Repressing free speech won’t work

THE Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should immediately end the use of the Sedition Act.

The continued use of the Act and the curtailment of the freedom of speech in this country is a betrayal of Malaysians who voted in the PH government, and a betrayal of the PH pre-election manifesto.

The last few days we have witnessed some disturbing events: The sacking of employees by some private companies because of social media posts the employees wrote that allegedly insulted the monarchy; and the arrest and detention of people by the police for the same reason, for investigation under the Sedition Act.

The government needs to reinstate the moratorium on the Sedition Act and send out a strong message that freedom of expression in this country will be protected.

All Malaysians should condemn the effort by these employers and the government to curtail free speech. If I don’t like you, that’s a matter of fact, and I should be free to share my stand. You can’t force me to like you.

It is a shame that in a modern country like Malaysia, in 2019, under a new government, people are still being arrested for sharing their thoughts and criticisms about aspects of society.

The actions of the police in detaining individuals making critical remarks that are not criminal could backfire and cause more people to criticise the institution.

The tactic to instil fear and control free speech will not work in the long run. Remember the former Prime Minister and all the things he did to curtail criticism of him and his actions?

Let’s grow in maturity and truly live up to the principles of democracy.

Sudhagaran Stanley