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Politicians, public officers can be criticised, rules Court of Appeal

Public officials, including politicians who hold public office, can be criticised by the media as such practice is essential in democracy, while can react to criticism by holding press conferences or utilising state machinery to explain, the Court of Appeal ruled.

Besides this, Court of Appeal judge Idrus Harun said, there are relevant laws, such as the Sedition Act 1948, Penal Code, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, for the criminal prosecution of persons committing any unlawful act.

Justice Idrus, who was formerly solicitor-general at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said this in his 31-page written judgment in the Court of Appeal decision to strike out the suit by Pahang menteri besar Adnan Yaakob against Umno owned daily Utusan Malaysia for an article on Adnan’s leadership as MB.

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