By John Santos
THREE unrelated developments unfolded over the past week but share a common thread that sends a chilling reminder of the culture of fear we now live in.
The first involved a contempt proceeding against news portal Malaysiakini over a comment left by a reader on one of its news article. The second was the police report lodged against Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh over a tweet she posted in March on child marriages. The third was the police probe into Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s criticisms of the government during his interview with Al Jazeera also in March.
In the case of Malaysiakini, this is the first time the portal is being investigated for sedition in its 20-year history. The alleged unlawful comment was not even made by the portal, but left by one of the thousands of visitors to the site daily. It is baffling why is resorting to the full brunt of the law to go against this portal.
In Hannah and Syed Saddiq’s examples, their views were aired in March. Why act against them now? More importantly is the government clamping down on free speech? Does the government only allow views that are aligned with the officially-sanctioned one? What happened to the freedom of speech in this country?
Or is Muhyiddin using government apparatus to clamp down on dissent now that there’s an active move to oust him from Pakatan Harapan Plus, led by his predecessor who has a track record of toppling three PMs?
One cannot help but infer that the PM is running scared and using all and any means to instill fear and prolong his stay in Putrajaya, which he gained entry using the backdoor. This is not the PM we want nor deserve.
John Santos is a reader of The New Sarawak from Sarikei. The views here do not necessarily represent those of this portal.