People have more democratic space now after GE14, says AG

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas says he has been the target of attacks on social media for 16 months, yet no one has been prosecuted, showing the amount of freedom enjoyed by the people.

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no doubt that Malaysians have enjoyed far greater democratic space following the 14th general election, said Attorney-General Tommy Thomas today.

“In the last 16 months, far more space has been given to individuals and critics of the government, and there is no doubt that Malaysia has never had this much democracy from Merdeka days.

“There is a thriving social media which has spent time attacking me for 16 months and yet no one has been prosecuted.

“So, that is the best proof of the space you have,” he said, prompting laughter from the audience.

Thomas said this in his closing speech at the Lawasia Constitutional & Rule of Law Conference 2019, themed “Constitutional Government: The Importance of Constitutional Structures and Institutions”, at a hotel here.

Asked by Lawasia president Christopher Leong during a question-and-answer session on the progress of the abolition of the Sedition Act 1948, Thomas said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was very supportive of the reforms and that he had informed Parliament that the moment his office gets the instructions, it would speed up the necessary drafting.

On May 10, de facto law minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong said the act was expected to be abolished this year, following a decision by the Cabinet which was looking into various factors concerning the implementation of such a move.