Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has described Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest promise to bring back freedom of speech if the opposition forms the next government, as “unbelievable”.
“How can Mahathir even think he could get away with such a statement when there’s more freedom of speech now during the time of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak than back in the 1980s when Mahathir was prime minister?” he said on his blog.
He noted that Mahathir had called Najib all sorts of nasty names – a crime of criminal defamation under the law that criminalised slandering and defaming a public servant or officer, elected ones included.
In fact, Mahathir could even face prosecution under the Sedition Act, Salleh said.
“But Najib did not take action. Najib allowed Mahathir to continue to slander him. And every day Mahathir continues to hurl insults at Najib.
“Mahathir would not have tolerated 10 percent of what he’s doing to Najib.
“There’s no greater proof than this that Najib is the real propagator of free speech. If not, Mahathir would not be able to do and say all the things he’s doing and saying today,” Salleh said.
It was reported that Mahathir made the promise during the inaugural annual general meeting of Bersatu, of which he is chairperson, in Shah Alam today.