KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 – “Government is not a thug. We do not arbitrarily detain anyone without solid evidence,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Thus his reaction to the government’s claim using the Sedition Act 1948 to cover criticism and use power in the hands of the opposition as a way to maintain the rule.

He said that, of all the criticism of the arrests and action against those who spread hatred, lies and slander, the average Malaysians to support the action as aware of the dangers posed by this group. Speaking at the International Forum themed Umno and Social Media Connectivity: Empowering People To Build or divisive, here on Monday Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia is being threatened by those who use the internet to spread lies, slander and hatred.

He said that, unlike other countries, the country is not a country based on a people and as a country races and religions, it requires the government to monitor internet activity in natural and unpleasant act. Ahmad Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, said the government must be firm in fighting the elements that are inherently dangerous to nation-building.

He said, every Malaysian must comply with the laws, rules binding upon them from doing any racist statement and provocation because the effect can not be accepted by everyone. “We have learned from the 1969 racial riots, and we also learned of several incidents involving religious extremists and society. All of this makes us impose strict laws to prevent the house from collapsing, “he said.

He said, in enforcing the law, the government does not and will not be biased and in simple language the government does not compromise when it comes to security and stability in the country. Ahmad Zahid, who is also a panel at the forum also emphasized that the government agreed to abolish the Sedition Act and introduce a new act, some provisions of the Sedition Act should be maintained in order to make the new act more decisively to prevent those who try to break them.

“In doing so, the government will take into consideration the feedback and suggestions from all stakeholders in the community, including from the opposition,” he said. The forum was organized in conjunction with the UMNO General Assembly 2014 in Putra World Trade Centre was officially opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. The two-day conference was attended by 127 foreign delegates from 34 parties representing 22 states and the corps of diplomats from nearly 70 countries.

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