Democratic practices must be protected, not punished, says Suaram

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the recent string of investigation against advocates and supporters of the Citizen Declaration (Deklarasi Rakyat).

Contrary to narratives by certain quarters, a call for the resignation of a public official following any scandal or dereliction of duty is a democratic right and not a threat against parliamentary democracy and cannot be described as seditious. Police reports made against these individuals and police investigations against them can only be described as frivolous and a waste of public resource.

If the authorities wish to proceed with the investigation of Azrul Mohd Khalid, Joe Haidy and others for their support and advocacy of the Citizen Declaration, it would be inevitable that members of the public will perceive such investigations as an attempt to intimidate the advocates of the Citizens’ Declaration and would-be supporters.

In the light of the democratic implicationds, Suaram calls for the investigations against these individuals under the Sedition Act 1948 to be dropped immediately.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

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