Gerakan: Use the law fairly and judiciously

PETALING JAYA: Gerakan has welcomed the Prime Minister’s call for action against those who disrupt religious harmony.

Its president Datuk Mah Siew Keong said the Sedition Act must be enforced fairly and judiciously.

“Public dissatisfaction over the use of the Sedition Act stems from its selective use and also its overuse, especially on academics and intellectuals.

“Furthermore, the failure to charge (Perkasa leader) Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the call to burn the Malay language Bibles has fuelled the perception that the Act has not been used in a fair and just manner,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Mah said that Gerakan hoped the Sedition Act would eventually be replaced with a comprehensive National Harmony Act.

“The new framework must include a set of punitive and positive measures to ensure societal stability but at the same time promote national unity and harmony,” he said.

Mah said the push to repeal the Sedition Act had been a long struggle, similar to the push to repeal the Internal Security Act, which took almost 20 years.

However, he said he believed this would eventually happen when all parties were ready and open about a need for a new set of laws that confront the current and impending challenges to national unity and harmony.

On the same issue, MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Sedition Act should be reviewed to effectively serve its purpose.

He agreed with Najib’s call to strengthen the Act to safeguard the rights of all religions in the country.

“There is a need to review the Act, particularly the controversial clauses,” Dr Wee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told reporters when asked to comment on the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday.

MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said: “It is clear that many of us have forgotten the spirit of give and take and mutual respect among the different races and religions.”

Ti added that the abolition of the Sedition Act would allow irresponsible people to raise racial and religious sentiments in an attempt to reap support from their communities.






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