The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has failed to understand that the Sedition Act 1948 cannot be used to protect the prime minister, said Padang Serai MP N Surendran.
Section 3(1) of the Sedition Act defines what is a “seditious tendency”, he said.
“It only criminalises seditious words uttered against the Rulers, the government or the administration of justice.”
Criticism or verbal attacks upon the prime minister do not fall within the ambit of the Sedition Act, emphasised the MP who is also a lawyer.
He was commenting on a statement by IGP Khalid Abu Bakar that there was basis for the investigation of three ex-ministers for statements made in Parliament on state investment fund 1MDB.
“He claims they may have committed offences under the Sedition Act,” noted Surendran.
He said the IGP’s basis for saying that the ex-ministers’ statements may be seditious was as follows: “That is clearly an act of trying to incite people into thinking that the Prime Minister committed crimes….”
Those are the IGP’s own words in justifying the investigations, Surendran pointed out.
If the prime minister was aggrieved by any accusation, his remedy is to file a civil defamation action against his accuser, he said.
A simple and even cursory reading of Sections 3 and 4 of the Sedition Act will make this quite clear, argued the MP.
He went on to say the IGP’s statement proves the police investigations into the parliamentary statements of the ex-ministers was without legal basis.
The lawyer advised the IGP to look at the Sedition Act again carefully “and subsequently review the necessity for the ongoing investigations”.
What the ex-ministers said in Parliament, argued Surendran, in relation to the 1MDB issue, was protected by parliamentary immunity conferred by Article 63 of the Federal Constitution.
Hence, he summed up, the IGP was in breach of the Federal Constitution by investigating the ex-ministers.
Source : FMT