PETALING JAYA: The government must stop using outdated laws to silence critics and dissenters, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said, following the arrests of two activists over the weekend.
On Friday night, Fahmi Reza was arrested under the colonial-era Sedition Act allegedly for creating a Spotify playlist critical of the Queen, and on Saturday, Mukmin Nantang was detained for allegedly violating Covid-19 protocols during a peace protest in Tawau, Sabah.
There were claims that Mukmin was assaulted by police while under remand, but Sabah police commissioner Hazani Ghazali denied them.
In a statement, Anwar described the incidents as examples of the government’s “desperate” attempts to stop criticism and cling to power.
“The government must stop using draconian laws to silence critical views and differing opinions,” the PKR president said.
“Malaysia has already seen its human rights and press freedom rankings decline under this current regime over unchecked abuse of power.”
He said the government should “listen to the wisdom of the rakyat” rather than work to stifle critical discourse.
“Hear them, and work for the people, not for yourselves,” Anwar said.