Do not abuse freedom of speech: Govt backbenchers

23 May 2019 / 21:46 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan government has allowed people express their views but this does not mean they can abuse the freedom of speech that they have been given, say government backbenchers.

Lembah Pantai MP Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil said people should not break the law by giving speeches or making statements that incite hatred or cause religious intolerance.

He said freedom of speech must be seen within the confines of the law although the government is not using the Sedition Act to prevent people from speaking out.

“There are some who are using this freedom to reassert the power and revive their fledgeling political party whilst there are those who see this as a lifeline to get them back in power.

“Some people tend to speak out without regards of the consequences and because of their narrow mindedness may incite the public against one another,“ said the PKR communications director.

Fahmi said the government does not have to rely on the Sedition Act to take action as there are many other laws that are available.

He cited the example of his police report against Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) director-general Datuk Abibullah Samsuddin.

Fahmi said he had asked the police to investigate Abibullah under Section 503 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation and Section 9 (1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 for unnatural influences.

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said the Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador should come up with a statement urging those making such statements to stop or the police will take action.

He said the police must take stern action against those who continue to abuse the freedom of speech, to prevent any untoward incidents from occurring.

He said giving people the freedom to speak does not mean that they have the right to spread falsehoods or create problems for others.

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