With regards to the peaceful protest by Bar Council to call for the repeal of Sedition Act 1948 this morning, Gerakan Deputy Youth Chief, Andy Yong Kim Seng reiterated Gerakan’s strong stance against the Sedition Act. He asserted that Gerakan calls for the repeal of Sedition Act and replace with the proposed National Harmony Act as the party holds firmly that sedition charges stifle the freedom of speech and expression which does not conform to the Federal Constitution (FC).
Andy Yong, who himself is a practicing lawyer and participated in the peaceful protest this morning along with his legal counterparts was proud that Gerakan National President cum Minister in Prime Minister’s Department YB Dato’ Mah Siew Keong has been given the honour to represent the Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak in meeting representatives from Bar Council and receive the memorandum calling for the repeal of Sedition Act. He stressed that the honourable task was a strong testament to Gerakan’s resolve and efforts in calling for the repeal of Sedition Act.
“Freedom of speech is guaranteed under Article 10 of the FC, it must be respected with no compromise. Although freedom is not absolute, the government has the very responsibility to foster a social environment that enables the rakyat to express themselves comfortably within the ambit of the law, we strongly believe that it is time we do away with the Sedition Act. Most importantly it should not deter intellectual discourse” said Andy Yong.
Andy Yong reckoned such an unjust law would be open to abuse with public concerns remained on selective enforcement and prosecution. He held strongly that legal instruments must not be used to defeat rational and legitimate speeches. He stated that Gerakan will continue to throw support behind PM Dato’ Sri Najib’s call to repeal Sedition Act and replace with the proposed National Harmony Act. He called for an immediate moratorium be imposed on Sedition Act with no further charges be made pending the ongoing drafting of National Harmony Bill.
The government to reiterate its decision not to establish IPCMC may need a thorough consideration. Deputy National Youth Chief of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, Andy Yong Kim Seng urges the government to look into a larger picture and most importantly to have a real political will to transform.
“Whether it is EAIC or IPCMC, what the people want is integrity, accountability and credibility of the police force. So it is not so much issues of human rights or jurisdiction but to restore public confidence of an independent body” emphasized Andy.
Andy further said “If the country is committed to maintain an effective mechanism and to move forward, EAIC has obviously failed to perform so far. Very few cases resulted in disciplinary action under EAIC, not to mention the negative perception of the public at large”.
Previously the government rejected similar calls due to several reasons; among others being “unconstitutional” and restriction of police power in carrying out its duties. To this Andy commented “In my opinion, contrary to the above reason, with the establishment of IPCMC it is actually consistent with Article 140 of the Federal Constitution in relation to the Police Force Commission and will likely to deter misconduct of the few bad apples (as commonly said) in the police force”
“The gist of the Royal Commission Report in 2005 in relation to IPCMC are to investigate complaints of the police personnel in order to prevent and investigate corruption and other serious misconducts. In short to improve police integrity and build public confidence. So if members of the EAIC are appointed from “within” the government or the same agency, how can the public expect independence?” added Andy.
There has been much talk on matters related to the the Sedition Act and even proposals of bringing back the Internal Security Act (ISA) recently in order to combat racism and extremism. While I do not deny the significant of such issues, what is more important for us is to tackle the scourge of corruption in the country.
Most Malaysians are moderate-thinking citizens, quite often the root of the problems are politics; on the one hand, politicians wanting to provoke or stir sensitive issues, on the other hand when the authorities took action, it is perceived as ‘selective prosecution’ or some even say ‘persecution’.
After attending or organising forums and talks recently, I am very certain that it is the minority who favor extremism. I am inclined to agree that the public should not be afraid of the laws if they commit no wrong but then again it is a question of potential abuse of power for political purpose.
Corruption stifles the economy, perverts governments and breeds social injustice. The majority of the households in Malaysia recognise that one of the core problems encountered by our country is corruption. They perceive the politicians and enforcement officers to be highly corrupted. Most consider the government’s efforts in the fight against corruption to be ineffective.
Generally, some consider only the small fishes are charged and convicted. I urge the relevant authority or ministry to look into it seriously once and for all… and please do not say it is only a few bad apples or black sheeps, it is prevalent!
Ask the rakyats what is the first thing that comes in their mind when they encounter a police road-block? Similarly ask entrepreneurs whether corruption is considered as part and parcel of what they do when they tender projects or even running a car-wash business?
Certain politicians are urged to stop living in denial, after all endemic corruption, abuse of power and the ineffective or weakening of the country’s institutions are some factors that caused Malaysians especially the urbanites to lose faith.
KUALA LUMPUR: Media should play its role to raise greater public awareness on moderation among Malaysians but not highlight extreme statements from minority groups, including Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) or Perkasa, said the Gerakan Youth deputy chief Andy Yong.
Speaking at a press conference, other than the leaders of Isma and Perkasa, Yong said even some ministers had given extreme statements and it had destroyed the peaceful coexistence among Malaysians in the country.
“Minority groups are the ones making extreme statements. I urge the media to stop highlighting their statements in order to protect the harmony among Malaysians.
“Hence, we should start promoting moderation in the country now,” he said after chairing a 30 minute meeting with 31 people, who have no political background, at the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysian (PGRM) headquarters here today.
The meeting was organised by Yong to provide a platform for grassroots to have an opportunity to voice their views.
The 31 people included social activists, businessmen, entrepreneurs and students.
At the same time, Yong said he hoped that the reports would help on the draft of the National Harmony Bill, which is to replace the Sedition Act.