Najib: Malaysia does not stifle dissent

(The Malaysian Insider) – Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia is now a fully mature democracy as the ruling government allows dissent, the national news agency reported today.

According to Bernama Online, the prime minister said this after his speech on the “Global Movement of the Moderates” in Hawaii where he is attending the Asia Pacific Economic Caucus (Apec) Summit.

He dismissed the idea the voices of dissent back home signaled widespread public unhappiness with his government similar to that which caused the “Arab Spring” earlier this year.

The Najib administration came under heavy global criticism for clamping down on dissent last July 9 following the Bersih 2.0 street march in its capital city where police shot chemical-laced water and tear gas among thousands of civilians demanding cleaner elections.

Despite banning the civil society movement, Najib gave in to public pressure and established a bipartisan parliamentary team to review its electoral system. The inquiry kicked off last Friday and is ongoing.