Civil society groups endorse formation of Repeal Sedition Act Movement

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Press conference on GHAH

One hundred and twenty five civil society groups have rallied together to endorse the formation of a new movement to push for the repeal of the Sedition Act.

Press conference on GHAH
Press conference on GHAH

We, the undersigned organisations have come together to express in the strongest terms our protest against the continuing usage of the repressive, colonial and undemocratic Sedition Act of 1948.

The Sedition Act is repressive legislation made by the British colonial government to suppress freedom of expression and opinion of our forefathers who fought for the independence of our country. This legislation has to go if we want to be a truly independent nation.

The Sedition Act is too broadly defined and is easily open to abuse by the government. It can and is being used to criminalise almost any kind of democratic speech including legitimate criticism of the government, its leaders or the ruling political parties.

Under the Sedition Act, almost anything said or published that is remotely contentious can be deemed seditious. The Sedition Act is clearly being misused to protect the government and its interests, clamp down on the opposition and dissidents, make certain issues off limits, stifle civil liberties and create a climate of fear reminiscent of the worst days under the iron-fisted Mahathir regime.

This trend is clearly illustrated in the conviction of Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar in June 2013 and the former national chairman of Democratic Action Party, the late Karpal Singh, in February 2014.

Over the past month, the Sedition Act has been indiscriminately used in a new wave of political repression and terror whose targets have included elected representatives and lawyers who have a public duty to speak on matters of public interest.

We are also extremely concerned with the selective prosecution under the Sedition Act by the Attorney General who is clearly targeting those who are critical of the government.

Those who have been charged are:

David Orok                                          Member, Sabah Reform Party
Azmi Sharom                                      Law professor, University of Malaya
N Surendran                                       Lawyer, Padang Serai MP
Khalid Samad                                     Shah Alam MP
R S N Rayer                                        Lawyer, Seri Delima ADUN
Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman        President, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia
Teresa Kok                                          Seputeh MP
Chua Tian Chang                               Batu MP
Hishamuddin Rais                            Social Activist
Adam Adli                                           Student Activist
Safwan Anang                                    Student Activist
Haris Ibrahim                                    Lawyer/ Social Activist
Tamrin Tun Abdul Ghafar              Political Activist
Md Shuhaimi Shafie                         Sri Muda ADUN

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Numerous others are being investigated including:

Viktor Wong                                      Activist, Parti Rakyat Malaysia
Susan Loone                                      Journalist, Malaysiakini
Hassan Karim                                    Lawyer/PKR Johor Vice Chairman
Rafizi Ramli                                       Pandan MP
Ali bin Jalil                                         Member of public
17-year-old schoolboy                      (unnamed)
Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin     Changkat Jering Adun

The Prime Minister had on 11 July 2012 and 3 July 2013 promised to repeal the Sedition Act. It is shocking that despite this promise to the Malaysian public, the usage of the Act has greatly increased.

The Sedition Act is being used as a new type of ISA to stifle and repress the opposition, civil society and the public.

At this critical hour, when our human rights are being trampled upon with impunity, we, the undersigned, endorse the formation of Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH).

The objective of GHAH is to carry out a national campaign to bring to an end the ever present threat of freedom of expression and opinion by the Sedition Act that hangs over every Malaysian.

Our demands are:

  • Repeal the Sedition Act 1948
  • Drop all existing charges and release all those incarcerated under the Sedition Act
  • No replacement Act with similar draconian provisions

GHAH will be officially launched on 15 September 2014 and will be going nationwide to urgently push for the fulfillment of the above demands.

