The old BN era tactics of using police investigations to control and stifle public discourse can no longer be tolerated, says Latheefa Koya.
I refer to the statement made by the inspector general of police that Kadir Jasin would be investigated under the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act and criminal defamation under the Penal Code over his blog entry on the Yang DiPertuan Agong.
The inspector general of police must realise that Malaysia is no longer governed by the oppressive Barisan Nasional (BN) regime which had previously persecuted the people for merely exercising their right to free speech. Whoever that is affected by Kadir’s article should respond in a civilised manner and not resort to lodging police reports. It is also possible for these parties to file civil defamation suits but there is certainly nothing criminal in what he had written.
The inspector general of police must act consistent with the reform agenda of the new Pakatan Harapan government and not fall back into the BN way of governance. Further, the government has already announced that oppressive laws and provisions found in the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Penal Code and other laws will be reviewed and abolished.
It is thus shocking and unacceptable for the inspector general of police to order multiple investigations against Kadir under these very same laws that the government has vowed to review and abolish.
The police must exercise more discretion in handling such politically-motivated reports. Just because some right-wing groups lodge police reports, it does not mean that the police must jump and commence unnecessary and wasteful investigations. The police are not obliged to investigate unmeritorious reports.
The old BN era tactics of using police investigations to control and stifle public discourse can no longer be tolerated. There must be a complete halt of all investigations under these discredited laws, pending repeal.
Lawyers for Liberty