Stifling free speech can stunt nation’s growth, ex-top judge cautions

Source: Malay Mail Online

Mohamed Dzaiddin said that silencing criticism would be detrimental to the country’s overall progress. Pic by The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Putrajaya should not resort to “dubious laws” to curb free speech if Malaysia is to grow as a nation, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah said.

The retired chief justice added that silencing criticism would be detrimental to the country’s overall progress as citizens “must be free to point out abuses, corruption, injustices, and any unhealthy happenings and to hold leaders accountable”.

“To progress as a nation, there must be space for dialogue and legitimate opposing views, both online and offline, without the use of dubious laws to clamp down on them.

“Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility, without hurting the convictions of another,” the chancellor of Wawasan Open University said in his speech at its convocation last Thursday. Read more