I refer to the news reports on June 2 on the police investigation on Dr Mahathir Mohamed under Section 124B of the Penal Code for alleged "activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy".
This latest act by the police is a gross disrespect and intimidation against an elder statesman.
Section 124B is clearly an oppressive, undemocratic provision which allows long-term detention without trial under Sosma provisions. It was repeatedly condemned by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders over the years when they were in opposition. Now in power, they are singing a different tune.
It is now highly hypocritical of the very same PH leaders, including Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, to condone and keep silent on the usage of this law against a current senior opposition leader. How many more opposition leaders are going to be targeted under this repressive law in the run-up to the coming crucial six state elections?
In fact, to jolt the short and selective memory of PH leaders, they were vociferous in condemnation of Section 124B when Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested and held for 28 days in detention, purportedly for committing an offence under Section 124 of the Penal Code.
This section is an affront to parliamentary democracy and the fundamental liberties laid down in the Federal Constitution. If even the world-renowned Mahathir is being targeted, who is safe in this country from Umno-PH’s crackdown on government critics?
We call upon the Umno-PH government to learn how to take even harsh criticism and deal with dissenting views in a democratic fashion.
Constantly threatening action against those who criticise the government, whether it’s by an elder statesman like Mahathir or some random TikTok-er, only goes to show the utter hypocritical nature of this government which falsely and deceitfully pledged to uphold the fundamental liberties and bring institutional reform to Malaysia.
Dr Afif Bahardin is Shah Alam Bersatu deputy chief.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.