Freedom of speech in Malaysia — Emmanuel Joseph

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY EMMANUEL JOSEPH

MALAYSIA often promotes itself as a democracy, with all its hallmarks of fair and free elections, freedom of religion, and of course, freedom of speech. Believers of this often quote Article 10 of the Federal Constitution as evidence of these rights – Clause 1a guarantees freedom of speech and expression, 1b, freedom of association and 1c, freedom of assembly.

But skeptics would point out the qualifying statement immediately preceding those declarations, followed by three lengthier clauses that significantly limit those rights, makes them rights far from absolute.  Read more

Set up Taman Tugu speaker’s corner — Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow

Source: NST Online

BY DR MUZAFFAR SYAH MALLOW

AS the government is planning to spend millions of ringgit to beautify Taman Tugu in Kuala Lumpur, taking into account the fundamental human right of freedom of speech and expression, there should be a speaker’s corner in the park.

Having a space for those who want to express their views openly is very important and signifies a civilised society. It indicates how much a society has developed in terms of freedom and democracy, as well as the authorities’ courage in allowing citizens to express themselves. As Malaysia moves towards achieving developed-nation status by 2020, it cannot be seen to restrain citizens from voicing their opinions.

As Malaysia moves towards achieving developed-nation status by 2020, it cannot be seen to restrain citizens from voicing their opinions.

People could gather at the speaker’s corner to listen, evaluate and, perhaps, challenge speakers’ views. It’s the people’s right to be able to communicate and express their opinions openly without fear of punishment, as long as they do not abuse this right and go against social norms and the law.

It is guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948. Article 19 of the declaration states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Read more