prevalent public opinion that the Attorney General was responsible for grave miscarriage of justice, whether in the failure to prosecute Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible threatening the very fabric of Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious society or had violated the larger policy objective of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to make Malaysia “the best democracy of the world” with the mass dragnet of sedition investigations and prosecutions.

Or is the Cabinet now claiming that the pledge to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy is the personal and individual promise of the Prime Minister, and that he had no mandate to make it on behalf of the Cabinet or Malaysian Government? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s greatest disservice within 48 hours of Malaysia’s 187-vote election as non-permanent member of United Nation Security Council

Ironically, it is the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself who, within 48 hours, rendered the greatest disservice to Malaysia’s “first-class honours” of 187-vote election as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) when he addressed the 43rd Gerakan National Delegates Conference in Shah Alam this morning.

After Malaysia’s election as non-permanent member of the UNSC for the third time on Friday, Najib had outlined five areas of priority for Malaysia to push in the UNSC, viz, advance moderation globally; advocate mediation as an approach to conflict resolution; promote UN peacekeeping operations; facilitate the peace-building process in strife-torn countries and pursue deliberations on the UNSC’s comprehensive reformation.

It is a clear that there is a major lacuna in Najib’s list of five priorities for Malaysia’s role as a non-permanent member of UNSC, for Malaysia cannot effectively or credibly advance moderation globally when moderation is in retreat domestically at home, or even worse, having to hide in nooks and corners as when his brainchild, the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) had to ask the media not to report on its forum proceedings because of the “white terror” sedition blitzkrieg in the country.

In other words, freedom of speech, expression of opinion have degenerated to a stage where “moderation” – as understood by Najib through GMM – can be persecuted and prosecuted as “sedition” by Najib’s Attorney-General!

If Malaysia is to be an effective and credible member of UNSC to advance moderation globally, then it should add a sixth priority and elevate it as the second most important priority item for Malaysia – to advance moderation domestically in Malaysia, as otherwise, its campaign to advance moderation globally is dead even before it could get off the launching pad. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was lack of “tongkat ali” the reason why the Cabinet abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on Nancy’s parliamentary answer on why Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in Milan yesterday for the Asia-Europe (Asem) Summit, but this cannot be the excuse why the Cabinet had abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri’s parliamentary answer on why Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible.

Had Nancy correctly reflected the common stand of all Cabinet Ministers on the issue binding every Minister in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility, or had Nancy given a wrong, incorrect and unacceptable response, especially with reference to her statements that Ibrahim was not prosecuted because he was defending the sanctity of Islam and his action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.

Has the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility in Malaysia degenerated in practice to mean “that no one is responsible”?

Or, to quote the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, was the lack of “tongkat ali” the reason why the Cabinet abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on Nancy’s parliamentary answer on why Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted, as it is inconceivable that Ministers, whether from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, who support Najib’s initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates could endorse the answer given by Nancy in Parliament – making them collectively responsible for her answer.

It is no use MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Sarawak, Sabah and even UMNO “moderate” Ministers praising Najib for his recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly against religious intolerance and extremism and even pledging “full and strong support” when as Ministers of the Najib Cabinet, they are not prepared to walk Najib’s talk by refusing to compromise with any form of extremism and religious intolerance, like Ibrahim’s immunity from the sanctions of the law for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible. Read the rest of this entry »

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The regression of our society

– Joshua Wu
The Malaysian Insider
17 October 2014

I refer to the video on YouTube on the attack on Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan’s (GHAH) Penang coordinator Ong Jing Cheng as well as a few others during their peaceful gathering at Speaker’s Square in Penang.

“Unacceptable, abhorrent, repulsive, barbaric, uncivilized, undemocratic, illegal, insolent, untenable, quixotic, unscrupulous, boorish, cockamamie, craven, dastardly, egregious, odious, and asinine” were some of the words that flashed through my mind as I watched the seven minutes and thirty seconds video.

Aren’t the troublemakers worried about the civil and criminal repercussions of their actions? Read the rest of this entry »

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Alternative to Sedition Act is in Penal Code

– Adrian Lim
The Malaysian Insider
17 October 2014

I come from a Chinese Christian family. I have been labelled “pendatang” and “Cina Babi” all my life, but the Sedition Act is still irrelevant to me.

Well, many have said that Datuk Ibrahim Ali should be charged with sedition for threatening to burn the Christian Bible. There are also racists and even principals who have labelled the Chinese as “pendatang” or even “Cina Babi”.

Technically, these people have committed an offence under the Sedition Act for “promoting feelings of ill will and hostility between different races” – Section 3(1)(e) of the Sedition Act 1948.

Yesterday, Khairy Jamaluddin claimed that the walk against sedition has not made an impact because most Malaysians want safeguards against racially or religiously offensive speech.

Is that so? Do we not have safeguards in place?

