A Malaysian court has sentenced an activist to a year in jail for remarks made at a forum last year that the court said could have incited the public to overthrow the government through street protests.

Adam Adli on Friday became the latest person to be convicted under the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law that activists say is used by the government to curb democratic dissent. Sedition as defined by the law includes promoting hatred against the government.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Adam was the latest victim of a "sustained assault" against freedom of expression, adding Malaysia was on a slippery slope to authoritarian rule. At least 14 people have been charged under the law since last year, with one person sentenced to 10 months in jail.