General : Retention Of Sedition Act, Not To Obstruct Democracy Or Oppress Opposition – Najib

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 6 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stressed that the Sedition Act 1948 was retained not to obstruct democracy or oppress the opposition but to ensure that there was no conflict between the various races and religions in the country.

He said the decision was made because there were still those who were irresponsible, did not practice democracy, did not respect the various races and religions to the extent of causing more tension in society.

Addressing the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister’s Department at Dataran Perdana, in Putrajaya, Monday, Najib cited the United States of America as an example which had yet to resolve the racial problems and riots where, if they were to occur in Malaysia, the impact would be very bad.

“We have to maintain peace, harmony and national security due to increasing polarisation. We cannot relax the provisions of the law.

“The purpose of making the decision to strengthen (the Sedition Act) is not to obstruct democracy and not to curtail the opposition. If we observe, the opposition is still free to do anything or spread and strengthen their position. This means that democracy is still fresh in Malaysia.

“We want to ensure that there is no conflict between the various religions and races in our country. That is our purpose of making the decision,” he said.

In his policy speech at the 2014 UMNO General Assembly on Nov 27, Najib, who is also the UMNO president, announced that the Sedition Act would be retained with improvements.

The improvements are the inclusion of two special provisions aimed at protecting the sanctity of Islam and the other religions and prosecuting those inciting for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak out of Malaysia.

When winding up the debate at the assembly, Najib said that the amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 would be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat at the next sitting.


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