Azmi should not be charged with sedition, says Malaysian minister

Azmi should not be charged with sedition, says Malaysian minister
University of Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharon (centre) waves to journalists as his lawyer Gobind Singh (right) looks on at the Sessions Court on Sept 2, 2014, after he was charged with sedition in Kuala Lumpur.

PETALING JAYA - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala has voiced his support for lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom, who has been charged with sedition.

"Azmi should not be charged with sedition. Academic freedom is required in pursuit of knowledge," Idris said in a tweet yesterday.

"Malaysia must continue to pursue the path of moderation.

"Constructive criticism (or) dissent should be allowed, as long as it does not create a serious fault-line in the social fabric of our society," he wrote.

Dr Azmi, a Universiti Malaya law lecturer and a columnist for The Star, was charged on Sept 2 with sedition over comments made on an online portal regarding the 2009 Perak crisis.

He claimed trial after being charged under Section 4(1)(b) and Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act.

The hearing has been fixed for Oct 3.

Last Tuesday, the Attorney-GenĀ­eral's Chambers announced that it would review several cases of individuals charged under the Sedition Act, including that of Dr Azmi.

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