All The Malaysians Who Were Arrested For Sedition This 2014

A wave of sedition charges, mostly against opposition politicians, has washed upon the Malaysian political scene, bringing out cries that Malaysia is lurching back into its authoritarian ways.

Cover image via SAYS

Ambiga Investigated For Sedition Over Criticisms Of The National Civics Bureau

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan allegedly made seditious remarks about Biro Tata Negara (BTN) or the National Civics Bureau at a conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

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Who: Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, lawyer, former Bar Council president and patron for people's movement Negara-Ku.

Why: Ambiga allegedly made a seditious remark about the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) or National Civics Bureau during a forum on non-discrimination in Kuala Lumpur. She said BTN camps are nothing more than brainwashing sessions to turn Malays into racists and bigots. "I have met several Malays who have attended these camps and they come out feeling disgusted and angry. What does that tell you? Malays are being brainwashed into becoming racists and bigots at these national camps," Ambiga said in a report by The Malaysian Insider on 30 September.

What: Ambiga is being investigated under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948.

1 Oct: Karpal Singh's 24-Year-Old Nephew Arrested Over Seditious Facebook Post

Law graduate Dalbinder Singh Gill, 24, is nephew to the late Karpal Singh.

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Who: Law graduate Dalbinder Singh Gill, 24, is nephew to the late Karpal Singh.

Why: Dalbinder published a Facebook post allegedly questioning Malay special privileges and royalty.

What: On the night of 30th September 2014, Dalbinder surrendered himself to the Northeast Police District headquarters on Jalan Patani after two police personnel from Bukit Aman's Cyber Crime Unit showed up at his house when he was not at home. This morning, he posted on his Facebook: "I'm being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948 and released on police bail at 1.30am. My iphone and ipad has been confiscated." Dalbinder's arrest comes after a police report was lodged against him by a police officer.

30 Sept: Law Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Is Second Academician Investigated For Sedition

According to reports, Unisel’s Dr Abdul Aziz Bari will be investigated under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948, after almost 100 reports were lodged against him for allegedly insulting the Sultan of Selangor in his published comments.

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Who: Datuk Abdul Aziz Bari, a law professor with the Universiti of Selangor.

Why: Almost 100 reports were lodged nationwide against the constitutional expert for allegedly insulting the Sultan of Selangor in two news articles published in The Malaysian Insider. The first article, "‎Sultan Selangor terikat Deklarasi 1992, perlu lantik Wan Azizah, kata Aziz Bari", was published on 1 September 2014. In this article, Aziz told the news portal that the Sultan was bound by the Declaration of Constitutional Principles 1992, which set guidelines for the rulers, including clarifying the role of royalty in politics.

The second article, "Only God, not Sultan, has absolute powers, says legal expert", was published on 9 September. This article was based on a speech Aziz had given during a forum where he said that according to the constitution, the Sultan's discretionary powers in appointing a menteri besar was limited to cases of a hung parliament.

What: The police will interview Aziz at the Sabak Bernam district police headquarters under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948. Aziz could be the second academician charged with sedition following Professor Azmi Sharom from Universiti Malaya.

26 Sept: Anwar To Be Investigated For Sedition Over A Speech Delivered Three Years Ago

Who: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

Why: In 2011, Anwar spoke at a ceramah held to launch a PKR campaign called "DNA campaign" which stood for "Datuk Najib Altantuya". The campaign was in reference to the Mongolian translator who was allegedly involved with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and supposedly had a role in the Malaysian government's purchase of Scorpene submarines from France. During the ceramah that was held on 25 March 2011, PKR supporters had turned unruly when police tried to break up the session while Anwar was speaking.

What: Police are scheduled to record Anwar’s statement on Friday at the PKR headquarters.

10 Sept: Vocal Muslim Preacher Wan Ji Latest To Be Arrested For Sedition

Wan Ji Wan Husin being brought to the police station in this Facebook picture posted early this morning.

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Who: Wan Ji Wan Hussin, 32, a Muslim preacher who was a former committee member of Selangor PAS' Ulama wing.

