UM law professor latest caught in Putrajaya’s sedition dragnet

University of Malaya (UM) law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom will be charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court tomorrow, for a remark he made in an article on news portal Malay Mail Online. — Picture by Siow Feng Saw
University of Malaya (UM) law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom will be charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court tomorrow, for a remark he made in an article on news portal Malay Mail Online. — Picture by Siow Feng Saw

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 ― University of Malaya (UM) law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom will face a sedition charge tomorrow for his comments on the 2009 Perak crisis, making him the latest individual to be hauled up in Putrajaya’s ongoing clampdown on dissenters

According to Dang Wangi police, Azmi will be charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court tomorrow, for a remark he made in an article on news portal Malay Mail Online.

Section 4(1)(b) states that “uttering any seditious words” is an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding RM5,000 for a first time offence, or imprisonment not exceeding five years for subsequent offences.

It is not known which part of the article had landed Azmi in the soup but Malay Mail Online understands that the law professor was previously under probe for his quotes in the article titled, “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”, which was published on August 14.

In it, Azmi had cautioned Pakatan Rakyat (PR) against taking any action outside the Selangor state assembly to resolve the ongoing impasse over the state mentri besar’s post, and insisted the lawmakers wait until next sitting to indicate their lack of confidence.

Last week, PKR’s newly-elected vice-president Rafizi Ramli claimed trial to “defaming” and “provoking” Umno members by accusing them of conspiring to instigate religious strife in February.

Earlier last week, DAP’s Seri Delima representative RSN Rayer was charged with sedition, believed to be over his “Umno Celaka” remarks uttered inside the Penang state assembly.

PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was charged last week under the colonial-era law over his alleged remarks on reducing the Selangor Islamic religious council’s (Mais) powers.

PKR’s Padang Serai MP N. Surendran was also recently charged with sedition for allegedly criticising the Court of Appeal’s ruling that reversed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal in his second sodomy trial, while DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was similarly charged earlier this year over a video clip.

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