Mohd. Noor -- "Freedom of speech does not allow people to question the powers, rights and privileges of a ruler as enshrined in the constitution."
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd. Noor Abdullah has suggested the formulation of a special law on treason.
He said although there is the Sedition Act 1948 which covers acts of treason, there are differences between sedition and treason.
"There should be a special law on what constitutes acts of treason. This law is appropriate because some people do not really understand the actual powers of the rulers.
"Very timely for the government to legislate a law on treason, not under sedition," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on the monarchy organised by Universiti Malaysia Perlis here.
He said this law should clearly define what constitutes treason, in terms of action, speech, satire, graphics and others, and to impose a stern penalty of a jail term of two years.
"This is to make the people know that there is no forgiveness for those who commit treason," said Mohd. Noor.
But before formulating the law, society, especially the young, should be exposed and given an explanation on the system of constitutional monarchy practised in the country.
"Taking action without providing an explanation is tyranny, but let the explanation be done by legal experts.
"Don't let politicians with vested interests to do it," he added.
He said laws are rules of life and the people should abide by them.
Earlier, when tabling a working paper, Mohd. Noor said freedom of speech does not allow an individual to question the powers, rights and privileges of a ruler that are enshrined in the constitution.
"In fact, anyone who attempts to incite the abolishment of the monarchy, even in parliament, can be charged in court although they have the immunity to discuss other matters," he added.
The seminar themed "Making Monarchical Rule Sustainable" is held in conjunction with the 70th birthday celebration of the Raja of Perlis.