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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Negara-Ku dares MCA, MIC to make a stand on Sedition Act

Negara-Ku patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks during the public form at Mandarin Court Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider by Zhafri Azmi, November 29, 2014.Negara-Ku patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks during the public form at Mandarin Court Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider by Zhafri Azmi, November 29, 2014.
MCA and MIC must decide if they are for or against Datuk Seri Najib Razak's decision to retain the Sedition Act 1948, said Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.
The Negara-Ku patron yesterday said this was important after was revealed that both Barisan Nasional-component parties were in the dark over the prime minister’s surprise announcement during the general assembly on Thursday.
Ambiga said Najib's about-face on his promise to repeal the act was unfair as it was done without the knowledge of the cabinet.
"Umno made the decision on their own to change the existing law," she said during the “Negara-Ku: People's Movement” public forum at the Mandarin Court Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
At the 65th Umno General Assembly on Thursday, Najib said the act would remain, after talks with party leaders, NGOs and grassroots members.
He said the act would be strengthened with provisions prohibiting insults against all religions, and also talks of Sabah and Sarawak seceding from Malaysia.
MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the decision was neither discussed in the cabinet nor with the BN-component parties.
Wee was reported in The Star today that he welcomed the call to retain the act but said there was a need to straighten out and review controversial clauses in it.
Ambiga questioned Najib's justification that he had the support of the majority before deciding to keep the colonial-era law.
"It was just an empty statement. There were no studies or papers that support his claim."
Ambiga said Najib's decision did not guarantee the country peace and harmony, but was merely an excuse to flaunt his power while ignoring the people.
On the ongoing Umno general assembly, she said: "Many people are fed up with the assembly. I think they have failed to understand the spirit of multi-racial society."
She said the platform was used to attack the rights and interests of other races, particularly the Chinese, as shown in the discussion about vernacular schools.
She added that Umno leaders should show some maturity by taking full responsibility for failing to develop the Malay community since 57 years ago, instead of attacking and blaming others for it.
Negara-Ku chairman Zaid Kamaruddin said the racially charged statements made by Umno delegates at the assembly just goes to show that the movement is relevant when it comes to establishing relationships and understanding in multi-ethnic Malaysia.
"We know it is a huge challenge for Negara-Ku. What we want is for the people to be able to determine their own destiny."
Zaid said Negara-Ku would only become irrelevant once Malaysians were capable of looking beyond their differences and move forward to determine the identity and future of the nation.
"Our intention is to make this movement irrelevant because by then, Malaysians will finally be able to live in harmony with one another.
"But what was being said at Putra World Trade Centre this week just shows the importance of our call," he said.
The new movement was launched in July to "heal Malaysia and restore hope", given the recent challenges that it said continue to threaten the peace and harmony of its multi-ethnic and multi-faith society.
Some 68 civil society groups and NGOs have endorsed Negara-Ku, which is aimed at mobilising and empowering people to return to the basics of the Federal Constitution, Malaysia Agreement and Rukunegara.
- TMI

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