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3rd Malaysian blogger being arrested under Seditious Act

September 29th, 2008 · No Comments

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Following Raja Petra and Abdul Rashid Abu Bakar, the famous blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, the owner of a web blog- Kickdefalla is the 3rd Malaysian blogger being arrested under the Sedition Act 1984.

Syed is accused for inciting people to fly Malaysian national flag upside down as a protest against the government.

He was arrested by the police at his house on 17 September 2008 in Kota Baru.

The history of Sedition Act can be traced back to British colonial day around 1948. Based on the Act, any person who has been found guilty under this Act may be sentenced to 3 years in jail or a RM5,000 fine or both.

The interesting point of law about this Act can been seen in section 3(3) of the Act which is expressly stated in wikipedia:

“Section 3(3) goes on to state that “the intention of the person charged at the time he did or attempted (a seditious act) … shall be deemed to be irrelevant if in fact the act had, or would, if done, have had, or the words, publication or thing had a seditious tendency”. This latter provision has been criticised for overruling mens rea, a legal principle stating that a person cannot be guilty of a crime if he did not have the intent to commit a crime.”

Under the general principle of criminal law, in order to find an accussed guilty of a crime, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubts that there are mens rea and actus rea. In brief, Mens Rea means intention to commit a crime, Actus Rea means action in committing the crime.

Under section 3(3), the prosecution does not require to prove the intention of the accussed person to commit the seditious act, as long as they can prove that the act which if committed would ahve brought a sedictious outcome, then the accused may be held guilty under this Act.

In view of this, it is obvious that section 3(3) is in contradiction of this general principle of criminal law.

We have done an extensive online searching to see if any bloggers in other countries were similarly being charged/arrested due to committing seditious act, however, we have failed.

Tags: Bloggers' Rights

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