Netizens divided over freedom of speech after Anwar sues Sanusi

NEWS that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is suing Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Sanusi Md Noor for defamation has rattled the internet, with some netizens voicing their concern that it might go against freedom of speech.  

Yesterday (Dec 13), FMT reported that Anwar’s lawyers, Messrs SN Nair & Partners, filed a suit at the Alor Setar High Court, stating that the prime minister is seeking damages for slander and/or libel from Sanusi for damaging his reputation. 

In the statement of claim, Anwar alleged that Sanusi implied that he had abused his powers as an MP, was deceitful, a traitor, a hypocrite and not a good Muslim. 

User @NaratifRakyat said that while he did not like Sanusi, he disagreed with Anwar’s move to file a lawsuit against the outspoken politician. 

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User @hydesign_my sarcastically noted that it is not a dictatorship since it is Anwar who is suing Sanusi, adding that when Anwar was Finance Minister in the 90s, he used to threaten to sue reporters, telling them “I will sue you if you repeat the question”. 


Another user said: 


(My friend had already prepared the popcorn. I cannot wait to follow this case. More excited than waiting for the World Cup 2022 results. A fight is a fight.) 

Meanwhile, netizens also question if Anwar’s unity government is truly fighting injustice by suing opponents who criticise the Government, with some arguing that freedom of speech does not equate allowing slander.  

User @najme_jufri, for example, opined that a person cannot speak freely without facing the consequences of their actions. 

Similarly, user @ryuchan11 pointed out that freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to slander, and urged people to not normalise the culture of slandering people. – Dec 14, 2022 


Main photo credit: Suara.TV

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