Endorsed by:

1. Aliran
2. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
3. Amnesty International Malaysia
4. Anak Muda Sarawak
5. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (Warga Aman)
6. Asian Law Students Association (Alsa)
7. Association of Women Lawyers
8. Baramkini
9. Bersih Sibu
10. Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas)
11. Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
12. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
13. Center for Reform, Democracy and Social Initiatives (CRD)
14. Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4)
15. Community Action Network (Can)
16. Dam the Dams
17. Dapur Komuniti Serdang
18. Dignity International
19. ENGAGE
20. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (Prima)
21. Friends of Kota Damansara
22. Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se-Malaysia (Gamis)
23. Gabungan Persatuan Alumni Universiti Taiwan, Malaysia
24. GEMA-UMANY ALUMNI
25. Gerakan Bunga Raya
26. Global Bersih
27. Himpunan Hijau
28. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs Studies (Ideas)
29. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (Ideal)
30. Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (Lead)
31. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
32. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (Jagam)
33. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
34. Jihad for Justice
35. Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
36. Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan
37. Kelab Bangsar Utama
38. Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (Kryss)
39. Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
40. Kuen Cheng Alumni Association
41. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (Kami)
42. Lawyers for Liberty
43. Legasi Mahasiswa Progresif
44. Lensa Anak Muda Malaysia
45. Life for Democracy
46. Linkaran Islam Tradisional
47. LLG Cultural Development Centre
48. Malaysia Indians Progressive Association (Mipas)
49. Malaysia Physicians for Social Responsibility
50. Malaysia Speakers Association
51. Malaysia Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (Dema)
52. Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce
53. Malaysian Youth Care Association (Prihatin)
54. Mama Bersih
55. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
56. Nanyang University Alumni Association
57. National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat)
58. National Oversight and Whistleblowers (Now)
59. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall
60. New Era College Alumni Association
61. Northern Green Youth
62. Pahang Raub Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee
63. Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Cawangan Nusajaya
64. Partners of Community Organizations in Sabah (Pacos Trust)
65. Pax Romana International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA)
66. Penang Forum Steering Committee
67. People Welfare and Rights Organisation (Power)
68. Perak Green Pioneer (PGP)
69. Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
70. Persahabatan Semparuthi, Johor
71. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Kuala Lumpur & Selangor
72. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Northern Region Alumni
73. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Universiti Sains Malaysia
74. Persatuan Bekas Murid-Murid Confucian School Wilayah Persekutuan dan Selangor
75. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti and Kolej di China
76. Persatuan Hopo Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, Bahagian Belia
77. Persatuan Huian Quangang KL dan Selangor (Bhg Pemuda)
78. Persatuan Huian Quangang KL dan Selangor
79. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
80. Persatuan Koh Yew Kuala Lumpur & Selangor
81. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
82. Persatuan Mahasiswa University Malaya
83. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor (Permas)
84. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (Rapat)
85. Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (Ikram)
86. Projek Beres
87. Projek Dialog
88. Pusat Komas
89. Rainbow Genders Society
90. Research for Social Advancement (Refsa)
91. Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa)
92. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (Sawo)
93. Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee
94. Sarawak Student Progressive Front
95. Sarawak Youth for Change
96. SAVE Rivers
97. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia ( SABM )
98. School of Acting Justly, LovingTenderly n Treading Humbly (Salt)
99. Selangor & Federal Territory Chung Shan Association
100. Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association
101. Selangor Hokkien Association Youth Section
102. Sembang Sembang Forum
103. Shield Tam (ST)
104. Sisters in Islam
105. Student Progressive Front of Universiti Putra Malaysia (Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju University Putra Malaysia)
106. Students Progressive Front University Sains Malaysia
107. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
108. Tamil Foundation Malaysia
109. Tamilar Action Force (TAF)
110. Tenaganita
111. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
112. Teori Timur
113. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Foundry & Engineering Industries Association
114. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Kwang Tung Association Youth Section
115. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Kwang Tung Association
116. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Nan Ann Association
117. Tindak Malaysia
118. United Chinese Scholl Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
119. Universiti Terbuka Anak Muda (Utam)
120. University Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany)
121. Women Development of Malaysia PJ New Town Branch
122. Women’s Aid Organization (WAO)
123. Women’s Centre for Change
124. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (Wami)
125. Youth for Change (Y4C)

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5 September 2014, Kuala Lumpur

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