Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 7.7.2013
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s refusal to support the abolition of the 1948 Sedition Act is not only open defiance of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s promise but also a betrayal of BN’s general election slogan of “A Promise Fulfilled”. In July last year, Najib had announced that the Sedition Act would be replaced with a National Harmony Act, after repealing the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance.
Such defiance by Ahmad Zahid is unacceptable. Datuk Seri Najib must provide certainty and clarity that he is committed to abolishing the Sedition Act by demanding that Zahid toe the line, reverse his stand and support the abolition. Or else Zahid should resign from Cabinet. Failing which, Najib should explain to the people why he is breaking BN’s promise and betrayed the voters by not fulfilling his pledge to abolish the Sedition Act.
Zahid claimed that the abolishment of the Sedition Act would mean that there was no law to regulate offenses such as seditious content, slander, accusation or condemnation. This is not only wrong but also ridiculous as there are criminal provisions in the Penal Code and civil defamation action to deal with such offenses.
The Sedition Act has a sorry record of been abused and misused against opposition politicians. As a past victim imprisoned by such laws, it is clear that Zahid is intent on retaining such oppressive laws so that it can be used against opposition PR leaders.
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is also wrong to equate the present rise in the crime rate, especially street crimes, to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance. The rise in crime is caused by failure of enforcement and insufficient police personnel patrolling the streets to fight crime.
This is shown by the Criminal Investigation Department(CID) comprisimng barely 9% of the police force. Even the Special Branch of the police has nearly the same number of personnel as the CID.
41% of uniformed police perform management functions, while 31% are tasked with internal security and public order. In fact most of the police personnel is diverted to other non-core police duties not related to fighting crime, including being used as a political weapon by BN to deal with PR leaders.
To date the BN Federal government has failed to implement the 2005 Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Report’s recommendations that 20,000 uniformed personnel or 22% of the force could be reassigned to go back to active core policing work in fighting crime. The most important recommendation of establishing the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission(IPCMC) has not been carried out when it would not only prevent police abuses of power and custodial deaths, but ensure that police is effective in preventing and solving crime.
LIM GUAN ENG
—-Mandarin Version —-