It just took Prime Minister Najib Razak 10 days to contradict himself on Malaysia’s commitment to human rights by setting up a National Human Rights Action Plan on 1st March versus what he said yesterday in his speech at an event with RELA members in Serdang that rampant acts of abusing freedom of speech in the name of democracy is not a ticket to badmouth the country.

Najib Razak appears more dazed and muddled these days, desperate to win the hearts of voters, even to the extent of mixing up patriotism and love for one’s country, Malaysia and the right to dissent wrongdoings by the Government of the day which in this case is the Prime Minister’sBarisan Nasional government which has helmed power, undefeated for 6 decades.

The right to dissent is a fundamental right for a people of a nation to voice out concerns about the direction about the nation, to condemn gross corruption by Government officials, abuses of power in public institutions, questioning hidden hands meddling in the judiciary, slamming those who stoke the fire of racism and religious bigotry is in no way mocking our tanahair which we all call home but instead, speaking out against tyranny and injustice.

As Prime Minister and the President of the Government bloc in Parliament, it is his moral duty to the people to answer serious allegations on the misuse of public fund, particularly on the mother of all scandals the 1MDB debacle before the mother of all elections, the 14th General Elections rather than blurring the lines between patriotism for nation and questioning wrongdoings of the Government.

Are Malaysians free to question the Prime Minister on his alleged involvement in the 1MDB debacle through the voices of their elected representatives in Parliament? Is the Attorney General, the MACC and PDRM free to investigate the herculean nature of the scandal involving some of the Prime Minister’s closest people embroiled in it? When Malaysians condemn and criticise the wrongdoings evident in the 1MDB scandal, does it amount to badmouthing the country?

Let Najib Razak be reminded that freedom of expression is not a privilege that he and his men only can enjoy and abuse. I ask the Prime Minister to cease making threats to Malaysians on what freedom of speech and democracy means in Malaysia. There are no two versions of the truth nor democracy. There is only the truth and only democracy, not BN’s truth and BN’s democracy.

Being Prime Minister doesnt give you the upper hand nor protection from being criticised, chided or condemned – after all Mr Prime Minister, you, like all Malaysians, are not above the law.

I call upon the Prime Minister Najib Razak, after his gallant speech to honour his pledge to uphold, promote and protect human rights and freedom of speech for all, not to use his position or power to punish those who stand up and voice out against corruption, abuses of power and covering up the 1MDB scandal on his power trip to safeguard BN to rule Malaysia for another 1000 years.

Kasthuri Patto

Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan

Publicity Secretary for Wanita DAP