Malaysia's Constant Police Harassment Against Free Speech Has To Stop!

Police have launched an investigation against de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan, over his comments on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wish to see Parliament reconvene as soon as possible.

In a brief statement, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani this evening confirmed that they have received reports against the minister.

“The investigation is being carried out by Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department,” Acryl Sani said.

The top cop added that investigators would call all the relevant individuals to assist in their investigation.

On Wednesday, a statement issued by Istana Negara stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah is of the opinion that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible to allow MPs to debate emergency laws and the National Recovery Plan.

Several hours after that, Takiyuddin told PAS mouthpiece Harakah in an interview that the king did not specify an exact date on when the legislature should be in session.

The PAS secretary-general had argued that September is soon, as per the National Recovery Plan that was laid out by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin a day earlier (on Tuesday).

 

Our comment

Malaysia needs to decriminalise freedom of speech. It is simply ludicrous to have a situation where the average man in blue is left scratching his head over whether the opinions of, for example, an elected representative of the people are ‘illegal’ – or maybe not.

There are few people lower in the estimation of Sarawak Report   and many others than Malaysia’s present law minister. However, the idea that he should be reported, harassed and intimidated for expressing his lame opinions is unacceptable, unless he is urging active harm against someone else,

There are other ways of dealing with the nonsense that certain people spout, lies or even false accusations, all of which carry no need for threats of criminal prosecution. Indeed, you cannot sustain a genuine democracy for even a day if people are unable to speak freely, criticise and hold contrary opinions safely.

If, as in this case, the man has spoken nonsense, others may answer with clarity, sense and fact. He has lost this argument in the eyes of the public already. But you cannot shut up the likes of Takiyuddin by adding criminal complaints without silencing others who bring vital information that we all need to hear.

Leave it to the listener to decide. In the present case 95% of Malaysians who heard the law minister’s remarks will have judged them for what they were – a load of self-serving nonsense to justify his not budging from his undeserved position.

No need to construct arguments that the Agong has somehow been insulted – who is after all up to his neck in this present ’emergency’ and in the appointment of Takiyuddin’s government in the first place, so let’s not go there.

Certainly no need for a police officer to interrogate on the basis of such contorted allegations.  By his own utterances the minister has already condemned himself in the only place that really matters, which is the court of public opinion.

Meanwhile,  Leave police officers to mind the traffic, stop brawlers and deal with their own bad apples. Don’t ask them to decide on matters which ought to be left for voters to determine at the ballot box.

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