KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – A Malaysian court on Friday convicted a political activist of sedition, the latest government critic found guilty under the controversial colonial-era law.
Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court Judge Azman Mustapha convicted Hishamuddin Rais for urging people to hold street demonstrations to topple the government at a forum two years ago, according to Syahredzan Johan, who represents the activist.
Hishamuddin was found to have made the statement during a forum in the capital a week after parliamentary elections in May 2013, which the opposition said were fraudulent.
The court spared the 64-year-old Hishammuddin a jail term but fined him RM5,000.
The 1948 Sedition Act was implemented by British colonial rulers to stifle political dissent.
The law criminalises speech that could bring hatred or contempt or disaffection against the government or could cause religious or racial tension.
Conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to three years imprisonment or a fine of RM5,000 or both.a