PH committed to freedom of expression, says Syed Saddiq

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman says Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been insulted ‘since time immemorial’ but he continues to move forward.

SEPANG: Youth and Sports Minister Syed Sadiq Abdul Rahman has reiterated that Pakatan Harapan (PH) is committed to freedom of expression.

This follows the arrest of Sabahan Jufazli Shi Ahmad, a former DAP member, after a report was lodged against him for allegedly insulting Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of the Asia GT Festival at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) by Mahathir today, Syed Saddiq said he would need to check with the police on the exact reason for Jufazli’s arrest first.

He said PH is for freedom of expression.

“I distinctly remember post-GE14, one person was hauled up for insulting Tun (Mahathir), and it was Tun himself who called for his release.

Jufazli Shi Ahmad. (Facebook picture)

“Knowing Tun, he has been insulted since time immemorial but yet he still moves forward.

“I believe that is not just his stance but that of the Malaysian government.”

In 2016, Syed Saddiq spoke up against Jufazli’s arrest after he raised the issue of alleged corruption in Sabah.

The minister also said he personally disagreed with the sedition probe on the Women’s Day march organisers.

He said this was raised in the Cabinet and Mahathir said he would look into it.

Yesterday, in a live stream on his Facebook page, Jufazli showed at least four police personnel in his house who had come to pick him up.

At least one police report has been lodged against him for his alleged attacks on Mahathir.

In the 58-minute video, Jufazli continued to accuse Mahathir of various crimes, including corruption, power abuse and colluding with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Sarawak head of state Taib Mahmud.

Syed Saddiq also commented on the retention of Ronald Kiandee as the Public Accounts Committee chairman despite the Beluran MP crossing over to PPBM from the opposition.

“He just joined us last week. We haven’t had the chance to discuss it.

“What’s important is that we must fulfil the commitments we’ve made, especially on non-fiduciary (matters) as it is not related to money.”

He said he believed this would be discussed later, noting that a collective decision was needed.

Kiandee, a former Sabah Umno leader, was officially accepted into PPBM along with seven other former Umno leaders from the state on Friday.