Nurul Izzah moots Private Members' Bill to repeal Sedition Act

KUALA LUMPUR (July 2, 2013): Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar has submitted a Private Members' Bill to repeal the Sedition Act 1948, subsequently urging the government to keep its promise to do away with the controversial act.

Nurul Izzah, who submitted the bill to Parliament secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah on Monday, said almost a year has passed since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak announced that the government will abolish the act and replace it with the National Harmony Act.

"However we are still waiting for the (National Harmony Act) to be tabled and in the meantime, we see activists and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians such as PKR vice-president Tian Chua, PAS member Tamrin Gaffar, Anything But Umno (ABU) leader Haris Ibrahim, student activist Adam Adli and PAS Vice President Datuk Husam Musa being detained under the Sedition Act.

"The arrest are also selective prosecution while other personalities and institutions who instigate hatred such as Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah, Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Utusan Malaysia are let off without actions or even investigations conducted on them," said Nurul Izzah in a press conference at Parliament today.

She said she is "hopeful and optimistic" that the bill will see the light of day for debate in the Dewan Rakyat, adding that usually a Private Members' Bill would not come through.

The PKR Vice President said the decision to allow the bill to be debated is the prerogative of the Speaker.

"However they (the speaker and secretary) can always say that government orders or bills can supercede others," she said.

Nurul Izzah said that she had to prepare the entire bill herself without having access to the Attorney-General's Chambers or other government agencies.