From Human Rights Watch
(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should reconsider its decision to lift the moratorium on laws previously used to repress dissent, Human Rights Watch said today. The government announced on November 30, 2018, that the cabinet had lifted its moratorium on several of these laws, including the Sedition Act of 1948, in response to recent disturbances surrounding a Hindu temple in Subang Jaya.
“The government that so recently took office promising a commitment to human rights should not return to the draconian laws used by the previous Malaysian administration to stifle dissent,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “The government should reconsider its decision, which is a big step backward on the road to reform.”
Malaysia’s former Barisan Nasional government repeatedly used the Sedition Act of 1948 to arrest and prosecute critics of the government. The new government ran on an election manifesto promising to repeal the law and to amend laws such as the Communications and Multimedia Act of 1998, used to punish critical speech online, and laws permitting administrative detention.
On October 11, the communications and multimedia minister, Gobind Singh Deo, announced that the Cabinet had agreed to a moratorium on use of the Sedition Act pending repeal. Similarly, Malaysia announced during the November 8 United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights situation that the government had made a “firm decision” to suspend use of the Sedition Act pending repeal.
See full report here