KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has rebuked the government for resorting to draconian laws to muzzle its critics.

Commenting on the recent arrests of activist Mukmin Nantang and graphic artist Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, the PKR president said that human rights and press freedom have seen a decline under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“Malaysia has already seen its human rights and press freedom rankings decline under this current regime over unchecked abuse of power.

“The government must stop using draconian laws to silence critical views and differing opinions. To quote Voltaire, I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the end your right to say it,” he said in a statement today.

Anwar then urged the government to listen to the wisdom of the people.

“Hear them, and work for the people, not for yourselves,” he added.

Last Friday, Fahmi Reza was arrested in connection with an investigation under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for posting on social media artwork and a playlist on Spotify bearing the image of the Queen.

Fahmi has had several brushes with the law for his satirical work lampooning politicians and prominent figures.

The designer explained that despite being convicted in the past for his caricatures, to him, having the right to express himself freely and exercise his civic responsibility remains of utmost importance.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported the following day that the police had nabbed seven activists including Mukmin Nantang over a protest against the extension of the enhanced movement control order (MCO) on Kampung Muhibbah Raya in Tawau, Sabah.