Free speech restrictions in Malaysia needed to 'prevent abuse'

Free speech restrictions in Malaysia needed to 'prevent abuse'
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (centre, left) and Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.

KUALA LUMPUR - There is a need to impose some restrictions on the freedom of speech to prevent abuse, said MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He, however, stressed that the law must be fair to everyone and no one should receive special treatment.

Stern action must be taken against those who have breached the law, whether they are from the ruling coalition or the Opposition, he said.

Abusing such freedom can destroy the peace and harmony of the society, he said, adding that acts such as the burning of Bibles could not be tolerated.

Dr Wee had called for a review of the Sedition Act to ensure fairness.

While respecting freedom of speech, there must be some restrictions (be it a new set of laws or amending existing ones) to prevent them from being abused, he said when opening the MCA Youth annual general assembly yesterday.

Dr Wee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said Chinese had gradually become a mainstream language in the world with emerging economic powers like China, adding that more than 40 million people were learning the language globally.

He described those who viewed Chinese education as a hindrance to national unity - whether such critics come from Barisan Nasional or the Opposition - were the real obstacles to nation building.

"MCA will not compromise and will fight till the end to defend Chinese education," he reiterated, while stressing the need to build more Chinese schools and encourage more non-Chinese to be multi-lingual by learning Chinese as well as other languages such as Tamil and Arabic.

He noted that the Government had recognised these schools as part of the education system by allocating funds to them in Budget 2015.

Dr Wee also called on Malaysians of all races to work together and to tap on the strengths of others to expand their businesses overseas.

For example, he said the Malays could help others penetrate the Middle Eastern and Indonesian markets while the Chinese could take the lead to enter China.

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