KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Wanita Umno disagrees with the proposal to abolish the Sedition Act 1948, saying that it is still needed to ensure peace and security in the country.
Its chief, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, said it was also feared that the absence of the Act in the future would cause a worrying situation involving racial, religious and institution of monarchy issues.
“These issues may be triggered by seditious statements and worsened by the freedom of speech in social media,” she told reporters after attending the ‘Understanding the Sedition Act 1948’ programme organised by Wanita Umno Legal and Advocacy Bureau here yesterday.
Shahrizat said 500 Wanita Umno leaders attending the programme yesterday agreed to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to ask the government to retain the Act.
She said Wanita Umno, through its branches nationwide, would also launch a campaign to collect one million signatures of the multi-racial people who agreed that the Act should be retained.
“Wanita Umno will also organise programmes and forums for those with no political interests so that they will understand the risks that await if there is no specific Act that can protect national security,” she said.
Shahrizat said the Wanita Umno would also convene a meeting with the Wanita movements in Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, as well as with the non-governmental organisations, to learn their opinions about the plan to abolish the Sedition Act.
At the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly on Sept 8, the prime minister was reported as saying that the government would exercise utmost prudence in deciding whether to maintain the Sedition Act 1948 or introduce the National Harmony Act.