KUCHING: Movement of Change Sarawak (MoCS) describes Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s reply to Lanang MP Alice Lau on secession as a double edge sword.
Its president Francis Paul Siah (photo) said in a press statement received here yesterday that Dr Mahathir’s comment was either a threat or advice.
“I think it would be healthy for all to see the PM’s response as an advice as he has clearly stated that ‘the Sedition Act will only be utilised in cases where an act of sedition creates a situation that is beyond control – in that it jeopardises security and public order.
“It is true that the voices for secession among Sarawakians are growing louder by the day. It is also true that all these years, the proponents of independence for Sarawak have always carried out their activities in a peaceful and orderly manner,” he said.
Siah said he did not see how that is going to change as Sarawakians have been known as a peaceful and non-violent people.
“Rallies organised by pro-Independence Sarawakians are evidence of this, which the Sarawak police could easily testify to. There were no clashes of any kind reported at all. This is the Sarawakian way”, he pointed out.
“MoCS is also glad that the PM has stated that his administration’s policy is to promote freedom of speech, but he could go one step further by repealing the archaic Sedition Act. Provisions in the Penal Code suffice.
“I am actually shocked that Lanang MP Alice Lau (photo) of the DAP has found it necessary to ask what action could be taken against her fellow Sarawakians for their pro-Independence stand.
Her question, which can be considered ‘anti-Sarawakian’ borders on foolishness and naivety,” he said.
“I would advise the young MP to refrain for posing such questions in future, failing which I would deem her unfit to represent Sarawak and Sarawakians in the Malaysian Parliament,” Siah cautioned.
“Even if Lau disagrees with other Sarawakians on their pro-Independence stand, she should have asked her non-Sarawakian colleagues in Parliament to pose the question. That would be the sensible thing for her to do”, he added.
Dr Mahathir has told Parliament that action would only be taken under the Sedition Act against those who called for Sarawak’s secession from Malaysia if they jeopardised public order and security.
The prime minister said this was in line with the government’s policy to promote freedom of speech, Malaysiakini reported yesterday.
“In line with the government’s policy to promote freedom of speech as per Item 1 of Article 10 in the Federal Constitution, the use of provisions under the Sedition Act will only be utilised in cases where an act of sedition creates a situation that is beyond control – that it jeopardises security and public order,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was reported to have said this in a written reply to Lau, which was released in Parliament on Thursday.
Lau had asked what action the government could take against those who call for Sarawak’s secession, and if secession is allowed by the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963.
- Borneo Post