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Malaysia must define what is an insult to royalty: Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia needs to properly define what statements are considered insulting to the royal institution, says Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad.

"At the moment, our enforcement officers do not understand what is considered insult, so we must spell out what sort of actions or words can be construed as insults," he said, as quoted by The Star.

"I have said before that Malaysia now practises freedom of speech. With this freedom of speech, if you say something is factual, you cannot be prosecuted.

"On the other hand, if we shut the mouths of everyone until people cannot even speak up against acts of crime, then there will be injustice in the country."

The Prime Minister was commenting on the arrests of three person for alledgedly insulting Kelantan Sultan Muhamad V, who recently stepped down as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on Facebook and Twitter.

The trio, two men aged 46 and 27 and a woman aged 26, were arrested under the Sedition Act.

Critics say the arrests contradict Pakatan Harapan's promise to abolish the controversial Act.

In a separate development, Dr Mahathir met Johor's ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar for the first time yesterday since Pakatan took power last May.

After the 90-minute meeting, the sultan took the wheel of a first-generation Proton Saga and drove Dr Mahathir on the 25km-journey from Istana Bukit Serene to the Senai International Airport.

The vehicle was presented to the ruler's father by Dr Mahathir 34 years ago, Malaysian media reported.

According to a source from the Prime Minister's Office, the meeting was held following a request by Sultan Ibrahim a few weeks ago, but what was discussed was unknown, The Star said.

The two leaders had a frank exchange of views and agreed to keep communication channels open to avoid any misunderstanding, The Malaysian Insight news site said.

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