Government's right to sue individuals should be reviewed: Gobind Singh

30 Sep 2018 / 09:42 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The government should consider amending the Government Proceedings Act 1956 to remove or restrict the government's right to file a defamation suit against citizens of the country, said Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
He said the Federal Constitution guarantees Malaysian citizens the right to freedom of speech which allows them to express their opinions, whether in favour or against the democratically-elected government.
"Furthermore, I think that the government should be regarded as a public body that should be open to criticisms.
"It is the essence of democracy that should enable the government to be subject to public supervision and commentary," he said in a statement here today.
Gobind Singh said this in response to the Federal Court's decision last Wednesday that the government has the right to file a defamation suit against individuals after referring to the provisions under the Government Proceedings Act 1956.
Following the decision, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin said the Pakatan Harapan government would amend the relevant law to restrict the government, be it at the state or federal level, from suing any individual for defamation.
Gobind Singh also said he supported Hanipa's recommendation to set up a committee to study in detail the Federal Court's decision and to submit to the Cabinet a proposal on the suitable amendment to the Act. — Bernama

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