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MORE CHANGES: Printing Presses and Publications Act to be replaced with new regulations
KUALA LUMPUR: CHANGES in Malaysia are proceeding at full throttle with the government’s decision to review the Sedition Act 1948, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He announced this yesterday when tabling the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 for a second reading in Dewan Rakyat.
He said the Sedition Act would be put under the microscope without ruling out any option.
“This government will continue to bring political renewals and changes.
“The tabling of the Security Offences Bill 2012 will not mark the end of efforts started seven months ago (when the announcement to abolish the Internal Security Act was made).”
Another transformation is the replacement of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 with new regulations.
The decision to replace the law, Najib said, was made because the government was fulfilling its promise to make changes, including abolishing the annual renewal of the publication permit and setting up a media council to self-regulate the industry.
On Sept 16, in conjunction with Malaysia Day, he announced three initiatives: political transformation programme involving the repeal of the Emergency Declaration, Internal Security Act 1960, Restricted Residence Act 1933 and
Banishment Act 1959; formulation of the Peaceful Assembly Act; and amending the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
However, he said, any attempt to review laws or formulate new ones would not set aside three key principles, that is, upholding the monarchy, maintaining unity and safeguarding people’s rights.
“When new regulations are made, it is crucial to tackle behaviours or actions that can incite hatred or contempt towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any ruler.”
He said it was necessary to stop any attempt to create animosity among the people and to question their rights as stipulated under Article 151, 153 and 181 of the Constitution.
The government, he added, had done its best for the people.
“We do not fear nor cower to compete with others in the democratic arena. With our open policy, the government is not afraid to compare ideas and policies with anyone.”
Najib said it was clear that the tasks had not been completed and the government needed to strive harder to ensure generations of Malaysians would continue to live in a peaceful and prosperous nation.
“The important thing is that we are building a nation where the supremacy of the constitution and sovereignty of the law protect each individual so that he is free to voice opinions, criticise, support, hold differing views, be involved in politics and be a member of any association.
“In short, no one will be punished for exercising his rights, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and the country’s laws.”