Malaysia must properly define what statements are considered insulting to the royal institution, says the country's Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “At the moment, our enforcement officers do not understand what is considered insult, so we need to spell out what sort of actions or words can be construed as insults.
“I have said before that Malaysia now practises freedom of speech.
“With this freedom of speech, if you say something is factual, you cannot be prosecuted.
“On the other hand, if we shut the mouths of everyone until people cannot even speak up against acts of crime, then there will be injustice in the country,” said Dr Mahathir at a press conference in Putrajaya.
The prime minister was commenting on the arrests of three individuals for insulting Sultan Muhammad V, who recently stepped down as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Police arrested two men aged 46 and 27 and a woman aged 26 under the Sedition Act over comments they made on Facebook and Twitter, which they deemed insulting towards the royal institution.
The arrests have drawn criticism from several quarters in the public, who felt it was contradictory to Pakatan Harapans promise to abolish the Sedition Act.
Dr Mahathir had earlier chaired the sixth meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption.