KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― Universiti Malaya law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom today hailed the victory of “common sense” in Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision to drop the sedition charges against the former.
“I’m thankful that common sense has finally prevailed,” Azmi told Malay Mail Online, after Apandi used his discretionary powers to withdraw the charge against Azmi under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act this morning.
“I am grateful to my family, my lawyers, my friends and to so many people who have been so supportive,” Azmi added.
Azmi was charged on September 2, 2014, under Section 4(1)(b) and alternatively under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for remarks made in an August 14 news report titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.
The trial in the Sessions Court only began in January after the Universiti Malaya associate law professor sought unsuccessfully to challenge the constitutionality of the Sedition Act, during which his lawyers argued that the law was invalid as it was not passed by the Malaysian Parliament.
Separately, Malaysian Academics Movement (MOVE) secretary-general Rosli Mahat said he viewed the AG's decision as recognition for academic freedom in the country.
“We did not agree with this charge in the first place, so we are very happy,” he told Malay Mail Online.
“We hope not only the AG, but the whole government would recognise academic freedom following this decision,” he added.