Malaysian PM Razak enforces controversial sedition law
Nov 27, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia‘s Prime Minister Najib Razak has backtracked on a pledge he made during elections to repeal a controversial sedition law on Thursday.
His plans on revoking the controversial had won him the election, however two years down the line and instead of abolishing it he has spoken about strengthening it.Under the sedition law, speech thought to incite unrest or religious or social tensions or which criticizes traditional rulers can carry a three-year jail term.PM Najib had said in 2012 that he would abolish the act, amid raft of political reforms. But while speaking at his party’s annual congress today, he said the law would not be abolished.
” I have decided that the Sedition Act will be maintained and strengthened, “Najib said, before adding that it will be made more effective, with an added clause to protect the sanctity of Islam, while other religions too cannot be insulted.Over the years people have been targeted and again under the sedition law, including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and other opposition politicians, who has called this step by the Malaysian PM as the start of an authoritarian rule by the Premier.”They will use the sedition law to intimidate the legitimate voice of the opposition, ” he said.
Other human right activists and critics have also criticized this move. According to the deputy director of Human Rights Watch, Asia, Phil Robertson, the PM is backing down and the enforcement of this law will only further degrade the Human Rights situation in Malaysia.”By endorsing the Sedition Act, Prime Minister Najib is doubling down on his bet that a rights abusing strategy is the best way to maintain power,” said Phil Robertson.
The Oslo Times