Wednesday, October 1, 2014

REPEALING THE SEDITION ACT AND THE SUPPORTERS OF A LAW LECTURER AND REGULAR COLUMNIST OF AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER WHO SHOUT ‘ACADEMIC FREEDOM!’?

By Mansor Puteh



The logic used by those who are asking for the repealing of the Sedition Act is strange if not weird. Are they asking for Malaysians to be allowed not to charge anyone for sedition?  

Are they saying that uttering seditious words to be something that every Malaysian ought to be proud of so Malaysians can start to curse each other’s race and religion freely and unencumbered?

Even in England and America and the Pseudo-Christian West, they have some semblance of the Sedition Act, which forbids anyone from uttering words which are deemed to be racial or religious slurs.

Yes, they are not sedition but slurs.

Yet, it is ironic how there are some in France and Denmark who seem to be getting away with crime when they openly and publicly asked for Muslim women from wearing their attire, such as the hijjab and nijab as well as the purdah.

And these are not mere slurs, but sedition, so no wonder they managed to get away with what they utter, being given the respect, for observing ‘freedom of speech’, that ironically does not cover uttering of slurs against other races or religions.

And for that matter, where does the Law of Defamation sit in Malaysia if the Sedition Act is abolished?

Does it will mean that any Malaysian can utter anything without him being charged for Sedition, yet, he can get away scot-free, if he claims to practice and uphold Freedom of Speech which also eliminates any charge of defamation against him?

Some people who wanted to see the Sedition Act abolished were quick to file charges in court for defamation against others, without batting the eyelid. 

This also explains why Salman Rushdie managed to get away scot-free for his novel, ‘Satanic Verses’, and who went on to be knighted.

Arise, Sir Salman! Do tumble, Freedom of Speech! 

The only problem they had with these modes of attire or fashion may be that their fashion designers were slow in adopting them to their local scene and culture.

Here in Malaysia, those who call for the repealing of the Sedition Act just do not know what they want to say, or do if indeed the Act is finally repealed.

Are they going to say all the things that they are not able to say now on Islam and the Melayu and the Melayu royalty, etc?

So far they are vague. They have not said why the Sedition Act is obnoxious to them, and what they plan to do if the Act is finally repealed if this could create a situation which could allow them to be smarter so that Malaysians can be better united and appreciative of each other’s peculiarities and absurdities.

They have not said anything, so I am confused.

Or, do they plan to say bad things about their own religions and races and especially how they hated the fact that their ancestors had come from China and India?

What? And why are they bent on wanting to get the authorities to repeal the Sedition Act?

Many Malaysians are confused, including the non-Melayu.

Many non-Melayu, especially the Chinese would want the Sedition Act to be repealed, but the reasons they have to call for it is vague.

They fantasize the day how they can criticize just about anything that up till now have been out of bounds to criticism.

And they think they can be smarter by doing that, in all sorts of ways and get away with it.

Some of them who could not wait for the Act to be repealed are now experiencing the full brunt of the law; and there are also some Melayu who have been charged and convicted with one Chinese guy sentenced to jail one year, crying when he heard the judgment being said in the court.

Therefore, many Malaysians were amused when law lecturer at Universiti Malaya (UM) was charged for defamation and who engaged a lawyer who is also an opposition member of parliament to represent him in court, with the paper where he has a long-running column, trying to show their support for him.

Why can’t the law lecturer get another lawyer who does not have any political affiliation so that the case can be heard without it having any tinge of politics?

This is what seems to have happened in the Teoh Beng Hock case, where the lawyers representing his family had engaged those affiliated with the opposition political parties, so that the case had been highly politicized.

So when the case goes against them, they make wild charges against almost everybody especially the prosecutors and police and judges by even conducting public forums to discuss the case.  

What many find to be strange is how the lawyers for Teoh are using the strategy whereby they expect the court and police to prove to them that they are right without them ever coming up with anything substantial on their own, such as by engaging a private investigation agency to conduct their own private investigation to come up with more incriminating evidence to prove that there is cover-up or what not…

In one familiar and almost similar case the court had no choice but to give a verdict of negligent on the part of the police officers under whose care the deceased was said to be under, when he died a mysterious death, with the deceased family being given a financial award by the court. 

And some five hundred students of UM including some lecturers of the law department at the university have also written to support the law lecturer.

But what are they all trying to say?

On one hand they all ask for the law to be applied to all irregardless of who had committed any sort of crime, yet, on the other hand, they are asking for some to be excused from such charges, claiming that the act to be abhorrent to a civil society that the very laws were introduced to protect in the first place.

Some medical doctor had died; many police officers had also been charged in court and with some of them convicted.

Yet, there are some who are saying law lecturers could not face the full brunt of the law, even if they had committed some sort of crime, including sedition.

Germs, viruses and bacteria do not discriminate; so this explains why there are some highly qualified doctors had died from them.

And if the law should be applied to the law enforcement officers, then the same laws must also be applied to the law lecturers.

What many are surprised or shocked is that a law lecturer at UM could be so charged. They did not ask why he was charged and start to blame the person for now practice care with what he says and writes that had caused him to suffer some indignities.

They then want everybody to talk about upholding ‘academic freedom’.


This is another joke. 

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