Federal Court this morning rejected activist Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azmi Shahrom’s application to declare the Sedition Act 1948 as invalid.
The Star story:
Published: Tuesday October 6, 2015 MYT 10:05:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday October 6, 2015 MYT 11:03:06 AM
Court dismisses Azmi’s challenge, rules Sedition Act valid
BY QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: Law lecturer Azmi Sharom (pic) has failed is in his bid to have the Sedition Act 1948 declared unconstitutional.
The Federal Court panel lead by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria dismissed Azmi’s application, and ordered that it be remitted to the Sessions Court.
The five-man panel also included Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, Justices Abdull Hamid Embong and Suriyadi Halim Omar.
The Universiti Malaya lecturer, who was dressed in a grey dress shirt and brown tie, was seen shaking his head upon hearing the decision.
The courtroom was full of supporters and lawyers as early as 8.30am, Tuesday.
On Nov 5 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court invoked its power under Section 84 of the Court of Judicature Act 1964 to refer Azmi’s sedition case to the Federal Court for determination, as it involved questions of constitutionality.
Azmi, a columnist with The Star, had claimed trial on Sept 2 to making seditious comments in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told,” that was published on an English online portal on Aug 14.
Azmi, 45, was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act, with an alternative charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the same Act.
He faces a maximum fine of RM5,000 or jail not exceeding three years or both.
Dr Azmi was charged under Sedition Act for the comments he made on an article “Take Perak Crisis Route For Speedy End To Selangor Impasse”, which was published on 14 August 2014.
The Star story
Published: Tuesday September 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday September 8, 2014 MYT 3:11:27 PM
Azmi faces sedition charge
PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom (pic) is expected to be charged with sedition today over comments made on an online portal over the 2009 Perak crisis.
He is expected to be charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948.
Under the section, anyone who utters any seditious words faces a fine of not more than RM5,000, a jail term of not more than three years, or both, if found guilty.
Azmi declined to comment on the possibility of him being charged for making the statements.
The English online portal reported that the law professor was previously under probe for his quotes in an article titled, “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”, which was published on Aug 14.
Azmi is an associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the university.
He obtained his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London after completing his studies in University of Nottingham and University of Sheffield.
His areas of expertise are both the Malaysian and International Environmental Law and the Conflict of Laws.
Azmi is also president of the Universiti Malaya academic staff union .
He is the latest to be caught in the recent sedition dragnet, following last Thursday’s charging of Padang Serai MP N. Surendran at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Surendran is alleged to have committed the offence at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya in his capacity as counsel for Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by saying in a YouTube video that the Sodomy 2 proceedings against Anwar were “an attempt to jail the opposition leader of Malaysia”.
Surendran was previously charged on Aug 19 for allegedly making statements regarding the judgment of the appellate court in Anwar’s second sodomy case in a YouTube video.
Dr Azmi isn’t the only person who has the tendency to talk aloud, which often antagonise others, be charged under the same Sedition Act. Former Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik is also having the same book thrown at him for maliciously accusing the Raja Muda of Selangor of being Catholic.
Ex-Malacca CM charged over FB post on Selangor crown prince ‘conversion’
5 OCTOBER 2015 @ 12:52 PM
SHAH ALAM: Former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik today pleaded not guilty to a sedition charge over his Facebook posting on the religious status of Selangor Crown Prince Tengku Amir Shah.
Abdul Rahim was charged under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Sedition Act at the Shah Alam Sessions Court this morning. He also pleaded not guilty to another charge under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
He was later granted bail at RM7,000 with one surety.
Rahim had via a Facebook posting on Sept 25 claimed that Tengku Amir had converted to Catholicism. His claim was subsequently slammed by the Selangor Council of the Royal Court, which said Rahim’s statement “reeked of sedition and slander” and could arouse hatred of Muslims towards both the Raja Muda and the Sultan of Selangor.
The council had said it was perturbed that Rahim did not take any steps to verify the truth behind the postings made in other portals before presenting his comments and opinions.
“It would have been easy for him to check the truth of the information if he had a sense of responsibility,” said the council in a statement on Sept 30.
Several police reports were subsequently lodged against Rahim over his claims.
Rahim later admitted that the source of his claim came from an unsubstantiated website, and issued three apologies in the period of four days over the issue.
The cliche’ of ‘Look before you leap’ is very much at play here. ‘Watch before you say anything’, is how the Malays would say it, ‘Cakap siang, pandang-pandang. Cakap malam, dengar-dengar‘.
It is people like these very small group who stirs up the nation and rile up the rakyat with their outrageous calls, which overstep the boundaries of understanding, tolerance, accommodation and work and live well together with their narrowed interpretations and perspecive.
This landmark ruling very much fortifies the Sedition Act is constitutional.