Sedition Act, 1948
SEDITION ACT, 1948
Under this act, a publication shall be deemed to have seditious tendency if the publication:
- Gives rise to feelings of hatred or contempt or incites discontent against the ruler or government.
- Incites the people to alter, by unlawful means, any matter established by law.
- Incites feelings of discontent against the administration of justice in this country.
- Incites discontent against other people.
- Promotes feelings of ill-will and hostility among races.
- Questions the rights, status, position, privilege, sovereignty, and questions certain provisions in the Constitution such as citizenship, the national language and other languages used unofficially, the special privilege of the Malays and sovereignty of the rulers.
Nevertheless, this act also provides exemptions. A publication is not deemed to be seditious if it is published to:
- Show that a ruler has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures or actions.
- Point out the errors or defects of the government or Constitution or legislation or the administration of justice with the purpose of remedying the errors or defects.
- Persuade the people to alter, by lawful means, any matter established by law.
- Point out with a view to remove any matter which produces feelings of ill-will and enmity among races and the people.
Any person who is found guilty of writing, printing or publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, importing or selling publications with such seditious tendency shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years or fined not exceeding RM5,000 or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, he may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding five years and the publication shall be seized and destroyed.
Any person who is found in possession of such publication shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding eight months or fined not exceeding RM2,000 or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, he may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years and the publication shall be seized and destroyed. If a person receives the seditious publication without his knowledge, he should prove to the Court with regard to the actual situation.
Under this act, power is given to the Court to suspend any seditious publication or newspaper for a period not exceeding one year. Power is also given to prohibit any publisher or editor from participating in the publishing field and also to prohibit any printing press from being used during the same period.