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Mahathir warns free speech abusers

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Thursday stressed that the government will ensure that no one makes a mockery of national harmony and peace.

The Prime Minister said the government will not tolerate this and warned that action will be taken according to the law to ensure that it does not happen.

“If anyone violates the laws for their own interests, this government which upholds the principle of the rule of law will act in accordance with the law,” he said.

Dr Mahathir gave the statement in the wake of the riots in the vicinity of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, near Subang Jaya, on Monday and Tuesday.

He said it is not the intention of the government to punish anyone blindly but democracy has its limits and everyone must understand these boundaries of democracy. “No one can act as one likes in violation of the law and cause anxiety among the people and chaos in the country,” he said.

Dr Mahathir emphasised again that the incident was not racial or religious in nature but a criminal act which should not be given any room to ruin the inter-racial relations in the country.

He said the government will not hesitate to take firm action against any provocative attempts as well as against those who try to challenge the country’s laws.

“The government has pledged not to impose any barriers to news reporting and communication but this freedom must be used with full responsibility and not to exploit circumstances that may lead to inter-racial breakups and disharmony.

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