The inflamer is cooked

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.

NST story:

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.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/10/ex-malacca-cm-charged-over-fb-post-selangor-crown-prince-%E2%80%98conversion%E2%80%99

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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.

Published in: on October 6, 2015 at 11:15  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Even non-lawyers know – in fact common sense tells – that the Sedition Act is valid under the Constitution. The experts in the Federal Government Legal Service since Merdeka must have thought, considered and decided that it has been so, otherwise the necessary instrument be done to ensure it is so – a new enactment or an amendment to the relevant legislation.

    It’s a folly to think that it’s not so. “Follier” still to go against the Act assuming it’s not so. Good that so-called law Associate Professor Azmi got slapped in the face and directed to stand trial on a sedition charge against him.

    A lot more can be said – will do so later.

  2. Kalau dia pendirian macam itu, apa yang dia ajar penuntutu penuntut nya agak nya? Rosak, rosak cara memikir anak anak muda di bawah nya. Padan lah ramai juga yang nyokong dia.

    Sekarang mereka semua perlu ubah cara mikir tuh. Tak tau berapa lama untuk buat gitu.

    Hormati Akta Hasutan. Jangan menghasut.

  3. I find it difficult to understand how come a former Chief Minister, and a Tan Sri at that, would write about a Selangor prince becoming a Christian without checking the reliability of his facts.

    And yet the Sultan of Selangor has been one of the most concerned about Islam, trying to protect and promote the religion, of which he is Head in Selangor.

    Rahim Thamby Chik’s record as CM of Melaka has not been perfect. And he was involved in the “Omega Watch” loose woman video episode involving Anwar some time back. True, many people did not really bother about him doing that together with others, but writing something damaging the image of a well-loved and respected Sultan of Selangor, tiada ma’af bagi nya.

    Let the court deal with him.

    • Yes, shouldn’t people with titles reflect a sense of responsibility?

      And in the case of the Associate Professor law lecturer, his is an academic title. But to be speaking like he often does, completely out of mainstream thinking, what the fcuk academic kind is he?

      Yes, his is a matter of interpretation of the Constitution and the Sedition Act. But the fact that it’s been nearly 60 years we have been using that Act and that those Parliamentary draughtsmen and many internationally-recognized Constitutional law experts have not raised the issue, aren’t those ample proofs that the Sedition Act is valid under the law and the Constitution?

      And he is not even a Constitutional law expert, is he? Aren’t his thinking, what he said and did in respect of the Sedition Act tantamount to stupidity? Never mind whether he is an Ass Professor or not.

  4. In defence of Azmi Shahrom, people like DAP MP Charles Santiago talked about freedom of speech. What freedom of speech? That freedom has no limits? What utter nonsense.

    If I call him stupid, unthinking and exploitative, would he like it? Surely not. So the Sedition Act defines that limit. No speech in any form that creates ill will among people, among races especially as we are a multi-racial country.

    Azmi is behaving like the Bar Council people. Being active in politics but not joining any political party. He wants the comfort of a good salary, the title of an Ass Professor and the same time criticize left, right and centre. He can do so but jolly well don’t be seditious. When he does, nab and prosecute him. Like has already been done.

    Now he must be weak in the knees and walking wobbly. Even as an Ass Professor of Law, he lost his case at the Federal Court. There’s nothing to prevent him from being found guilty and lose up to the Federal Court again on his current sedition charge. Especially when he keeps talking on the “unwisdom” of the Federal Court.

    No doubt, Judges won’t be influenced by what he says out of court. But what he has said and become the basis of the charge against him will.

  5. The Star report says that his areas of expertise are Malaysian and International Envi­ronmental Law and the Conflict of Laws.

    He should have been campaigning for amendments to the laws – maybe even repealing one or two – that are “conflicting”, by pointing out how and why they are so and the alternatives to those. Instead of going against such laws by making seditious statements. He should have known better – he is a law lecturer for Goodness sake.

    But the problem is that he appears to have a warped view of the concept of law, his law lecturer job not withstanding. That freedom is never absolute, that it always has limits. Wanting to get rid of the Sedition Act that limits that freedom is nonsense. Particularly in a multi-racial country where the sensitivities of the various ethnic groups must be protected from irresponsible people randomly saying things that cause ill will among the various races.

    And casting aspersions or even slurs on the institution of the Monarchy in this country is certainly a no no. There are many Articles of the Constitution that are protected under the Sedition Act and should not even be discussed. He deserves to be charged and even sent to jail. The Judges must consider the deterrent factor when deciding his case – to deter his and other students, as well as others in the Opposition, from getting emboldened into being seditious like him.

    • – maybe even repealing one or two –

      should have been

      – maybe even for the repeal of one or two –


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