The government does not act arbitrarily in detaining or taking legal action against any individual without strong grounds, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

As such, he said any detention was not solely politically motivated as claimed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, simulaneously labelling the claims by the former prime minister as utterly baseless.

"The accusation is totally baseless. What we do is in accordance with the existing rules.

"There is definitely a reason why we detain someone under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). We don't take action as we like, when there is no strong proof," he told reporters after launching the ministry level Zumba and People's Sport Carnival programme in conjunction with the National Sports Day here, today.

He said this when asked to comment on claims by Dr Mahathir that Malaysia was now seen by the world as a 'pariah' nation when anybody could be arrested, investigated, detained and charged via the abuse of national laws.

The statement was written by Dr Mahathir following the detention of a former UMNO leader, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer, Matthias Chang under the Sosma for lodging an international report on 1MDB.

Commenting further, Salleh said during the administration of Mahathir, the former prime minister also stressed that it was the duty of the government to look after national security.

"We must investigate any quarters aiming to disrupt the stability of the nation, that is most important, because our emphasis is on a peaceful Malaysia," he said.

In addition, Salleh said the government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak practised an open government whereby the people would not be punished just for giving their views or had differing views on the government policy.

"But don't give views which are different to the point of breaching the limits of the law. Or to the point of adversely affecting security, unity and inter-communal relations and religion.

"Or being involved in efforts to topple the leadership and in cahoot with those who are not Malaysian nationals. If this takes place, it is the duty of any government to take appropriate action," he added.