KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Oct 8 (NNN-Bernama)The government will not set any timeline to repeal the Sedition Act 1948, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said repealing the act will take time as it needs to be passed by Parliament.
“We can’t determine exactly the timeline, … we will not be able to keep to the time fixed,” he said to reporters after launching a book titled “Tun Ismail Ali – Paragon of Trust and Integrity” at Sasana Kijang here.
Dr Mahathir was responding to questions on when the act will be repealed. There have been criticisms by several quarters that the act has been used several times by the new government, the latest being in the case of Azman Noor Adam, a brother of UMNO supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who was arrested under the act.
Repealing the controversial act was one of the points in the election manifesto of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which is now the ruling party.
Dr Mahathir said the act stays for the time being and the law continues to be applied.
“I am not going to bother about this thing. Anybody who wants to call me any names, they are welcome,” he said.
He said there are also quite a number of laws that will be repealed while a few others will be amended.
“So, it will take time because the AG (Attorney General) will go through all the new laws.
“And some laws will involve the Constitution. If it involves the Constitution, we need a two-thirds majority (to amend the Constitution) and we don’t have a two-thirds majority,” he said.
On another matter, Dr Mahathir said he will only decide what topic to discuss if he decides one day to accept the invitation to attend a forum with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
“I will decide when I am there; so far, I have not decided on anything yet,” he said.
Dr Mahathir yesterday declined Abdul Hadi’s invitation to attend a forum with him when the Prime Minister visits Port Dickson tonight to campaign for Pakatan Harapan candidate Anwar Ibrahim who is contesting the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election.
However, Dr Mahathir did not rule out the possibility of joining Abdul Hadi at such a forum at another time.
On DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang’s suggestion that the government should reopen several of the high-profile murder cases in the country, Dr Mahathir said he would have to see what those cases are.
Source: NAM News Network