PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - There will be no Arab Spring if people are given the freedom of expression and assemble, the international anti-corruption conference was told.
Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty(photo) warned that the use of the Sedition Act and Prevention of Terrorism Act would curb dissent, the people's freedom to express and assemble.
"Corruption is likely to happen. Human rights does not exist without corruption. Media, students, NGOs and opposition lawmakers might be subjected to intimidation," he said at the conference here.
- Shetty said he had been told by the Malaysian authorities that by giving people the freedom of expression, it could lead to an 'Arab Spring.'
- Jokingly, he said, there were no Arabs and no spring in Malaysia. " Only beautiful summer days," he said.
"But seriously, the reason why the Arab Spring happened was because their freedom of expression was curtailed by the authorities.
"The Malaysian government should be confident of its people and it was good to see that the authorities exercised restraint on the Bersih 4 rally.
It is quite possible for people to be swayed by erroneous rumor but people are not stupid... They can evaluate themselves, Salil said.
Source: The Star