(May 11): Putrajaya's action against a group of journalists from The Malaysian Insider was a form of intimidation, former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote today.
"Journalists who reported that the Council of Rulers did not agree with PAS' hudud were arrested for allegedly breaching the Sedition Act," Dr Mahathir said in his blog Chedet.
"The action against journalists is to scare the people from making any anti-government statements," he added.
He believed that the arrests were also a form of abuse of power from the government.
"Government agencies are being used to intimidate. People are increasingly disliking the government. I am increasingly confident that Barisan Nasional will lose the next elections if led by (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak," he said.
The Edge publisher Ho Kay Tat, The Malaysian Insider CEO Jahabar Sadiq, its managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa section editor Amin Iskandar, and features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong were all arrested on March 30 and 31 this year.
They were arrested over an article about hudud published on March 25, before being released on police bail.
All five spent a night in the police lock-up.
Dr Mahathir also questioned the treatment of Penang Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who lodged a police report earlier this year against state owned investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
"When police reports were made against (businessman) Jho Low and 1MDB, the house of the person who lodged the report was taken away and he was declared bankrupt." he said. – The Malaysian Insider