Inciting religious hatred is not freedom of speech, says Guan Eng

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

PUTRAJAYA: The move to include inciting hatred and insulting religion as an offence under the Penal Code (Act 574) should be supported, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said insulting religion should not be construed as freedom of speech.

Considering the current situation, he said the amendment of the act, which would see heavier punishment for offenders, was timely.

“It should be supported so that we can ensure lasting harmony and tolerance in a multiracial community in Malaysia.

“Freedom of speech is based on facts, not slander,” he told reporters after presenting a RM5 million cheque to Yayasan Restu for the printing and distribution of the Quran by Nasyrul Quran today.

Two days ago, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof was reported as saying that the Cabinet had agreed in principle to include inciting hatred and insults against any religion as an offence in Act 574.

Besides heavier punishment for offenders, the amendment will tighten several prosecution processes, including the standard operating procedures on evidence verification in court, Mujahid said.