GEORGE TOWN, Aug 11 ― DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today denounced the arrest and investigation into several individuals said to have “insulted” Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, calling it an abuse of power.
The former finance minister said the government was using the police as a political weapon.
“If it was merely for issuing insults, I have always received insults but the police never took action, so why have four people been arrested for insulting the Kedah MB?” he told reporters in a brief press conference here outside the northeast district police headquarters.
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, said public officials should be ready to receive criticism and insults due to their position, and added he frequently received criticism and insults when he was a federal minister and Penang chief minister.
“If the accusations are baseless, then sue them in court, why arrest them,” he said.
Lim said police should only take action if there were death threats or threats to cause hurt.
He was commenting on the arrest of individuals in Kedah for allegedly insulting Sanusi on social media.
It was reported that Sanusi had lodged a complaint against his detractors through his officers.
The police are investigating the case under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955, Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
The arrests drew strong criticism from the public with allegations of double standard.
Sanusi recently made a controversial “joke” about Covid-related deaths but later apologised for it.
Lim said his apology showed that he had made a mistake in uttering the joke so there was nothing wrong for others to criticise him for his tasteless joke.