Caused by a video from the President of local party who said it is seditious and a treason to seek independence, members of public had become restless about what was said in the video. They had asked me to clarify this issue for the benefit of all Sarawakians.
After the video went viral, many people had scare members to the public and members of Parti
Bumi to say it is a sedition and treason to seek independence.
I wish to clarify as a lawyer that, there is nothing seditious and nothing a treason to peacefully and by lawful means, to speak and to seek independence. People in authority could not simply abuse the law to arrest and threaten any citizen who are acting within the law. If this is done, people will not be happy. Such an abuse can also lead to the fall of the government.
Lawyers, law professors and activists had in past many years been speaking about freedom and right to independence. There is also a right to freedom of speech under the federal constitution
To seek independence by lawful and peaceful means could not also be branded as traitors too.
This is protected under domestic and international laws.
Article 10 of the Constitution of Malaysia guarantees Malaysian citizens the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. I hope this is clear to all citizens.
Citizens may need to know unlike Thailand, Malaysia does not have lese majeste laws, which criminalises offences against the monarch.
This is because the Federal Constitution is clear that we are a constitutional monarchy and treason is not an offence in the law books. No one has ever been charged with such a crime because it does not exist.
On law of treason, one can only be charged with waging war against the King and Rulers under Section 121 of the Penal Code. How could it be a waging of war against the King if no weapons or firearms are used? This is quite a common sense thing in which could be understood by all law abiding citizens.
Likewise The Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, which criminalises the use of firearms illegally could not be used against citizens who speak and ask for freedom and independence if no ams are used.
In the 1960s people resorted to arms to oppose Malaysia Proposal and the way the did this was not correct under the law. For that reason, many were arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). There is no more ISA now because ISA had been abolished by the government.
Security Offences (Special Measures)Act 1971 (in short, SOSMA), a replacement for ISA is a law which governs the procedures relating to the arrest, temporary detention, investigation and trial of an individual in place of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) in cases relating to offenses against the state, offences relating to terrorism, organised crime and human trafficking. The law could also not be used against any activists or citizens who speak and seek independence with lawful means and without weapon.
If it is seditious and treason, then Tunku Abdul Rahman, David Marshall and Lee Kuan Yew should have been arrested by the British for seeking independence from the Queen of England when they went to UK before MALAYSIA came into being. It was very easy for them to be arrested because they were in British soils at that time.
Instead, upon Tunku Abdul Rahman's request, Malaya was granted independence in 1957.
David Marshall and Lee Kuan Yew's request for independence before the formation of Malaysia in 1963 was turned down by the Queen because the British government wanted to hand Singapore and other British territories in Borneo (Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak) to form Malaya.
The law of sedition and treason were enacted by the British and been adopted by Malaysia after Malaysia gained independence in 1957. Then why Lee Kuan Yew was not arrested by Malaya when Lee Kuan Yew was seeking independence from Malaysia? Lee Kuan Yew then became prime minister of an independent Singapore in 1965 after Singapore left Malaysia. Now, Lee Hsien Loong is the Prime minister of Singapore why Malaysia had not arrested him?
Those who are against independence for Sarawak should infact be accused as traitors for not pursuing and protecting the intrinsic right of Sarawak to gain independence. The right to independence is allowed under international law.
Voon Lee Shan
Parti Bumi Kenyalang