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Mukhriz to be charged under sedition, might lose Parliament seat! - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir’s days as a parliamentarian, Umno Youth leader and office-bearer in any society in Malaysia could be ended if any complainant secures a conviction in court against his statement on the vernacular-school system.


Senior Sabah lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph wrote in his column in English-language daily Borneo Post yesterday that Mukhriz could not hope to escape the wrath of the law, based on legal precedent.

mukhriz tamil school chinese schoolOn Dec 1, Mukhriz had told a press conference in Parliament House that the federal government should end the vernacular-school system so that Chinese and Tamil schools could be streamlined into one “Malaysian education system”.

Marcel said Mukhriz could not use ‘good faith’ or ‘national unity’ to explain his stand, as he has encroached on one of four ‘sensitive issues’ entrenched in Article 10(4) of the constitution, as per the 1971 amendment.

Read with Section 3(f) of the Sedition Act, these cover vernacular schools; the citizenship rights of non-Malay Malaysians; the sovereignty of Malay rulers; and the special provision for Malays, Orang Asli and the natives in Sabah and Sarawak as per Article 153.

lim kit siang parliament pc 201008 02Echoing DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, Marcel pointed out: “The 1971 constitutional amendment imposes an absolute prohibition from any questioning, even removing the parliamentary immunity in parliamentary debates by classifying them as sedition offences under Section 3(f) of the Sedition Act.

“If there is rule of law with impartial and independent administration of justice, Mukhriz would be charged and found guilty of sedition, stripped of his parliamentary membership, as well as disqualified from taking part in parliamentary elections or holding office in any society for five years if fined RM 2,000 or jailed for a year.”

Marcel cited two decided cases to back his argument:

• Melan Abdullah v Public Prosecutor (1971) where Utusan Malaysia was found guilty of sedition, for a sub-heading Hapuskan Sekolah Beraliran Tamil atau China di Negeri ini (Abolish Tamil and Chinese medium schools in this country); and

• Mark Koding v Public Prosecutor where the Sabah MP was found guilty of sedition when, in Parliament in October 1978, he had called for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

‘Political mileage’

Marcel further wrote: “If Mukhriz wants to be able to publicly pursue his proposal of a single education system resulting in the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools, (or debate the three other sensitive issues), he must get the constitutional provision on the four entrenched issues amended and repealed.

“Similarly, no one can ask for a repeal of Article 153 on the grounds that the Reid Commission had originally proposed a 15-year sunset clause, unless the 1971 entrenched sensitive issue provision in the constitution is amended or repealed.

“The same applies to the two other sensitive issues - the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers and the citizenship rights of the non-Malay Malaysians.”

Marcel noted that in calling for the abolition of Tamil and Chinese vernacular schools, Mukhriz had claimed that national schools could help address the problem of non-Malays misunderstanding the concept of ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).

“His (Mukhriz’s) remarks appear designed to tap the support of the Umno grassroots but is likely to add fuel to the debate on race relations,” he added.

Mukhriz has since clarified his stand -