Malaysia PM Najib Razak makes sedition pledge
- 2 July 2013
- From the section Asia
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that he will honour a pledge to abolish the sedition act following a hotly contested election in May.
"We will amend the act but we want to keep Malaysia peaceful and harmonious," Mr Najib told BBC World News.
He said that the law was only used against those who undermined stability.
Mr Najib had promised to repeal the sedition law last year along with other security legislation that dates from the British colonial era.
The Malaysian opposition says that the prime minister has used the sedition law to make needless arrests. It says the continuing delay in repealing it proves that Mr Najib is not an "honourable man".
The vice-president of a Muslim political party is the latest in a number of opposition figures to have been arrested following widespread complaints of fraud during the election.
In his BBC interview Mr Najib accused the opposition of being "populist and irresponsible" during the election which saw big losses for the ruling coalition in urban areas.
He said that his government had repealed the Internal Security Act - which correspondents say has often used to detain anti-government activists - in addition to bringing an end to detentions without trial.
"We have shown an awful lot of latitude to people who protest against the government," he said, "but people cannot say something that will undermine the stability of our country."
The prime minister stressed that his government would not allow any protests that were not peaceful and political change in his country would have to come "from within".
He said Malaysia had enjoyed 55 years of peace and stability since independence and there was "no basis for people to go onto the streets".