Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lawyer Edmund Bon called in over sedition

6:57PM Sep 12, 2014
Malaysiakini
Lawyer Edmund Bon has been called up by police for sedition, joining the growing list of individuals caught in the sedition dragnet.

"I will cooperate with the police and will be meeting them when I am back for a statement to be taken," he said on Twitter.

Bon, who is currently overseas, will return to Malaysia on Sept 16.

He said he is investigated for comments he made in a news article by news portal The Malaysian Insider on whether non-Muslims should adhere to a fatwa or royal decree, published on Jan 20.

According to New Sin Yew, a lawyer at Bon's firm Bon Advocates, the police report against Bon was lodged in Penang.

In the article, Bon said that non-Muslims are not bound by a fatwa or royal decree as it is against their freedom of religion.

This is in relation to a Jan 19 decree by the Kedah sultan, who is also sitting Agong, that non-Muslims cannot use the word 'Allah'.

The Agong had then cited a 1986 National Fatwa Council decision.

Bon had said that the decision by the Fatwa Council is not binding on non-Muslims.

He supported this by citing a 2009 Federal Court decision which states the same.

The same view was echoed in the article by Lawyers for Liberty founder Eric Paulsen and constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari.

Call to action for lawyers

Meanwhile, the Bar Council's National Young Lawyers Committee said this latest sedition charge against yet another lawyer has given cause for members of the profession to attend the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) next Friday called by the Bar Council.

"Lawyers, how many of our own must be subjected to the Sedition Act before we say enough is enough? Come to the EGM, then we protest!" it said in a Twitter posting.

The Bar Council has called for an EGM on Sept 19, 2014 to address the series of recent crackdown under the Sedition Act.

Meanwhile, police seize Johor PKR vice-chairperson Hassan Karim's(right) laptop and mobile phone in an ongoing sedition probe.

According to PKR, the items were seized from his home at about 12pm today from his home in Pontian.

He is under investigation after a police report was lodged over his tweet which questioned why the Selangor sultan was overseas despite the ongoing menteri besar crisis.

Yesterday, religious teacher Abu Bakar Baikalani Abu Hassan was detained under the Sedition Act for speaking against the arrest of Penang's Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members.

Others in the long list of those facing action for sedition in the recent months include law lecturer Azmi Sharom, Malaysiakinijournalist Susan Loone, student Ali Abdul Jalil and MPs Khalid Samad and N Surendran.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the government is still reviewing whether to amend the Act or replace it.

Najib had promised to repeal the Act two years ago.
~ Malaysiakini

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