Malaysia media groups urge Government to repeal Sedition Act

Malaysia media groups urge Government to repeal Sedition Act

PETALING JAYA - Two media groups have called on the Government to repeal the Sedition Act.

The Institute of Journalists Malay­sia and Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm) also called for all charges against Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone to be dropped, after the Penang-based reporter was arrested under the Act over an article on Sept 4.

Representative Tashny Sukumaran submitted a petition signed by over 200 journalists to the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, saying that reporters should be allowed to work without fear of being hauled up under the Sedition Act.

"It inculcates a culture of fear, not just among citizens, but particularly among journalists in view of what happened to Loone, who was merely carrying out her duties in reporting on a matter of public interest.

"We believe that in her case, the use of the Sedition Act was unjustified - in that she reported and wrote a factual account about the arrest of a state executive councillor. Her report could not, in any way, be seen as seditious," said Tashny, pointing out that the Act had also been used against private citizens for voicing their opinion in recent weeks.

Loone was arrested under the Sedition Act for writing an article quoting PPS commander Phee Boon Poh saying that he was mistreated by the police in Penang. She was released nine hours later.

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