Free speech must be for all — Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star Online

Even if we disapprove of what they say, we should defend to the death their right to say it.

Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher in Universiti Malaya.

Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher in Universiti Malaya.

ONE of the difficulties about defending the freedom of speech is that one has to defend speech that one likes as well as speech that one does not.

In the past week there have been two free speech issues that have been of interest in the country. One is regarding Zakir Naik and the other about a truly unfunny television presenter.

Let’s deal with Zakir first. Right off the bat, I want to say that I don’t think anyone should be banned from speaking unless what they say incites violence.

It does not matter if what they say is hurtful, that is not sufficient ground for censorship.

The very same reasons used to defend Zunar’s right to create his highly critical cartoons and not face criminal charges can be used for Zakir. Read more