ISKANDAR PUTERI: The government has never considered enacting the lese majeste law as it is practised in Thailand, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
However, Liew did not rule out the possibility of such a law being created in the future in a bid to protect, preserve and defend the institution of the monarchy in the country.
“We still want to protect the monarchy institution because Malaysia is practising a constitutional monarchy system in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the highest supreme authority as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“Maybe one day we’ll have a new law if the Cabinet decides to do so or amend the relevant law to continue protecting the monarchy institution,” he told reporters after visiting the proposed site for the development of the new Johor Court Complex in Kota Iskandar, here today.
Liew was responding to the proposal for Malaysia to enact the lese majeste law, which had been seen as capable of curbing malicious acts of defaming, insulting and ridiculing the monarchy, that had been quite rampant lately.
Lese majeste, which means a crime committed against a sovereign power, is criminalised in Thailand and Cambodia. It is enacted with the aim to protect, preserve the sanctity and avoid insult against the monarchy.
In Thailand, the law was introduced in 1908 and those convicted for the crime could serve between three and 15 years in jail.
On the proposed site for the new court complex, Liew said it was still awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet.
“So far, we only received one proposed site from the state government, and we will most likely to have a land swap between the state and federal governments.
“I hope the (approval) process will run smoothly so that the construction can begin soon,” he added.
The proposed site for the new court complex is a 6.88-ha land located near the state administrative complex and the project is expected to be completed at a cost of RM200 million. — Bernama