DEFINITION 2018) Freedom of Speech is part of what

DEFINITION AND
HISTORICAL BASIS OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Freedom of speech is regarded by most philosophical
thinkers as fundamental freedom, including several aspects, including the right
to express one’s opinions without hindrance, and the fear of impunity. It is
one of the most fundamental elements of a healthy, open democracy. It allows
people to freely participate in the social and political events of their
country. According to John Milton, freedom is a right that is called many
features, not only the ability to provide ideas and information, but also three
different viewpoints, the right to seek, receive and transmit information and
ideas. (Law and Expression, 2018)

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Freedom of Speech is part of what is called Fundamental
Liberties in our Federal Constitution. It was noted that the commission’s
recommendation on this subject were vague, particularly on the importance of the
rights. It is hardly understand why the commission will only specialize two
paragraphs as the content of the chapter which is the basis for the protection
of national rights, especially in the 8 years before the adoption of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. The White Paper reviewed the report
of the Reid Commission, but failed to make recommendations on the issue. This
Paper seems to suggest that the Conference of Rulers, Islam and Malay privilege
is more important than the questions about fundamental liberties.
(Anwarite.tripod.com, 2018)

 

Malaysia did not sign the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights which most other Muslim countries did in 1948, because it had not yet forms
as Merdeka was not established until 1957. But as a member of the United
Nations, it still obliged to uphold the principles of the Declaration. Malaysians
must force the government approved the universal declaration of human rights in
1948. It is understandable that the government will resist, because many of the
laws and policies of Malaysia are in violation of this declaration. Even the
federal constitution guarantees us certain rights in Malaysia, other parts of
the constitution also deprived of the rights. Article 10 of the constitution is
such an example. There’s more. Malaysia is a serious human rights violation.
The government rules not by ‘rule of law’ but by ‘rule by law’. (Webmaster,
2018)

 

There are two main article in Freedom of Speech in
Malaysia which is Article 10 (1)(a) and Article 10 (2)(a). Article 10(1)(a) of
the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is about the right to freedom of speech
and expression. This right is confined to citizen, both natural and legal
persons such as companies and corporations established under Malaysian Law. In
Malaysia, the right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed for all
the citizens under article 10 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution. Article 10
(2) (a) of the Federal Constitution is about the Parliament may by law impose
restrictions on that right of speech and expression. This article are
authorizes Parliament to impose restrictions on free speech as it deems
necessary or expedient on the following 8 grounds such as Security of the
Federation, the friendly relations with other countries, public order, morality
and the protection of the privileges of Parliament or any Legislative Assembly,
provide against contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to any offence.

 

The first ground is the security of Federation or any
part thereof. For example OSA. OSA is the Official Secrets Act. It is a
Malaysian law that prohibits the dissemination of information classified as
official secrets. The legislation was enacted under the official secrets act of
the United Kingdom. It was revised in 1986 after criticism of its lack of
transparency. From 2011 to 2016, there are 28 cases under OSA. In fact, even a
foreign journalist was convicted in 1995 for writing an article about the
relationship between Malaysia and China, and recently, Rafiz Ramley was
sentenced to death with the support of the Supreme Court. He appealed against
an 18-month prison sentence because he held an audit of 1MDB without approval. (Asklegal.my,
2018)

 

The second ground is having friendly relations with
other countries which also called Foreign Relations of Malaysia. Malaysia is an
active member of various international organizations, including the
Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement. It has also recently been actively
supporting regional cooperation. For example of cases, Malaysia called on the
Palestine and Israel to show restraint and take urgent action to prevent
further escalation of the conflict. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said
reconciliation and tolerance were the way forward to ensure a sustainable and
peaceful dialogue to resolve the Palestine-Israeli conflict. (Thestar.com.my,
2018)

 

The third and fourth ground is public order and
morality. For example, Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA Act.) cases
such as Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara vs. Minister of Home Affairs. Aliran
had issued for a permit under s6(1)(a) of the PPA 1984 to print and publish a
Bahasa Malaysia magazine under the name of Sultan Aliran to the Minister of
Home Affairs however been rejected. All decision made by the minister under
s6(1)(a) cannot be question by any court in Malaysia.

