Wanita Umno adamant over Sedition Act

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (left) is contending for the Wanito Umno chief's post, which is currently held by Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

KUALA LUMPUR - Wanita Umno will lead the charge at the upcoming Umno general assembly to pressure the Government to maintain the Sedition Act 1948.

Aside from raising bread and butter issues affecting the layman, the movement wants the issue, which it views "with utmost concern", to be deliberated at length to convince the Government not to do away with the Act.

Wanita Umno assistant secretary Datuk Rosni Sohar said the movement did not want the Sedition Act abolished and its members were adamant to have their views heard by the party leadership.

"This is a serious matter. It concerns peace and security in the country. The Government must not act without hearing the views of the people, including Umno members," she said.

Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had given his assurance that any decision, whether to maintain, abolish or replace the Sedition Act, would not be rushed into and would take into account sentiments from across the country's multi-racial society.

The general assembly will be held on Nov 25 till Nov 29. The three wings - Youth, Wanita and Puteri - will have their meetings on Nov 26.

Those following the Wanita Umno session can expect "an earful" as, according to Rosni, most of the delegates would raise the issue during their debates.

"Everyone wants to touch on the issue. This reflects how concerned we are and how seriously we view the plans to do away with the Act."

To ensure that their views are heard by the party leadership, the movement's representatives will also touch on the subject when debating the presidential address.

"We are not just good for canvassing votes during elections, nor are we a platform that only talks about ordinary issues. We can raise serious stuff too," said Rosni.

The movement, which organised a programme called Understanding Sedition Act 1948 last week, saw 500 of its leaders unanimously agree to call on the Government to maintain the Act.

While Wanita Umno will be taking on a serious topic, the grassroots can rest assured that issues that are important to them - cost of living, Goods and Services Tax and healthcare - will not be abandoned.

"We know the issues affecting the people and they can rest assured that we, Wanita Umno, will continue to champion their causes," said Rosni.