Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Raja Petra Kamarudin to be Charged with Sedition?



From Rockybru:

"Monday, May 05, 2008

Sedition charge against RPK and Syed?

Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has been told to appear in the Magistrate Court at Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur at 09:30 tomorrow (Today, Tuesday 6th May 2008), where he is expected to be charged with SEDITION.

Author Syed Akbar Ali, an active commenter on blogs, has also been told to appear at the same court, at 10AM. On sedition charge, too?"

From Zorro:

"Monday, May 5, 2008


"Raja Petra Kamarudin will be charged under the Sedition Act. He has to report to the KL Jalan Duta Court Complex tomorrow at 9.30am."

(Today, 6th May 2008 at 9:30)

What is sedition? Here is some information.


Sedition [noun] public speech, writing or action encouraging public disorder, especially rebellion against the government.

ETYMOLOGY: from Latin seditio a going apart, from sed away + ire to go.

Some more Information about sedition:

(Source Wikipedia)

Sedition is a term of law which refers to covert conduct, such as speech and organisation, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority.

Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel.

Because sedition is typically considered a subversive act, the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another.

Where those legal codes have a traceable history, there is also a record of the change of definition for what constituted sedition at certain points in history.

This overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within study of persecution.

The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace.

Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort.

Nor does it consist, in most representative democracies, of peaceful protest against a government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).

Put simply, sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power.

Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state and has to do with giving aid to enemies or levying war.

Sedition is more about encouraging the people to rebel, when treason is actually betraying the country.

REPRESSIVE MALAYSIAN LAWS (sourced from Human Rights Watch web site)

The Sedition Act

The Sedition Act, originally enacted by British colonial authorities, limits free expression by broadly criminalizing any speech that is judged to have a "seditious tendency," including speech which tends to "bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against" the government, promote "feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races," or question constitutional preferences in business, education, and government employment opportunities given to Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. The speaker's intent and the statements' veracity are irrelevant. A violation of the act is punishable by up to three years in prison, a 5,000 Malaysian Ringgit fine, or both.

The act's vague language invites selective application against political opponents for any kind of criticism. Indeed, it was used in January 2000, shortly after the national elections, against opposition figures who criticised the government.

Such expression is a basic right guaranteed by internationally recognised human rights standards.

In addition, although numerous police reports alleging acts of sedition were filed against ruling party officials and allies during the same period, only opposition figures were arrested.

Once again it seems that the law is being used for politically motivated proceedings this time against a blogger and social activist, as it has been used against lawyers, journalists, and opposition leaders in the past.

Those who peacefully express critical views should not be subject to charges of sedition.

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence 2nd May 2008 (WAMI) questions Sedition Acts used against bloggers again.

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