JOHOR BARU: Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Umno leaders should be the first to be hauled to court under the current sedition dragnet, which has claimed two more victims, a lawyer and an opposition leader, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said yesterday.
Lim also called for an immediate halt to all sedition charges against dissent and criticism.
“The recent crackdown for sedition has put Malaysia back on the radar of unfavourable international media attention for repressive colonial laws against freedom of speech and expression,” he said at the Mersing DAP branch anniversary dinner yesterday.
The two latest victims were lawyer Edmund Bon and Johor PKR Vice-Chairman Hassan Karim.
Bon, who is currently overseas, was called up by police for sedition for comments he made in a news article in The Malaysian Insider in January on whether non-Muslims should adhere to a fatwa.
Hassan, who is also a lawyer, had his laptop and mobile phone seized by the police in his Pontian home yesterday in an ongoing sedition probe against him.
They join a growing list of Pakatan Rakyat MPs and state assemblymen investigated for sedition.
The others were Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Padang Serai MP N Surendran, Batu MP Tian Chua, Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer, academician Azmi Sharom, journalist Susan Loone, activists Safwan Anang and Ali Abdul Jalil, preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussein and religious teacher Abu Bakar Baikalani Abu Hassan.
Lim said two days ago, Mahathir called the Malays “lazy”, “unashamed of being failures” and accused them of “lacking integrity in handling money” and even suggested they were petty thieves.
“DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders would have been arrested and hauled to court under the Sedition Act if they had uttered what Mahathir said two days ago,” he said.
“In fact, many Umno ministers and leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, would have been arrested and hauled to court for sedition based on their past speeches and statements.
“Malaysians are entitled to know the reason for the blitz against dissent and criticism when Mahathir, Umno ministers and leaders had been guilty of even greater sedition,” he said.