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MPs: Arrests aimed at spooking journalists

Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have condemned the arrest of The Malaysian Insider editors, calling it a scare tactic.

"This is unreasonable, we are here in solidarity with them," DAP's Seputeh MP Teresa Kok told reporters at the Parliament lobby this morning.

The MPs said the arrests were carried out to suppress press freedom and quell the voices of those critical of the government.

"This is an assault on the entire press. The government has pre-planned this action on the free, independent press.

"The article that is being investigated is just an excuse to scare the journalists to toe the line and not question the authorities," PKR's Batu MP Tian Chua (right) said.

Heading towards a police state

Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin of PAS said the dragnet only proved Malaysia was heading towards becoming a police state.

"It looks like we are headed towards a police state. All the promises made by the prime minister have not been implemented and the opposite is happening.

"It is those who are not in agreement with the government who are paying the price," Hanipa said.

PKR’s Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul ( right ), on the other hand, said the trend of cracking down on anti-government parties was to ineffectively to influence people’s thinking.

“We object these actions because there is a detrimental trend towards it. This shows there is a trend to change the people’s thinking,” Johari said.

However, he highlighted that it was ironic no action has been taken against pro-government parties that have made even more seditious statements.

“At the same time, the police are not taking action on those who are seen to be with the government.

“People like Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president and former deputy minister Mashitah Ibrahim have said worse things, but no action has been taken against them,” Johari added.

The other MPs present at the press conference to show solidarity with the arrested media personnel were PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, DAP’s PJ Utara MP Tony Pua and Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong, PKR's Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen and PAS' Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad.

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