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The importance of character in law and order | The Malaysian Insight


The importance of character in law and order

After one and a half days of hearing intellectual discussions, it is a pleasant task to give the final speech because expectations will be low, and one can be brief!

With respect to Malaysia, our foreign delegates and speakers would have become aware in the past 2 days of the historic achievement of the 14th general election, where the true victors were the people of Malaysia. The voters demonstrated their courage at the ballot box in May 2018. The result went against the worldwide trend. We witnessed a peaceful transition of power, which was entirely trouble-free. Foreign observers have thus heralded Malaysia as a model of participatory democracy in action.

Since GE14, far more democratic space has been enjoyed by critics of the government. There is no doubt that Malaysia has never had this much actual democracy since Merdeka. A thriving social media exists: one that spends much of its time in the past 16 months unceasingly attacking me! Yet, no one has been prosecuted. So that is the best proof of the space you have. As the former lord president of the Federal Court Mohamed Suffian Mohamed Hashim used to quip: “It is not freedom of speech that matters: it is freedom after speech”.

As for the Anti-Fake News (Repeal) Bill, the Dewan Negara rejected the bill even though it had been passed by Dewan Rakyat. In any event, the one-year time limit has just passed, and the Bill will be re-tabled in the Dewan Rakyat during the coming October parliamentary session. After it is passed by the elected House, it will be sent to the Senate, which cannot reject it a second time.

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