KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not set any timeline to repeal the Sedition Act 1948, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said repealing the Act would take time as it needed to be passed by Parliament.
“We can’t determine the exact timeline … we will not be able to keep to the time fixed,” he told reporters after launching a book titled Tun Ismail Ali – Paragon of Trust and Integrity at Sasana Kijang here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir was responding to questions on when the Act would be repealed.
There has been criticism that the Act was used several times by the new government, the latest being in the case of Azman Noor Adam, a brother of Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam who was arrested under the Act.
Repealing the controversial Act was one of the points in the election manifesto of the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Dr Mahathir said the Act would be kept for the time being and the law would continue to be applied.
“I am not going to bother about this thing. Anybody who wants to call me any name, they are welcome,” he said.
He said there were quite a number of laws that would be repealed, with a few others to be amended.
“So, it will take time because the AG (Attorney General) will go through all the new laws.
“And some laws will involve the Constitution, meaning we need a two-thirds majority (to amend it) and we don’t have a two-thirds majority,” he added.
On another matter, Dr Mahathir said he would only decide what topic to discuss if he decided someday to accept an invitation to a forum with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
“I will decide when I am there. So far, I have not decided on anything,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had declined Abdul Hadi’s invitation to attend a forum with him when the Prime Minister visited Port Dickson tonight to campaign for Pakatan Harapan candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is contesting the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election.
On DAP leader Lim Kit Siang’s suggestion that the government reopen several high-profile murder cases in the country, Dr Mahathir said he would have to check on the matter first. — Bernama