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2009-05-07

FREE WONG CHIN HUAT


I have not been updating my blog since Chinese New Year. But this is the platform that I can voice up my absolute anger with the recent unwarranted actions taken by the police.

I disagree with and strongly condemn the arrest of Wong Chin Huat and those who supported him during the candlelight vigil. Such arrest, which based upon an ambiguous law of seditions and an unconstitutional police power to clamp down peaceful appeal, is totally unwarranted and irrational.

Ambiguous Sedition Charges
It is alleged that Wong Chin Huat has been violated Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, 1948, where he has uttered and published words of seditious tendency. Seditious tendency is defined under Section 3 as follow:-

a. bring hatred against Government (means Federal or State) or against any Ruler (means Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Ruler or Governor of any State);

b. excite someone to bring unlawful alteration of the Government or Rulers;

c. bring hatred against the administration of Justice;

d. raise discontent or dissatisfaction amongst the subjects of the King and Rulers or among the inhabitants of Malaysia;

e. promote feeling of ill-will and hostility between different races;

f. question right, status, position, privilege or prerogative protected by Part III (Citizenship), Art. 152 (National Language and learning of other languages), Art. 153 (Reservation of quotas pertaining to services, permit etc for Malay and natives of Sabah and Sarawak), and Art. 181 (Rulers’ sovereignty) of the Federal Constitution.

At time of writing, it is unclear which provision that the police is relying on to charge Wong.
However, it is believed that the arrest is connected with the campaign spearheaded by Wong to question the legality of the new Perak Government. Besides targeting at Prime Minister Najib, it is reported that Wong is striving for a new state election in Perak.

On the face of the reported news, it can be hardly convinced that Wong is liable for sedition charges. In my opinion, he has not said any words which are contravened to any item stipulated under Section 3 above. He is merely questioning the constitutionality of the present State Government and wishes that the people/voters be the ultimate arbiter of this issue. The general public is of the view that only with a fresh State Election, the dispute between political parties will be settled once and for all. In fact, Section 3(2) of the Sedition Act allows for these exceptions.

Bearing in mind that the case of who is the legal MB has yet to decided prior to Wong’s arrest. It is perfectly legal for Wong to defend what he perceived to be his constitutional rights and request the power to decide the MB (via barisan/party which win the most seats in the election) be rested with the rakyat.

Charging Wong under the Sedition Act is a clear act of suppressing expression which is guaranteed by Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.

Unconstitutional Police Power

The police have always abused their power purportedly granted under Section 27 of the Police Act, 1967 to arrest peaceful assembly and procession of more than 3 persons. This power is unconstitutional because it runs foul of Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, which confers the rights to assembly peaceably and without arms.

Section 27 is in contradiction to Section 141 of the Penal Code as well. The Penal Code disallows participation in a public or private gathering if a gathering of 5 or more persons has the common object to commit criminal conducts, which make sense to any ordinary people. We just can’t figure out correctly why on earth the police need to clamp down peaceful assembly!

The police should concentrate their limited resources in camping down those criminal who violated the Penal Code and do their best endeavour to reduce the crime rate, instead of arresting peaceful assembly under the Police Act. We must strongly censure such abusive power exercise by the police, which will bring darkness to the nation building.

Consistency of Principle

I met Wong in 1999 when I supported the BN during the General Election. We have heated argument but I salute him for his persistency and consistency in holding the principles that he believed. He has impressed me as a lobbyist for the betterment of our nation. He disagrees with BN for abusing the draconian law of ISA. He condemns Anwar who initiated the immoral hopping of wakil rakyat. He promotes local council election, and for that matter, a fairer and more transparent election. Our country needs more rakyat like Wong who, in line with the Federal Constitution, stands firm and fight hard for what he believe in.

I humbly appeal to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Home Affairs and those who believe in safeguarding every provisions of our Constitution, use you power/influence to free WONG CHIN HUAT immediately.