 

The fifth ground is the privileges of Parliament or any
Legislative Assembly. For example, Immunity and privileges of MPs. There was a
war of words between members of congress and the customs department until the
prime minister ordered the use of guns. Some civil servants are reluctant to
testify before the public accounts committee of Dewan Rakyat, which is unwise
in court. No person shall, in any court, make a judgment on any matter in any
court, or any vote on his participation in any House of Parliament or any
committee: Article 63(2). Any publication which is issued under the authority
of the House shall have similar privileges: Article 63(3). (Thesundaily.my,
2018)

 

The sixth ground is to provide against contempt of
court. Contempt of court is a subject of the limitation and limitation of a
considerable amount of subjectivity in making decisions. It is related to the
Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Act and Courts of Judicature Act.

 

The seventh ground is defamation. Example of cases about
Defamation Act 1957 is Michael Chong, the head of the MCA’s Public Services and
Complaints Division, filed a libel suit against the Guang Ming Daily for demanding
that it publish a report purportedly of him as “Ah Long King”. Chong
said he was hated, ridiculed and humiliated by the society, friends, staff and
members of MCA and other political parties. (SM, 2018)

 

This assignment will explain historical development of sedition law
of Malaysia, the provisions under the Sediction Act, Amendment under Sedition
Act 2015, case laws under the Sedition Act 1984 and impact of the law to media
practitioners.

 

 

1.0 
CONTENT

1.1 
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SEDITION LAW IN MALAYSIA Sedition Act 1948 is originated by the British colonial government
in 1948 to against the communist party. The act was amended by Emergency
Ordinance 1971 shortly after the riots of May 1969. It is to ensure racial
sensitivities will not be provoked by the operation of normal democratic
processes. (English.astroawani.com, 2018) The Act on the definition of
‘sedition’ very broad, and reexamine on freedom of expression, particularly for
the sensitive political issues where the uncertainty of the favor prosecutors.
It also means that seditious is not only legal but also a political issue. (Webmaster,
2018)

1.2 
PROVISION OF SEDITION ACT 1948

There are 3 important Section in Sedition Act 1984 such as
Section 2, 3, and Section 4. Section 2 of Sedition Act 1984 provides that ‘seditious’ used when applied to or use of
any act, speech, words, publications or other thing that qualifies the act,
speech, words, publications or other things as one having a seditious tendency.
The kind of a seditious tendency is enough to make a judge to decide. The
intention to incite violence is unnecessary. The true cause of hostility or ill
will is also not required.

 

Section 3(1) of Sedition Act 1984 of the Act state that
any act, speech, words, publications are seditious if they have tendency
towards any of the following such as i) to
bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection, ii) to raise discontent or disaffection
amongst the subjects to the administration of justice in the country, iii) to
promote ill will and hostility between races or classes, iv) to question the
provisions of the Constitution dealing with language, citizenship, the special
privileges of the Malays and of the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the
sovereignty of the Rulers against any Ruler or Government will be said seditious.
You will be fine RM5000 or imprisonment 3 years or up to 5 years if you against
the rules. (Webmaster, 2018) Sedition 3(2) of the Act provides the safeguards
that the materials in not deemed to be seditious by reason. In Section 3(2)(a) of
Sedition Act 1984, any rules will been misled or mistaken in any of his measure
if tendency is only to show. Under Section 3(2)(b) of Sedition Act 1984, errors
or defects can only be corrected if errors or defects are pointed out in execution
of government policies.

 

Based on Section 4(1) of Sedition Act 1984, it states that any
person who does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, any act
which has or which would have done, if have a seditious tendency, utters any seditious words, prints,
publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious
publication, imports any seditious publication. Example of the cases such
as PP v Lim Guan Eng (1998) 2 CLJ 623, Lim Guan Eng was found guilty under
section 4 (1)(b) of the Sedition Act because he published a pamphlet on a
statutory rape case involving the then Chief Minister of Malacca. He is also accused
under section 8A of the Printing Press Publication Act (PPPA).