Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Raising racially sensitive issues in Parliament is sedition, warns PM


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has cautioned Members of Parliament not to debate on issues touching on racial sensitivities at the Dewan Rakyat sitting as the Sedition Act could be enforced in the august House. “They must ensure that the debate is of quality and at the same time remember that issues that touch on racial sensitivities, issues that breach the Sedition Act, must be avoided. “This is because the Sedition Act can be enforced in the Dewan Rakyat, in other words, the Sedition Act is also applicable in the Dewan Rakyat. “They are not free to talk on anything that breaches the Act,’’ he said after a meeting with Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of the Dewan Negara, Dewan Rakyat and the State Legislative Assemblies at the Dewan Tun Hussein Onn at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday. He said such issues should be avoided as they could create tensions and problems in the country. Abdullah also advised the MPs to understand the issues at hand as well as the Standing Orders so that the debates would be effective. “If you don’t know and speak wrongly (in the debate), then there is no meaning, it gives no significance at all. They (MPs) must be firm and confident to come up with good debates,” he said. On the handful of MPs who used coarse language, he said such words would not have been uttered if they truly understood the Standing Orders. “Those who utter such words are also admonished by the Speaker. Don’t speak as you like, waiting for the Speaker to reprimand, don’t speak on matters that will invite a reprimand from the Speaker. “Such words cannot be used in Parliament. It is un-parliamentary. That’s why I said they should read the Standing Orders,” Abdullah added. - Bernama