PETALING JAYA: Police reports over those accused of insulting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on social media run contrary to the new Pakatan Harapan government's policy in upholding freedom of expression, said Maria Chin Abdullah.
The Petaling Jaya MP said such reports lead to the creation of a culture of fear, that the Pakatan administration does not intend to promote.
Maria also criticised the actions of those who made the reports, adding that their actions have insulted the Government's ability to guarantee freedom of expression.
"We should not follow the previous administration's disgraceful methods when dealing with criticism. This should be an era of new and inclusive politics for Malaysia," she said in a statement on Friday (May 18).
She added that since stepping away from Umno, Dr Mahathir has proven time and time again that he is not someone who is unable to handle criticism.
She said that Dr Mahathir has been able to carry on working despite being the target of insults and criticism aimed at him for his role in the Citizen's Declaration, forming Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and being part of the Opposition.
She said that while freedom of expression allows for criticism against the Government, insults that are violent and aggressive, such as death threats should not be tolerated.
The Langkawi police had on Wednesday (May 16) nabbed a man suspected of insulting Dr Mahathir and Islam on Facebook.
In a statement posted on the official Langkawi IPD Facebook page on Thursday (May 17), police said that the suspect was arrested on Wednesday after several NGOs filed a police report against him the day before.
Man arrested for allegedly insulting Dr M and Islam on Facebook