Freedom of speech must be upheld, says Subang Jaya assemblyman

May Robertson
Ng said Malaysians shouldn’t be governed by various Acts; rather the public should be taught to respect differing opinions. ― Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Laws that hinder freedom of speech and violate human rights should be scrapped, said Subang Jaya assemblyman Michelle Ng.

The Printing Presses and Publications Act, Universities and University Colleges Act, and the Anti-Fake News Act need to be done away with while many others need to be reviewed and amended to ensure freedom and democracy in Malaysia, she added.

“We need to empower citizens to express themselves but the last administration had used such laws to suppress the voice of the people and the media,” Ng said.

“The right to a fair trial is central for every human being, laws governing criminal proceedings that don’t uphold such standards must be amended to ensure this.”

“I want to contribute to the amendment of such laws as I hold close to my heart the importance in fighting for freedom, this is one of the reasons why I returned to Malaysia... one cannot do a lot if one is far away,” said Ng who returned from London to enter politics in the 14th General Election.

Ng added that in a “new Malaysia”, Malaysians shouldn’t be governed by various Acts; rather the public should be taught to respect differing opinions.

“Such as in the case of Nurul Izzah and the caller who commented on her dressing, it is a problem with respect, the lack of morality and civic consciousness not so much a problem with the freedom of speech,” she said.

“Human decency must prevail, I don’t agree with the implementation of more laws because Malaysians are matured and respectful enough, and even if some aren’t, there will be many others who will rally behind those affected like in the case of Nurul Izzah.”

She also said that the principle of “doing unto others what you would have them do to you” was an important thing for Malaysians to remember as they navigated through their newfound freedom of expression online or in person.