Malaysia: ICJ condemns passing of amendments of Sedition Act

The ICJ today condemned the passing of the amendments to the archaic 1948 Sedition Act by Parliament’s House of Representatives.

The amendments broaden and deepen even further the scope for this law to be abused by authorities in order to violate human rights.

The amendments were passed after a final vote that saw 108 MPs in favour and 79 MPs against the proposal.

“The passed amendments were part of a series of bills that were rushed through Parliament this week, including the draft Prevention of Terrorism Act”, said Emerlynne Gil, ICJ’s International Legal Adviser. “It is unfortunate that Prime Minister Najib Razak has chosen to renege on his promise to abolish the Sedition Act and instead went ahead to make the law worse than it already is.”

“It is undeniable that these amendments would send a further chilling effect on the freedom of expression in Malaysia that is already restricted,” Gil added.

The amendments will now need to be passed by the Senate and thereafter, receive assent of the Malaysian King before it becomes law.


Emerlynne Gil, ICJ International Legal Adviser, email: emerlynne.gil(a) or mobile: +66 84 092 3575

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