Hishamuddin Rais sends Najib legal letter over 'sedition' video shown at Umno assembly

KUALA LUMPUR - Social activist Hishamuddin Rais has initiated legal action against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for airing a video depicting him and other activists during his policy speech at the ongoing Umno general assembly.

The video implied that Hishamuddin and his fellow activists, Datuk S. Ambiga and Adam Adli, were allegedly involved in seditious activities.

His legal team Daim and Gamany, in its letter of demand, instructed Najib, who is the Umno president, to stop screening, displaying, distributing or disseminating the video clip at the general assembly.

Hishamuddin, in a statement Saturday, said the continued airing could influence the court's decision in his ongoing trial where he was charged under the Sedition Act.

"The letter of demand is intended to warn Najib to stop the dissemination of this video clip related to me which was aired at the Umno general assembly," he said.

The letter of demand also said that the Prime Minister had "created an atmosphere of hate and prejudice against our client (Hishamuddin)."

"Should you fail to comply, we have instruction to commence committal proceedings against you," the letter stated.

On Thursday, Najib showed video footage that depicted personalities like Hishamuddin rambling about hasut (incite), sex blogger Alvin Tan and his "bak kut teh" greetings and seditious blog message on the huge screen, before declaring that the Sedition Act 1948 would not be abolished but strengthened.

Hishamuddin, 63, was charged under the Sedition Act last year after calls to topple the Government on the anniversary of May 13 riots following the 13th general election.