I pray Malaysians won’t start self-censoring their thoughts
By Zan Azlee
A few prominent people who have been either arrested, charged or investigated under the grand old Sedition Act 1948 in the country these past few months are a cause for concern.
Associate professor Azmi Sharom, professor Aziz Bari and lawyer Edmund Bon have been hauled up for speaking about subjects that they are considered experts in.
They spoke based on their vast knowledge, research, experience and observations, yet what they said has been considered by certain people to be seditious in manner.
Unfortunately, under the law, the authorities have all the right to investigate, probe, interrogate, detain, arrest and charge them because of the vagueness of the act.
But just because something is the law doesn’t mean it is just and fair. It all depends on context. The act, as we are all aware, was created decades ago at a time when it was necessary.
But what about now? Yes, as we all know without having to explain much, it is an archaic law which has the potential of being abused to stifle dissent, or anything else.
If they, who are considered experts in their fields, were probed for things they said which should be considered under their jurisdiction, then what about ordinary folk like me and you?
What would stop the powers that be from coming after us if we were to express an opinion or thought that they didn’t agree with?
It shouldn’t be a crime to have different opinions. It shouldn’t be a crime to be offensive. It shouldn’t even be a crime to be racist or deliver hate speech. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider.]