Many would have known by now that the Sedition Act 1948 will be repealed and will be replaced by a new law called the National Harmony Act. While sceptics believe that the new law is just a new name for the controversial Act, some have given their backing and support.
This came through from the likes of professional bodies and civil society groups and they are calling for the drafting of the new law to be made in a transparent manner and that the feedback and opinions and that the new law should uphold the principles of fundamental human rights.
One such person who applauded the new proposal is Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, the chairman of Suhakam (Malaysian Human Rights Commission) who called for a proper consultation with all the stakeholders involved so that the principles are observed and not violated in any way.
In fact, Tan Sri Hasmy said that the commission is looking to work closely with the Attorney- General’s Chambers and any other stakeholders in the process of drafting the new law and to look into any issues that need to be addressed before they are drafted into the final proposal.
On top of that, he also welcomed the repeal of the Sedition Act which he said is one of the various laws that Suhakam had been calling the government to repeal and that they should be passed with more consultation, not like the recent Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 which was done too quickly.
Meanwhile, K Arumugam, the chairman of Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia) concurred with the opinion that the fundamental liberties of every Malaysian must be protected under the National Harmony Act and that should be provided. By offering these provisions, it will allow better public expression and the media will have more freedom to publish unbiased information and reporting.