KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Dissenters who insult the government or attempt to rile up the public into action on the Internet will be hauled up to face the law, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar warned today.
The country’s top-ranking policeman sounded his warning on Twitter amid a recent flurry of arrests and charges against Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians and a law professor.
“There is no more apology to anybody who misuse the media to insult and incite. Wait for the action of @PDRMsia,” Khalid tweeted in Malay, tagging on the microblogging account of the Royal Malaysian Police.
On his Twitter account @KBAB51, Khalid told Twitter user @zana_tingtong that while the police could tolerate “sindiran manja” (endearing banter)”, the force will not brook mockery that has seditious tendencies.
The IGP’s remark follows on the heel of Twitter user Viktor Wong’s online apology this afternoon to both Khalid and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) for likening the Malaysian security official to Nazi military commander Henrich Himmler.
Wong, who may now be under investigation for his remarks, took to the microblogging site to retract his post.
“Hello both @PDRMsia @KBAB51, I am retracting the suggestion on the bastardization and apologize to you and all your members of the force,” Wong said on his Twitter account @wonghoicheng.
Wong, a director for the northern Malaysia-based think tank Inter-Research and Studies (IRAS), had tweeted yesterday calling Khalid the “Heinrich Himmler” of Malaysia.
“Bastardization of @PDRMsia. Thanks to the [email protected] Henrich Himmler of Malaysia,” tweeted Wong.
Himmler was a military commander said to be one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany, and among those directly responsible for the Holocaust.
The police are seen to be cracking down on public dissent following criticism over Putrajaya’s sedition dragnet, which entered the halls of academia today with the arrest of University of Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom.
The associate professor in the country’s oldest university is expected to face a sedition charge tomorrow for his comments on the 2009 Perak crisis.
Khalid also took to Twitter yesterday to instruct the Police Cyber Investigation Response Centre (PCIRC) to identify three Twitter users and take action against them for allegedly “being disrespectful” to him and the police force.
Last week, PKR’s newly-elected vice-president Rafizi Ramli claimed trial to “defaming” and “provoking” Umno members by accusing them of conspiring to instigate religious strife in February.
Earlier last week, DAP’s Seri Delima representative RSN Rayer was charged with sedition, believed to be over his “Umno Celaka” remarks uttered inside the Penang state assembly.
PAS’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad was charged last week under the colonial-era law over his alleged remarks on reducing the Selangor Islamic religious council’s (Mais) powers.
PKR’s Padang Serai MP N. Surendran was also recently charged with sedition for allegedly criticising the Court of Appeal’s ruling that reversed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal in his second sodomy trial, while DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was similarly charged earlier this year over a video clip.