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Anwar defends freedom to insult Malaysia’s royal institution

sexual assault


26 April 2021

Opposition leader and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has caught flack with his Instagram post expressing displeasure over the recent arrest of Fahmi Reza and Mukmin Nantang.

Anwar’s post, wrongly and ignorantly depicting the investigations as excessive use of institutional intimidation in purportedly clamping down on the freedom of expression, is now perceived as his call for Malaysians to tolerate any insult toward Malaysia’s royal institution.


The PKR President further alleges that the actions carried out by the Malaysian police (PDRM), acting within the legitimate scope of investigating a report, were akin to public freedom being rolled back, without consideration for the actions committed and the repercussions.

In what is now seen clearly as a desperate attempt to deflect criticism against his never-ending charade of causing political instability and wanting to remain relevant, Anwar attempts at intellectualizing the issue by including the following quote “i may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the end your right to say it”. 

However, Anwar misses the mark and misattributes the saying to Voltaire.

It is quite clear Anwar has failed to study the works of Voltaire lest he would be aware that the quote comes from a 1906 biography of Voltaire by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in which the quote was intended to represent a summary of Voltaire’s thinking on issues on free speech.

In context, Anwar’s subversive attempt at undermining Malaysia’s royal institution stems from recent news of Fahmi Reza, a graphic designer and self-styled activist being recently detained by police for allegedly insulting the country’s queen by making a Spotify playlist that mocked the Queen.

Worth noting is that the PKR President has failed to grasp the difference between criticism and an insult. Fahmi Reza has on several occasions made public severe criticism of the government without any action taken against him.

As pointed out by Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Huzir Mohamed in a statement confirming Fahmi’s arrest, the investigations merely ensued after police reports were lodged over the alleged insults against the Raja Permaisuri Agong.

Fahmi was released after being held overnight for police investigations over a playlist of songs that he had compiled on Spotify.

Huzir said that the investigation was linked to a Facebook post on Fahmi Reza’s Facebook account containing the queen’s photo and information regarding a playlist of songs in the form of a remark “This Is Dengki Ke? 💛 100 dengki songs, all in one playlist.” as well as a Spotify playlist featuring the queen’s photo labeled with the words “This is Dengki Ke” and with the playlist featuring songs containing the word “jealousy”.

Dengki is the Malay word for resentment due to envy or jealousy.

The police also said that investigations are carried out under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Without grasping the irony of the moment, Anwar, who has repeatedly failed in his attempts to overthrow the government to assume power for himself concludes the post by saying “hear them, and work for the people, not for yourselves”.

letter to editor by unnamed person/s

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