The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) issued a "totally uncalled for" threat for warning that an anti-terrorism law would be used against people commenting on racial religious issues, said a human rights group.
The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (Comango) said freedom of expression was recognised under the Federal Constitution and people were free to express their views, including those from government agencies, since they were beholden to the public.
"By threatening people who are exercising their freedom goes against the human rights commitment made by the government in the Constitution as well as through the international community," said Suara Rakyat Malaysia's (Suaram) Yap Swee Seng.
Suaram is one of the 54 NGOs under Comango.
Last Sunday, IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pic) warned Malaysians to exercise their freedom of expression prudently or they can be charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
He said statements that touched on religious and racial sensitivities could provoke anger and ultimately threaten national security.
"After this, we will not hesitate to take action on them using Sosma," he was quoted as saying by Malay-language daily Berita Harian.
He was incensed that people were criticising a sermon by the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) that blamed social ills among Muslim youth on the celebration of Valentine's Day on social media.
"This is too much. It has crossed boundaries and we will not hesitate to take action with all available laws. Do not challenge us. This can provoke and hurt races.
"If there are parties out there who are unhappy with what was said, they should voice out their grievances the proper way such as writing in to the religious department or other relevant agencies," he was quoted as saying by The Sun newspaper.
Yap said taxpayers have the right to give their views on civil bodies and agencies.
"Public agencies are accountable and beholden to the public and people have the right to criticise them if they are not doing a good job" he added. – February 19, 2014.