Stop trampling on people’s freedom to criticise politicians, Kedah MB told
PKR Youth has urged Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor and the police to immediately stop their actions against those who criticise politicians in the country.
In a statement released after a fourth individual was arrested for his comment towards Sanusi (above) on social media, PKR Youth said such arrests are a form of oppression on people’s freedom of speech and go against the rule of law.
“We believe that using those laws to investigate the individuals is a form of oppression towards freedom of expression and damage the concept of people’s check and balance towards the government.
“Police investigation on them is a cruel act and go against our country’s rule of law as the freedom of speech is enshrined under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution,” Kedah PKR Youth chief Mohammed Firdaus Johari and party's national legal bureau secretary Darwin Lim Chee Chien said.
Four individuals across the country have been arrested and investigated under the 1955 Minor Offences Act, 1998 Communication and Multimedia Act as well as the Penal Code after commenting on Sanusi’s recent remarks on Covid-19 victims which sparked controversy.
Firdaus and Lim worried the police actions will create a culture of fear in the country and people will no longer dare to exercise their rights which are guaranteed in the constitution.
“As such, we urge the police to immediately halt the use of those laws towards the individuals.
“The Kedah menteri besar should take full responsibility for this incident and apologise to the people for his failure to set a good example as a government leader,” they added.
The recent arrests by police have received backlash from various quarters in the country, including from PSM deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan and Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy.
Sanusi is no stranger to controversy. The menteri besar had come under fire last year for accusing his critics of being “drunk on the toddy of populism”, and was fined last month for going on a test drive during the Covid-19 lockdown.