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Will Harapan sanction Hadi's hate speech?
“Freedom of speech is always guaranteed, but within it, there should be freedom with responsibility. Any form of freedom which has been misused or abused for any contribution of hate and which deteriorates race and religious harmony could be considered an abuse of that freedom.”

 – Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department

COMMENT | I am against most forms of “hate speech“ laws, believing there are enough restrictions in place to curb speech deemed detrimental to individual or collective reputation, or laws restricting the dissemination of information because of national security. In other words, there is no need for sanctions which restrict certain forms of speech that groups may find offensive.

The only time I have departed from this, is for Zakir Naik because I believe he is a threat to national security, and I am one of those people who believe that adherence to principles of free speech is not a suicide pact.

Having said that, the Harapan government has promoted the idea of hate speech laws ever since they came into power. Harapan politicians are always talking about the hate speech of the opposition. Numerous advocacy groups, who at one time believed in free speech, are now clamouring for hate speech laws that would ensure that our "fragile" peace remains in tact.

Harapan politicians, with the exception of certain DAP members, always talk of hate speech in the abstract. It is the same when it comes to religion. These politicians always talk in platitudes and bromides. Hate speech is causing disunity or hate speech is used by the opposition. Very few, certainly not the Malay politicians, especially on the ministerial level, call out or single out individuals who have made hate speech part of their political rhetoric...

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