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COMMENT | Freedom of speech under siege?

COMMENT | When the intricacies of the dealings of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) were being laid bare by The Edge and Malaysiakini, there were many unhappy people. While they could call the shots with the mainstream media, they could exert no control elsewhere.

When sordid details of the rotten deals began to emerge in the foreign media, out of desperation, the government used their last card in hand. The media was warned that legal action can be taken against any individual, group or organisation who makes defamatory remarks related to 1MDB.

In mid-May 2016, the Home Ministry in a written reply in Parliament said laws such as the Sedition Act 1948, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1948 and the Penal Code could be used against those who publish "fake news" on 1MDB.

The sword of Damocles which hung over the heads of journalists, activists and community leaders was lifted after the general election in May 2018. Even the prime minister decreed that anyone is free to criticise him and ordered the police to stop arresting those who did so.

With the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, it appears that ...  

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