Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Stop the flip-flop and start repealing draconian acts

PAS has urged prime minister Najib Razak and his administration to to display courage in repealing draconian laws enacted by the British colonial government, in response to latest confusing statements from government leaders.

"Najib must no longer be allowed to do his usual flip-flopping and zig-zagging on critical reforms like repealing this sedition act. Any attempt at stifling the democratisation wave is an act of 'subversion and treason' to this beloved nation," said the Islamic party's head of Research, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said there were enough provisions in the Penal Code to handle "obnoxious behaviours", adding that moral sanctions and societal abhorrence were still the best means in combating menaces such as racism and bigotry which could break apart the country's harmony.

"Such 'racial and religious' bigots would be expunged and be made 'irrelevant or 'marginalised' by the citizenry. That is punitive indeed yet doesn't curtail so-called freedom and liberty," he added.

Dzulkefly was responding to BN's Segamat member of parliament and Health minister Dr S Subramaniam, who defended the government's continued use of the Sedition Act on its opponents by saying that Najib had never declared its abolition.

Instead, Subramaniam said it was merely a suggestion.

"He [Najib] has to bring it back to cabinet,” he was quoted by the Malay Mail Online as saying.

Najib had in July 2012 said that the Sedition Act 1948 would be abolished and replaced with a 'National Harmony Act'. The announcement was then seen as an extension of his promised series of reforms which he first announced on the eve of Malaysia Day in 2011.

Dzulkefly meanwhile called on Najib to be firm in responding to Subramaniam's latest statement.

"He needs no apologia from his subordinates or worse still be contradicted by his member of Cabinet. His [Najib's] rhetoric on political transformation is otherwise hollow and breeds contempt," he stressed. -HD

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