KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — DAP National Legal Bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh has voiced his regret over the announcement of a sedition probe by the police over a forum discussing the Rome Statute recently.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said in a statement today that those who participated in the forum were there to debate the issue in a “matured and rational manner” and had no intention to disrupt the peace in any form at all.
“I note the Attorney General was also present as a speaker and shared his views on the matter together with other notable personalities such as constitutional expert Shad Saleem Faruqi.
“Will Fuzi be hauling up the AG for questioning with a view to charging him under the Sedition Act, 1948?
“Free speech is one of the most important basic rights in any society and the continued use of the Sedition Act is a blatant disregard of that right, more so in a situation in which a healthy debate was held with reference to various sound sources of information such as the Federal Constitution and case laws,” the government backbencher said.
He said the government should instead encourage such debates and free speech rather than frightening the public through the threat of the Sedition Act on those supporting or criticising the Rome Statute.
Ramkarpal added that this incident was an example of how the Sedition Act can be abused and called for the government to seriously consider abolishing it as promised in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.
“It is hoped that the government seriously considers abolishing the said Act to avoid further restrictions on genuine freedom of speech in the future,” he said.