JOINT STATEMENT ON ABOLISH THE SEDITION ACT AND THE FORMATION OF ABOLISH THE SEDITION ACT MOVEMENT/ GERAKAN HAPUS AKTA HASUTAN (GHAH)

5 September 2014, Kuala Lumpur

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 a piece of 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 criticisms against 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, clampdown 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 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:

1.         David Orok                                         Member, Sabah Reform Party
2.         Azmi Sharom                                      Law professor, University of Malaya
3.         N Surendran                                        Lawyer, Padang Serai MP
4.         Khalid Samad                                     Shah Alam MP
5.         RSN Rayer                                          Lawyer, Seri Delima ADUN
6.         Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman           President, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia
7.         Teresa Kok                                          Seputeh MP
8.         Chua Tian Chang                                Batu MP
9.         Hishamuddin Rais                              Social Activist
10.       Adam Adli                                          Student Activist
11.       Safwan Anang                                                Student Activist
12.       Haris Ibrahim                                      Lawyer/ Social Activist
13.       Tamrin Tun Abdul Ghafar                  Political Activist
14.       Md Shuhaimi Shafie                           Sri Muda ADUN

Numerous others are being investigated including:-

1.         Viktor Wong                                       Activist, Parti Rakyat Malaysia
2.         Susan Loone                                       Journalist, Malaysiakini
3.         Hassan Karim                                      Lawyer/ PKR Johor Vice Chairman
4.         Rafizi Ramli                                        Pandan MP
5.         Ali bin Jalil                                          Member of public
6.         17-year-old schoolboy                        (unnamed)
7.         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 WTH 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 (G.A.M.I.S.)
  23. Gabungan Persatuan Alumni Universiti Taiwan, Malaysia 大马留台联总
  24. Gerakan Bunga Raya
  25. Global Bersih
  26. Himpunan Hijau
  27. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs Studies (IDEAS)
  28.  Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
  29. Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD)
  30. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  31. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (JAGAM)
  32. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  33. Jihad for Justice
  34. Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)
  35. Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan
  36. Kelab Bangsar Utama
  37. Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS)
  38. Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
  39. Kuen Cheng Alumni Association
  40. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (KAMI)
  41. Lawyers for Liberty
  42. Legasi Mahasiswa Progresif
  43. Life for Democracy
  44. Linkaran Islam Tradisional
  45. LLG Cultural Development Centre
  46. Malaysia Indians Progressive Association (MIPAS)
  47. Malaysia Physicians for Social Responsibility
  48. Malaysia Youth and Students’ Democratic Movement (DEMA)
  49. Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce
  50. Malaysian Youth Care Association (PRIHATIN)
  51. Mama Bersih
  52. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
  53. Nanyang University Alumni Association
  54. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
  55. National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW)
  56. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall
  57. New Era College Alumni Association
  58. Northern Green Youth
  59. Pahang Raub Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee
  60. Parti Sosialis Malaysia, Cawangan Nusajaya
  61. Partners of Community Organizations in Sabah (Pacos Trust)
  62. Pax Romana International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA)
  63. Penang Forum Steering Committee
  64. People Welfare and Rights Organisation (POWER)
  65. Perak Green Pioneer (PGP)
  66. Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
  67. Persahabatan Semparuthi, Johor
  68. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Kuala Lumpur & Selangor
  69. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Northern Region Alumni
  70. Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Universiti Sains Malaysia
  71. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti and Kolej di China
  72. Persatuan Hopo Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, Bahagian Belia 隆雪河婆同乡会青年部
  73. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
  74. Persatuan Koh Yew Kuala Lumpur & Selangor 隆雪高要会馆
  75. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
  76. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor (PERMAS)
  77. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (RAPAT)
  78. Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM)
  79. Projek BERES
  80. Projek Dialog
  81. Pusat Komas
  82. Rainbow Genders Society
  83. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  84. Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA)
  85. Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO)
  86. Sahabat Rakyat Working Committee
  87. SAVE Rivers
  88. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia ( SABM )
  89. School of Acting Justly, LovingTenderly n Treading Humbly (SALT)
  90. Selangor & Federal Territory Chung Shan Association 雪隆中山同乡会
  91. Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Hokkien Association
  92. Selangor Hokkien Association Youth Section
  93. Sembang Sembang Forum
  94. SHIELD Tam (ST)
  95. Sisters in Islam
  96. Student Progressive Front of Universiti Putra Malaysia (Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju University Putra Malaysia)
  97. Students Progressive Front University Sains Malaysia
  98. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  99. Tamil Foundation Malaysia
  100. Tamilar Action Force (TAF)
  101. Tenaganita
  102. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  103. Tindak Malaysia
  104. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Kwang Tung Association Youth Section
  105. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Nan Ann Association雪隆南安会馆
  106. United Chinese Scholl Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
  107. Universiti Terbuka Anak Muda (UTAM)
  108. Women Development of Malaysia PJ New Town Branch
  109. Women’s Aid Organization (WAO)
  110. Women’s Centre for Change
  111. Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
  112. Youth for Change (Y4C)