KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23, 2014:
Lawyers for Liberty will head to Dewan Rakyat to hand over a petition signed by more than 3,000 citizens who wish to see the Sedition Act 1948 abolished.
Its executive director, Eric Paulsen, told The Rakyat Post that the petition would be presented by Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Abdul Samad on behalf of the nation’s citizens from all walks of life.
“We are doing this in accordance with the provisions provided under the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order which stated that ordinary citizens can bring matters of their concerns to be debated there.”
The petition lists down the fundamental problems of the much criticised Sedition Act, which have been allegedly abused to punish those who have “courageously” spoken against the government.
Apart from abolishing the Act, the other demands made include dropping all pending charges, and for no Act similar to the Sedition Act be introduced.
Paulsen said, however, it was up to the Speaker to decide whether the petition would be read in Parliament.
“The likelihood of it being considered is small, but we need to grab even the smallest opportunity to ensure the betterment of the country.”
This move, he explained, would also show the public that there was a Member of Parliament that tried to bring the matter up to the House even when faced by the possibility that it would be disallowed.
Paulsen called on the public to join them at the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow and hoped that the matter would be debated, discussed and voted among the members of the House.
“Our ultimate goal is that once voted, the result will be in our favour and we will finally have our freedom to speak without fear of being penalised.”