JERLUN – The government will not retract the freedom of speech in the social media but wants the freedom to be exercised with accountability, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the government practised an open attitude but it was the responsibility of the people, especially the young generation or ‘Gen Y’ to understand that there was a limit to freedom.
“I want to issue a warning that the existing law will be imposed on anyone attempting to jeopardise peace. This is certainly in force,” he said in his speech when opening the Jerlun UMNO divisional delegates meeting at the Sekolah Menengah Sains Kubang Pasu, in Jerlun, Friday.
Najib said that the Sedition Act would be abolished and would be replaced by the proposed National Harmony Act, but matters pertaining to religion and race would not be neglected.
Prime Minister said the government would not allow freedom that did not adhere to the principles of accountability especially regarding Islamic religion, the other faiths as well as the special privileges of the Malays and the Malay Rulers.
“We must defend…(we are) not saying there is a new legislation and the rest will be put aside…but we will add in more appropriate provisions,” he said.
Najib said although there would be freedom and openness, he hoped these would not result in extreme cases cropping up because there must be maturity in thinking in whatever action taken.
“There must be a limit…(because of) this principle of accountability, we must look for a formula where we provide space for the freedom of speech including comments on the leaders but, at the same time, there must be a limit so as not to destroy peace and national harmony,” he said.
Also present at the function were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Jerlun UMNO division head, Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid. – Bernama