Why: Wan Ji had earlier posted on his Facebook saying that he avoided going home after being informed of police presence outside his house. He has long been vocal in criticising the nation's religious authorities. He had also criticised the Home Ministry's ban on the use of the word "Allah" in Bibles. Furthermore, Wan Ji once commented that the Sultans could not be called the head of religion.

What: Wan Ji was arrested under the Sedition Act 1948 and taken to the Section 9 police station in Shah Alam.

Wan Ji Wan Hussin, 32, a Muslim preacher who was a former committee member of Selangor PAS' Ulama wing.

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8 Sept: Head Of ABU Movement Faces Double Sedition Charge Over Seditious FB Posts

Ali Abd Jalil (left) being led by a policeman at the Selayang Sessions Court today, to face a sedition charge.

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Who: Ali Abd Jalil, 29, head of the Anything But Umno (ABU) movement.

Why: Ali posted a status on his social media account criticising Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for using the Sultan of Selangor in his bid to remain as menteri besar in the Selangor state MB crisis. The post was allegedly an insult to the Sultan. Ali was also accused of belittling the Johor Sultanate and asking for the state's royal institution to be abolished in his Facebook postings.

What: Ali Abd Jalil pleaded not guilty to a single count under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 at the Selayang Sessions Court. He was then re-arrested and charged for a second count of sedition under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a jail term of up to three years or a maximum fine of RM5,000 or both on conviction.

Activist Ali Abd Jalil will face a second sedition charge this afternoon.

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5 Sept: Malaysiakini Journalist Susan Loone Arrested Over "Seditious" News Report

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Who: Susan Loone, Malaysiakini journalist and assistant editor.

Why: Loone had written a news report on 1 September 2014 for Malaysiakini about the arrest of 156 Penang Voluntary Patrol Unit's (PPS) members during a Merdeka procession. She had interviewed state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh and quoted him saying that he was interrogated by the police for four hours and was treated like a criminal and "victims of circumstances".

What: Loone was arrested by the police under the sedition act for almost nine hours where she was grilled by the police. Her mobile phone was confiscated as part of the investigation. Loone and the online news portal are being investigated under Section 4(1)(c) of the 1948 Sedition Act for publishing a seditious article.

Loone says: "I was only doing my job as a journalist. I called Phee and he responded to my call. I asked him a few questions about his experience at the police station, and he gave me his answers. I wrote what he said, there was nothing more to that."

4 Sept: Sabah Politician David Orok Ninth To Be Charged With Sedition Over A Facebook Post

David Orok allegedly published a Facebook post deemed insulting to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

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Who: David Orok, Sabah State Reform Party member who contested the Sulaman state seat in the 13th general election.

Why: David Orok allegedly published a Facebook post deemed insulting to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Orok's post angered many, including members of PAS and Umno in Sabah. He subsequently posted an apology to Muslims, blaming others for the offensive post.

What: Orok faces jail up to three years and a RM5,000 fine, or both, if found guilty under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Sedition Act 1948. He pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

David Orok, Sabah State Reform Party member who contested the Sulaman state seat in the 13th general election.

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2 Sept: Uni­versiti Malaya Law Lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom Charged Over Comments Made About The 2009 Perak Crisis

Azmi (in blue) with his lawyer Gobind Singh (third right) outside the courtroom. Also present were students and UM lecturers showing their solidarity.

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Who: Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom, a Universiti Malaya law lecturer, and also a columnist with The Star.

Why: Azmi's comments made on an online portal over the 2009 Perak crisis were deemed seditious. He was probed for his quote in an 14 August 2014 article titled 'Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told'.

What: Azmi was charged under Section 4(1)(b) and Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948. If found guilty, he will face a fine of not more than RM5,000, a jail term of not more than three years, or both. He pleaded not guilty.

Quotes from Dr Azmi Sharom that are deemed seditious.

Image via National YLC

27 Aug: DAP Assemblyman RSN Rayer Charged For Saying "Celaka Celaka Umno"

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Who: Seri Delima DAP assemblyman R. S. N. Rayer.

Why: Rayer allegedly uttered the words "celaka celaka Umno" (damn Umno) twice - once at a Penang state assembly sitting on 20 May 2014, and another on 22 May 2014 at a Bukit Gelugor by-election campaign rally.

