PKR’s Rafizi arrested for sedition, illegal assembly over anti-GST rally

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has been arrested by police today over his role in the May Day rally to protest the Goods and Services Tax (GST) yesterday. — Picture by Choo Choy May
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has been arrested by police today over his role in the May Day rally to protest the Goods and Services Tax (GST) yesterday. — Picture by Choo Choy May

 

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli was arrested by police today over his role in the May Day rally to protest the Goods and Services Tax (GST) yesterday, his lawyer Sivamalar Genapathy said today.

When contacted, Sivamalar said Rafizi was taken into custody at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters under Section 143 and Section 141 of the Penal Code as well as Section 4 of the Sedition Act.

Section 143 states that those who are members of an unlawful assembly shall be punished with a maximum six-month jail term or a fine or both, while Section 141 defines what amounts to an “unlawful assembly”.

She told Malay Mail Online that it was uncertain at this point of time if police would seek a remand order to further detain Rafizi.

“Now we are going to the Dang Wangi (police station) to meet the investigating officer to see whether he will be remanded or released on police bail,” she said.

Last night, Rafizi told reporters that he was told to show up at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters before midnight, but had managed to negotiate to turn up this morning instead.

In the latest update provided by police, 32 individuals including prominent activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke and Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S. Arutchelvan were arrested over the protest, with their detention being under the Sedition Act and Section 143 of the Penal Code.

Yesterday, KL CID chief Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad said the arrests were carried out at 7.30pm — over two hours after the rally ended — and confirmed police had seized several smoke bombs.

Arrests were made under Sections 143, 427 and 448 of the Penal Code, Section 4 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act.

The rally by civil society movement #KitaLawan kicked off shortly after 2.30pm yesterday afternoon from several meeting points and drew a reported crowd of nearly 10,000 participants to the streets of the capital.

There were no report of injuries or casualties arising from the rally, that is said to have progressed peacefully in a march by a sea of thousands of Malaysians clothed in red and black.

After the event, however, police claimed on their official Facebook account that the rally was not fully under control, citing incidents of alleged vandalism and smoke bombs being thrown by the protesters to back up its claim.

The police also said protesters had brought children to the rally — which could be an offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Related Articles