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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wrong to use police against PM Anwar’s critics, says LFL


Lawyers for Liberty director Zaid Malek has called for the probe against Baling MP Hassan Saad to be stopped.

PETALING JAYA: A human rights body has spoken against Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s order to the police to act against those who made false claims against him.

Lawyers for Liberty director Zaid Malek said the police should not be called upon to defend the prime minister’s reputation.

“It would be an abuse of power to order police investigations into people who make accusations against him.

“The job of the police is to prevent crime, not to protect the prime minister from insult or criticism,” Zaid said in a statement.

He pointed out that police intervention could only be justified when offenders make statements which incite harm, violence or injury to the public.

His remarks come after PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil revealed that Anwar had directed the police to act against anyone spreading slanderous statements against him such as claims that he is an Israeli agent.

The police are investigating Baling MP Hassan Saad for claiming that Anwar is an Israeli agent.

The case has been classified under Sections 500 and 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for defamation, intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace, and improper use of network facilities, respectively.

Zaid said the investigation went against Pakatan Harapan’s promise in its manifesto to repeal Section 233, and called for it to be halted.

He also said Anwar should file a defamation suit in a civil court if he felt aggrieved by the claims.

“If the police initiate criminal investigations into every accusation or insult towards the prime minister, it will be a slippery slope towards authoritarianism,” he said. - FMT

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