What: Rayer was charged twice under the Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948. He pleaded not guilty. The first charge carries a jail term of up to three years, a RM5,000 fine, or both. Under the second charge, Rayer also faces an alternative charge under Section 504 of the Penal Code for provocation, which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine, or both.

26 Aug: PAS MP Khalid Samad Charged Over Remarks On The Sultan Of Selangor And The Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais)

Who: Khalid Samad, Shah Alam PAS MP.

Why: On 26 June 2014, Khalid asked that the Enactment on Islamic Laws Administration (Enactment No. 3, 1952) and the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment 2003 be reviewed. Khalid requested the government to research on amending the enactment that allowed Mais to directly control the state's religious authorities. He allegedly said that Mais' actions damaged the image of the royalty as it is closely associated to the Sultan of Selangor. He also uttered a call to return to a constitutional monarchy and not to give executive powers to the royalty that could tarnish the royal institution.

What: Khalid pleaded not guilty to Section 4(1‎)(b) of the Sedition Act that carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a maximum jail term of three years, or both. If found guilty, Khalid could be disqualified as an MP.

25 Aug: PAS Assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin Charged For Defaming The Prime Minister

Who: Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS, former Perak mentri besar, and Changkat Jering assemblyman.

Why: Mohammad Nizar allegedly defamed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak during a 'ceramah' at Taman Desa Pakatan in Ipoh on 23 April 2012. He was said to have told the audience that Najib asked the army generals to do something if Barisan Nasional lost in the 13th General Election.

What: Mohammad Nizar pleaded not guilty to the charge which was under Section 500 of the Penal Code. The charge carries a maximum imprisonment for two years or fine, or both, if found guilty.

19 Aug: PKR Vice President Surendran Charged For Linking Najib To Anwar's Sodomy Conviction

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Who: N. Surendran, lawyer, PKR vice president, and Padang Serai MP.

Why: On 19 August, Surendram said the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy II charge is false. He suggested that Najib had a hand in determining the dates for Anwar's appeal against his sodomy conviction.

What: Surendran was charged under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948. If found guilty, the PKR vice-president stands to face a maximum three-year jail term or a maximum RM5,000 fine or both.

12 Aug: PKR MP Tian Chua Charged For Saying That The Sulu Intrusion In Lahad Datu Was An Umno Conspiracy

Who: TIan Chua, PKR national vice president and member of parliament for Batu.

Why: On 14 May 2013, Tian Chua allegedly said that the Lahad Datu incident was an Umno conspiracy to frighten the people. The remarks were reported in the 1 March 2014 publication of Keadilan Daily in an article titled “Insiden tembakan di Lahad Datu konspirasi terancang Umno ― Tian” (Shooting incident at Lahad Datu an orchestrated conspiracy by Umno ― Tian).

What: If convicted under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948, Chua will face a three-year jail term or a fine of up to RM5,000 or both. If found guilty, Tian Chua could lose his parliamentary seat.

6 May: DAP MP Teresa Kok Charged For Her Satirical 'Onederful Malaysia' Chinese New Year Video

Who: Teresa Kok, DAP vice chairman and Seputeh MP.

Why: Teresa Kok released a controversial Chinese New Year video titled 'Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014' in January 2014. The video, a political satire that poked fun at political issues in Malaysia including the First Lady's spending, was deemed seditious.

What: Teresa Kok was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948. The charge provides for a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of RM5,000, or both. Teresa could lose her parliamentary seat if found guilty.

21 Feb: The Late DAP MP Karpal Singh Was Found Guilty Of Sedition For Questioning The Sultan Of Perak In 2009

Who: Karpal Singh was a veteran lawyer, Bukit Gelugor MP and the former National Chairman of DAP.

Why: On 6 February 2009, Karpal Singh allegedly said that the removal of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar of Perak by Sultan Azlan Shah could be questioned in a court of law.

What: Karpal Singh was fined RM4,000 for sedition by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, thus losing his position as a member of parliament for the Bukit Gelugor constituency.

In 2012, Prime Minister Najib Pledged That The Sedition Act 1948 Would Be Abolished And Replaced With The National Harmony Bill