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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Poll: What should the Cow Head 12 be charged with?

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A quick post before Walski has to go attend to his work – which has taken him on the road... again.

Image hosting by PhotobucketAs indicated in his earlier posting, there are some reservations about charging the Cow Head 12 under the Sedition Act (1948). Not just Walski’s but that of a few other people as well. 

Similarly with charging all the protesters with Illegal Assembly.

With such uncertainty in the air, a snap poll was the what Walski thought would be the best next-thing to do. And you can find the poll where it usually resides, at the sidebar of this blog.

Also as mentioned in the earlier post, there is another alternative – using the Penal Code – specifically, either section 298 or 298A. This is what was suggested in Charles Hector’s posting on the same issue yesterday.

The poll will be open until midnight, this coming Sunday, September 13, 2009.
(what Sections 298 & 298A say, and more, in the full post)

When Walski announced the poll via Twitter earlier, twitter-friend @MXVoon commented that many folks may not know about Sections 298 and 298A of the Penal Code. A very valid point, indeed – thanks, dude.

Charles Hector, in his posting, actually detailed out both sections of the code. Here’s an abbreviated version, based on what Charles had posted (go to his posting to read the full-blown deal).

298. Uttering words, etc. with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Whoever, with deliberate- intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utter any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes ant gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

298A. Causing etc, disharmony, disunity, or feelings or enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

(source: Charles Hector's blog)

So, there – now you know. And now you also know why Walski wonders about the choice of charges as announced by the AG on Monday (via The Malaysian Insider), when there are other applicable laws to charge the twelve with. It does lead to the feeling that taking the route announced will also be an affront to freedom of expression. Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

In any case, as with the last few previous polls, you can embed it on your own Blogger-based blog, if you have one (click on the button below the poll). But even if you don’t, Walski would appreciate it if you could pass the word around a bit. Polls aren’t much fun if the participation level is low-ish.

What do you think? Is the AG’s choice the more appropriate one, or are the alternatives better?

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