Malaysia: Increasing use of the Sedition Act fosters a climate of repression

by Yerry Nikholas Borang September 09, 2014
Malaysia must end its alarming use of the Sedition Act to criminalize activists, opposition politicians, journalists, students and academics, Amnesty International urged today. The use of the law – increasingly against individuals simply expressing political, religious and other views – is creating a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country.

In the last month alone, at least seven people are known to have been charged or placed under investigation for so-called “seditious” comments or statements under the Sedition Act – five opposition politicians, a journalist and an academic. So far in 2014, Amnesty International is aware of at least 15 people charged or placed under investigation under the Act.


On 4 September journalist Susan Loone, who works for independent news portal Malaysiakini, was the latest to be arrested under the Sedition Act in the state of Penang. She was arrested in connection with an article published on 1 September, which allegedly defamed the police. The article was based on an interview with Phee Boon Poh, the chairperson of the Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS), in which he claimed he had been “treated like a criminal” following his arrest on 31 August.


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