YOURSAY | 'Since you can be anti-Semitic, it is all right for people to be anti-Malay or anti any other race?'
Léon Moch: That's very rich indeed, coming from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as he had said many times before that there is no absolute freedom in this world.
Of course, he says that when he wants to curb other people's rights. Looks like he doesn't practise what he preaches.
Free speech is not absolute. Where free speech touches on race and religious beliefs, the tinderbox will be set on fire.
Violence, riots, killings and mayhem will ensue if free speech is given its natural meaning. There is no need for the sedition and penal acts then.
Mahathir should apply the principle of free speech as what he thinks to his own country before preaching it to the world.
JW: Oh, really, Mahathir? Free speech, eh? Okay, let's take him for his word.
When we Malaysian rakyat exercise our freedom of speech, make sure, you, Mahathir, put a stop to any police attempt to investigate or haul to the court for remand anyone who was critical of you just because the police had received a police report from some members of the public, just like what our current queen has done about a few weeks ago.
Can you, Mahathir, assure us of that?
Remember, Operasi Lalang? Don't plead ignorance. Don't shift your responsibility in calling for the crackdown to the police yet again as you had done with the treatment you initiated against your former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, where you conveniently and shamelessly blamed the police.
Can you, Mahathir, say nothing like Operasi Lalang will occur ever again?
Gaji Buta: Will Malaysia allow others to come here and give their open views on Islam and our rulers?
Free speech, right? Or does this man only go to countries that allow free speech, take advantage of the situation, and spew his venom?
Rojak: Columbia University has demonstrated its commitment to free speech by allowing someone whose views most disagree with to speak (admittedly some US universities would be less tolerant).
But to justify restrictions back in Malaysia, Mahathir always adopts the position of a poor Kedah kampung boy needing to fight back against oppression.
He fails to realise that for most of his long life, he has spoken from a position of power and privilege.
Clever Voter: Mahathir often uses his position to his convenience. Free speech is relative. It is not so much about what you say and when you say.
He is the leader of the country. He has a responsibility to his constituents, country, and regional colleagues. Mahathir must know this responsibility, and given his position, he should be sensitive and balance his views.
His bias against certain segments of society is obvious. He forgets that the world has moved on.
A more inclusive society today demands him to be more tolerant, with zero bias and to be fair to all. He cannot walk around with a stereotypical view.
Not all Muslims are suicide bombers, and similarly, not all Jews are murderers and so on. Hypocrisy is something Mahathir and his colleagues tend to exhibit.
The Analyser: Mahathir is right, of course. But he forgets that as the “leader” of a nation, he has some responsibility to demonstrate discretion and common sense.
But he is not a leader, for he shows no responsibility, no discretion and no common sense. He is just a very verbose, unprincipled, cunning, greedy, senile old man.
Analyze This: Criticising and castigating religion is a time-honoured tradition in all Western countries.
Religions are not infallible and indeed have caused nothing but trouble around the world, including Christianity.
Currently, the Catholic Church is under heavy fire and being investigated and sued extensively because of the massively common practice of child abuse by Catholic priests around the world.
With the Malaysian mentality of criticising religion being off-limits, such abuses would never have come to light.
If Islam is a perfect, superior and powerful religion, then there's no need to be insecure or defensive about criticism. But its adherents are just that – insecure and defensive.
Anonymous 2405371458107314: Why can’t we express our opinion about religion, monarchy and race in Malaysia without police reports made against us and being investigated and arrested and charged with sedition?
Unless we make threats and instigate violence, the police should arrest and charge the people making reports for making false accusations.
Anonymous_1550607211: The right to freedom of expression/free speech carries with it accountability for one's utterance.
There are limits to 'free speech'. For instance, you can't yell "fire!" in a crowded cinema or mall and not suffer the consequences of the aftermath.
The same goes for speaking ill of the Jews/Muslims/religious adherents and not be accountable for the ignorance or show of hate.
We must hold those extremists accountable for their public display of hatred, and their civic responsibilities.
Kangkung: Mahathir, anti-Semitism is not free speech. Since you can be anti-Semitic, it is all right for people to be anti-Malay or anti any other race?
Anonymous 1707841437564352: Indeed, hate speech is not free speech.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.