ANWAR Ibrahim must not use the police as a weapon against those who criticise him, Lawyers for Liberty said today.
LFL director Zaid Malek said such a move was unacceptable from a new government that has promised reforms.
“The prime minister holds no special status at law and cannot lawfully call on the police to defend his reputation.
“It would be an abuse of power for the PM to order police investigations into people who make accusations against him, as he is an interested party,” Zaid said in a statement today.
He was referring to a Monday statement from PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil that Anwar has directed the police to probe into people who make slanderous or outrageous claims against the prime minister.
Zaid said Anwar, who took office on November 24, could sue if he felt he had been defamed.
“The job of the police is to prevent crime, not to protect the PM from insult or criticism,” Zaid added.
Zaid point since Fahmi’s statement, police have questioned Baling MP Hassan Saad for calling Anwar an Israeli agent.
Hassan is being investigated under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“This goes against PH’s own promise in its manifesto to repeal section 233. The fact that the police probe is apparently at Anwar’s behest is inappropriate and potentially unlawful,” said Zaid.
He added that Anwar’s government must avoid the pitfalls and excesses of previous governments if they want to uphold free speech and democracy. – November 30, 2022.