Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mahathir’s free speech versus Najib’s free speech

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest promise to bring back freedom of speech if the opposition forms the next government is unbelievable. How can Mahathir even think he could get away with such a statement when there is more freedom of speech now during the time of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak than back in the 1980s when Mahathir was Prime Minister?

Mahathir has called Najib all sorts of nasty names such as thief, pirate, kleptocrat, and so on, a crime of criminal defamation under the law that criminalises slandering and defaming a public servant or officer, elected ones included. In fact, Mahathir could even face prosecution under the Sedition Act.

But Najib did not take action. Najib allowed Mahathir to continue to slander him. And every day Mahathir continues to hurl insults at Najib without any recourse. Mahathir would not have tolerated 10% of what he is doing to Najib. There is no greater proof than this that Najib is the real propagator of free speech. If not Mahathir would not be able to do and say all the things he is doing and saying today.

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