In fact, I do not need the Sedition Act to protect me. I do not need the Sedition Act to criminalise people like Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, Ridhuan Tee, Zulkifli Nordin or the infamous Ibrahim Ali. Read the rest of this entry »

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Terrorising the Christian minority

Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
OCTOBER 17, 2014

OCTOBER 17 ― De facto law minister Nancy Shukri sparked an outrage when she said that Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted over his threat to burn Christian bibles because the authorities had concluded that the Perkasa president was merely defending Islam.

According to her, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had decided that Ibrahim’s alleged call for Muslims to torch Malay-language bibles containing the word “Allah” was in line with Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution that prohibits the proselytisation of other faiths to Muslims.

Malaysian law does not address hate crimes per se; Ibrahim was investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code that outlaws wounding the religious feelings of another.

News portal Free Malaysia Today quotes Ibrahim as saying at a press conference on January 19, 2013: “Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contained the term Allah and other Arabic religious terms, and burn them.”

The Malay right-wing group chief was purportedly responding to a claim that Christian bibles were being distributed to students, including Malays, at a secondary school in Penang.

The government’s explanation that Ibrahim was merely trying to protect the sanctity of Islam gives the false impression that Islam is under attack in the country, and hence, it is fine to do whatever it takes ― even burning the holy books of a minority religious group ― to defend it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet must take collective Ministerial stand to endorse or dissociate from Nancy Shukri’s parliamentary answer that Ibrahim Ali is not prosecuted for his threat to burn Malay-language Bible as he was defending sanctity of Islam and protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution

The Cabinet at its meeting today must take collective Ministerial stand to endorse or dissociate from the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri’s parliamentary answer to the Penang Chief Minister and Bagan Member of Parliament Lim Guan Eng that Perkasa President, Datuk Ibrahim Ali is not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible as Ibrahim was defending the sanctity of Islam and his action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.

Borneo Post, in a report yesterday headlined “Nancy says she does not support Ibrahim Ali or his religious views”, quoted Nancy as making the following statement through her political secretary Kamaluddin Effendie:

“Neither the police nor AG (Attorney-General) can give any reply in Parliament. I, as the de-facto Law Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, had to do it on their behalf. Whatever were the findings of the police or the decision of the AG, I read it out in Parliament because they could not do it there.

“It must be made known that it was the AG’s decision not to charge Dato Ibrahim under the Sedition Act, and the decision was made based on the police investigation.

“As a minister or one of the leaders of the nation, I have to support the rule of the law, but it does not mean I agree with Dato Ibrahim’s extreme views.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Open memorandum to the Prime Minister of Malaysia — Malaysian Bar

Malay Mail Online
OCTOBER 16, 2014

1. The Malaysian Bar has walked to Parliament today as part of our on-going campaign for the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948. It is in order to rid ourselves of an unjust law and unneeded crutch, and for the realisation of a better Malaysia.

2. The Malaysian Bar’s walk today is called the “Walk for Peace and Freedom” because we wish to promote a peace anchored by bonds of unity, lasting harmony and true mutual respect amongst Malaysians. We walk for the freedom from fear and intimidation; freedom from extremism; freedom from divisiveness; freedom from exploitation for personal, sectarian and selfish gains; freedom to question, criticise, discuss and debate; freedom to learn; and freedom to grow and mature.

3. The Sedition Act 1948 is inherently flawed. It is designed to subjugate, suppress and oppress. It is NOT designed to promote peace, harmony and unity. As a piece of criminal legislation, it is repugnant to the rule of law because it punishes freedom of speech and expression of thought by the use of imprecise and ill-defined offences. It does not require any proof of ill intention or intention to create disorder. Truth is not a defense. Hence, the Sedition Act 1948 in fact criminalises the truth.

4. The Walk for Peace and Freedom is part of the Malaysian Bar’s response to Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak’s call for all right thinking and moderate Malaysians to stand up and speak out. The Malaysian Bar walks so as to give voice to such Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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To end Nancy’s agony, the Cabinet tomorrow should (i) reaffirm Najib’s pledge to repeal the Sedition Act and (ii) drop all sedition charges in court

For the past ten days, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri has been at the receiving end of national brickbats, scorn and even opprobrium for her outrageous parliamentary answer to the Penang Chief Minister and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng that Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible as Ibrahim was defending the sanctity of Islam.

Nancy added fuel to the national firestorm ignited by her answer when she ill-advisedly sought to clarify later with an even more outrageous justification – that Ibrahim’s action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.

These are undoubtedly the worst ten days in Nancy’s political life.

To end Nancy’s agony and ordeal, the Cabinet tomorrow should step in with two decisions, firstly to reaffirm the pledge given by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2012 to repeal the colonial Sedition Act; and secondly, to drop all sedition charges and prosecutions currently in court. Read the rest of this entry »

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