More than 30 journalists are expected to attend a briefing this evening on the Sedition Act and how it affects them in their work, following the recent arrest of Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone in a spate of actions under the act that has involved a law lecturer, a lawyer, two preachers, and several politicians.
Lawyer and columnist Syahredzan Johan will conduct the briefing, to be held at The Star’s Cybertorium theatrette at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.
Syahredzan heads the National Young Lawyers’ Committee of the Malaysian Bar and is a leading member of the campaign to abolish the Sedition Act.
He is expected to give journalists a broad picture of how the law affects journalists and publishers particularly, as well as its general effects in curtailing the freedom of expression of citizens.
Journalists will seek pointers on how their reporting, writing, editing and publishing duties are affected by the law’s broad definition of “seditious tendency” and how the government loosely interprets the words “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection”.
The Institute of Journalists Malaysia is a non-profit organisation that seeks to be the professional body of journalists in Malaysia. It was one of several organisations that criticised the arrest of journalist Susan Loone » Drop the charges, says IoJ