Federal Court rules no need to prove intention in sedition cases

 |Jan 9, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: There is no necessity to prove intention in every sedition case, the Federal Court ruled yesterday, when it quashed a 2016 landmark decision by an appeals court.

According to The Star, this means that Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act is valid.

Yesterday, a five-judge bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Ahmad Maarop allowed the Government’s appeal and set aside the Court of Appeal judgment which had ruled the provision was unconstitutional as it violated the constitutional right of freedom of speech.

Yesterday, the Federal Court ruled that the application by Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei to declare Section 3 as unconstitutional was instead an abuse of the court process.

The court then ordered that the trial of Mat Shuhaimi, who is charged with posting seditious words on his blog, to proceed at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

Mat Shuhaimi, 49, had pleaded not guilty on Feb 7, 2011 to posting a seditious article on his blog on the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary.

The PKR assemblyman is accused of committing the offence at Pusat Khidmat Rakyat, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla, Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, on Dec 30, 2010.

On Feb 22 last year, the Federal Court granted the Government leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

The three-man panel led by Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin allowed the leave application after Mat Shuhaimi’s lawyers did not object to the legal questions proposed by the Government.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers immediately filed an appeal as many pending sedition cases were affected by the landmark decision.