I was at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall this morning for a Negara-Ku people’s movement press conference. You can read about that in the Rakyat Times HERE.
Immediately after our press conference, another was due to take place, by the Gabungan Hapus Akta Hasutan.
I thought I would stay on to lend my support.
Then we received news of my friend, Safwan.
Safwan and several others, myself included, were charged under the Sedition Act, 1948 in May last year.
The charge against me has not gone to trial as yet as I had, through my lawyers, filed an application in the High Court to have the charge against me struck out on the grounds that the Sedition Act, 1948 is bad law. That application was struck out when the High Court upheld a preliminary objection by the prosecution that the High Court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the application. My lawyers have appealed that decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal is due to hear my appeal on 9th September, 2014.
For this reason, the trial against me has not as yet commenced.
The trial against Safwan had started and concluded, and the decision of the sessions court was delivered today.
10 months jail!
As I sat thinking of Safwan and his family, someone in the front called to me to join the NGO representatives at the press conference table.
The ABU co-ordinator who was present asked me why.
“My mug is on the banner. There is a pending charge against me. I am conflicted.”, I told him.
In my honest view, each of us who has the charge pending over our heads is conflicted.
Yes, we may lend our voices to this campaign to abolish the Sedition Act, but let not our voices be the only ones, or the loudest.
I have no doubt that if the occasion presented itself, Safwan would not hesitate to say whatever it was he said that the court has found to be seditious.
I, too, would not.
Its no shame, bro Safwan, to be seditious when we speak the truth!
Tonight, I have left it to my colleagues in ABU to decide if ABU should lend itself to the Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan. I have abstained as I am conflicted. No doubt, they will make the correct decision.
So who can, nay, should join this effort to rid our nation of this law?
Look at the banner below.
If you’re not featured, but have at any time encouraged anyone featured here with words like “I AM WITH YOU” and such like, then its time to walk your talk.
Sedition Act or no, I’ll just go on speaking up on your behalf.