Sanity returns to Pandi Fella: Sedition Prosecution Against Academic Azmi Sharom dropped

February 13, 2016

Sanity returns to Pandi Fella: Sedition Prosecution Against Academic Azmi Sharom  dropped


Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali has today decided to discontinue the sedition prosecution against University of Malaya Law Professor Azmi Sharom (above).

“In the interest of justice, and after examining the evidence given by the prosecution’s witnesses in court, I am using my discretion under Article 145(3) of the federal constitution and decide to discontinue prosecution against Azmi,” said Apandi in a statement today.

Article 145(3) gives the Attorney-General the sole and exclusive authority to institute and conduct any criminal proceedings. Apandi pointed out a similar sedition case involving Seputeh MP Teresa Kok previously.

The law don was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act for a comment he made to Malay Mail Online on the Selangor menteri besar crisis that was brewing in 2014, in an article titled ‘Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told’.

A-G Pandi uses his discretion?

In the article he had suggested the Perak example in 2009 where UMNO ousted the incumbent Pakatan Rakyat government as a solution to resolve the imbroglio.

He also faced an alternative charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the same Act. The charge carries a penalty of a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years’ prison, or both, upon conviction.

When contacted, Azmi expressed his gratitude with the A-G’s decision.“I’m thankful that common sense has prevailed. I am grateful to my family, my lawyers, my friends and to so many people I don’t even know who have been so supportive,” he told Malaysiakini.

‘Reverse sedition crackdown’

Human Rights Watch Asia Division Deputy Director Phil Robertson said  Azmi should not have been charged in the first place.

“He should have never been prosecuted in the first place. But at least now there appears to be a flicker of candle light in the dark tunnel of Sedition Act prosecutions being brought by the Malaysian authorities against numerous lawyers, NGO activists, opposition MPs, and academics.

“The question now is whether that light will grow, or whether it will be snuffed out?,” said Robertson in a statement.

“The A-G should reverse the sedition crackdown and show he understands how wrong it is to criminalise people for expressing peaceful political views that disagree with the government.

“These include cartoonist Zunar, lawyer Eric Paulsen, opposition politician N. Surendran, and more than two dozen others,” he added.

15 thoughts on “Sanity returns to Pandi Fella: Sedition Prosecution Against Academic Azmi Sharom dropped

  1. How convenient , Mr Attorney-General. You put Azmi through emotional hell and then get a way with it. I also do not understand why Azmi should be grateful to the Public Prosecutor. –Din Merican.

  2. One swallow doeth not a summer make. Even the mad have moments of stark sanity.

    Here it is a case of huge pretense at seeming to be fair, when the facts are that there was no case at all in the first place. But they got their cheap thrill putting the good prof through the wringer.

  3. Azmi was only grateful to his relatives, friends, and supporters like many in your blog, Din. He was, however, “thankful” that “common sense” prevailed, which could, perhaps, be referring to, in Phil Robertson’s words, “a flicker of candle light in the dark tunnel of Sedition Act.”

  4. The Police Inspector General too should take note of this positive freedom of expression develpment – less tweeting to threaten…….

  5. It’s not “sanity” It’s self-preservation.

    Remember the AG said that he prosecutes only if he has a more than 90% chance or a sure win case?

    Well, if he loses this one, then he would lose credibility, not that he has any in the first place.

  6. Din, the gomen knows they will not be able to prove their case against Azmi and they have to retreat gracefully to save face.

  7. It is a good call, but the law does not discriminates, people do, out of senseless often personal interest, discretion or indiscretion, gratitude- ingratitude.

    Such attitude should eliminated, because it is working against public interests and the orderly well- being of the country.

  8. I doubt Apandi has any sanity. A sane person will not declare there is “insufficient evidence” to prosecute Najib and to order MACC to close their investigations. A sane person can look at the evidence on youtube that showed Ali Tinju instigating a group of mat rempits to create havoc in Low Yat Plaza. No, Apandi dropped the sedition charge against Azmi citing article 145(3) because he wants to justify his decision that he has the sole and absolute authority to clear Najib of any wrongdoings.

  9. Once you have a drop of “nila’ in your pot of milk you need a massive transfusion to clear the ‘nila’. The other way is to get a ‘nila’ free pot of milk.

  10. That’s not sanity, it’s horse trading by the AG, drop charges against Azmi and hope the public will accept his decision not to pursue the charges on Jibby. Also he knows that the AGC doesn’t have a case or a leg to stand on against a Law Professor,,who can teach him a thing or two about Constitution Law

  11. /// I also do not understand why Azmi should be grateful to the Public Prosecutor. –Din Merican. ///

    Yes. Reminds me of the case of a tyrant who keeps banging someone’s head against the wall every day. One day, the tyrant decided to stop banging this guy’s head and the victim is supposed to be grateful?

  12. This is not a case of this apandi fella regaining sanity. It is all sandiwara. His master is in the US of A, hobnobbing with Obama and the other Asean ‘leaders’. With this decision by apandi, najib’s cronies will be bragging, ‘ you see the AG is fair and applying the law/s as it should be. So his decision to exonerate najib was based on all the ‘facts’ before him. The AG fears no one.’ And the morons in the US of A will buy it hook, line and sinker; while najib and the flom will be on a shopping spree at malaysian tax-payers expense.

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