Government urged to respect freedom of speech

Michael Kong -Dayak Daily pix

By Emma Victoria

GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders should stand up to their comrades in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) to respect the country’s freedom of speech guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s special assistant Michael Kong said that under the PN rule, there is a surge in the use of laws to investigate and persecute those who made speeches critical of the federal government.

“It is sad to see that after the reform agendas put forth by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, we have regressed to the current state that we are in.

Just when we were seeing an improvement in freedom of speech and expression, we now see a stark increase in political persecution of opposition members,” he said in a statement.

Last week, former Minister for Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was quizzed by the police for an interview he gave to Al-Jazeera regarding the PN government.

Similarly, former Deputy Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh was also brought in for questioning over an alleged social media post asking what will happen to the child marriage agenda put forth by PH, under the present PN government.

“As the people’s representatives, both leaders are expected to be able to speak up without fear of reprisals. This sort of harassment should be put to a stop.

It is both frustrating and embarrassing to see such political cowardice and immaturity at this day and age. Hence, I urged the GPS government to ensure the freedom of speech is respected,” Kong said.