(File pix) “There should not be a time limit for voicing your criticism. You can criticise now if you want too,” Maria said. Pix by Hafiz Sohaimi

KUALA LUMPUR: The people do not have to wait for Pakatan Harapan’s one hundred days in government to start criticising its shortcomings or failings.

Petaling Jaya member of Parliament Maria Chin Abdullah said freedom of speech should be exercised and there should not be a specific time frame for criticism.

“There should not be a time limit for voicing your criticism. You can criticise now if you want too,” Maria said today during a public forum entitled “Importance of a Strong Opposition for Vibrant Democracy” which was organised by the Bar Council.

When met later, Maria said it was not too premature to criticise the government.

“No, I do not think so. Because there are 10 cabinet members there, making decisions for the country.

“So if the decision made is not right, of course, we have to say something about it. It does not mean that we have to wait for a full cabinet before we want to raise an issue.”

For example, Maria said the people’s voice could be heard against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier move to take on another portfolio.

“This was despite Pakatan’s manifesto which clearly outlined that the prime minister should not hold more than one position. The same goes for the appointment of the Attorney-General. That’s freedom of expression.”

Other panellists at the forum were Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs president Tunku Zain Al’ Abidin Tuanku Muhriz; Universiti Malaya law lecturer Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom and Gerakan deputy youth chief Andy Yong Kim Seng.

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