KUALA LUMPUR – Debate on the Sedition (Amendment) Bill 2015 broke records when it was passed after 14 hours of debate.
The debate began at 11.30 am on yesterday before being approved at 2.30 am today based on a voice vote.
Among the main issues heatedly debated by MPs included concerns that the Act might lead to abuse of power following the definition of ‘seditious tendency’ in the bill that is deemed less clear and may lead to abuse by the authorities when the Act is enacted.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when winding up debate on the bill, however, assured that there would be no abuse of power in enforcing the Act because a case will be brought to court only after the prosecution has strong evidence.
“This is because a person arrested and investigated under the Act may not necessarily be prosecuted in court.
“The matter is up to the Attorney-General, if he is confident there is a case, a prosecution will be made. We have many cases whereby police investigated but prosecution was not done by the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” he said.
On the definition of sedition, Ahmad Zahid said it had been stated clearly under the bill in question.
Ahmad Zahid when winding up debate also stressed several times that the move to retain the Sedition Act 1948 was necessary to protect the interest of the people regardless of race and religion to prevent something untoward from happening in the country.
“This is because the act, which had been used for a long time, has been proven to be effective in facing issues which were seditious in nature in ensuring the peace enjoyed all these while is preserved,” he added. – Bernama