IGP orders arrest, sedition probe on Twitter user for suggesting Sarawak secession

Chief organiser Peter John Jaban addressing the crowd. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Chief organiser Peter John Jaban addressing the crowd. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22— Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today directed his men to arrest and investigate a Twitter user for sedition after the latter said Sarawakians have a right to decide on the state’s secession from Malaysia.

Posting a screenshot of the offending tweet, the national police chief ordered the Police Cyber Investigation Response Centre (PCIRC) to investigate the user, who goes by the handle @Swakheadhunter, under the Sedition Act.

“PCIRC @PDRMsia kesan twit handle di bawah, siasat dan tahan di bawah Akta Hasutan,” Khalid said in a tweet moments ago.

[Translation: PCIRC, please trace the Twitter handle below, investigate and arrest under the Sedition Act]

The Twitter user, who goes by the name “Republic of Sarawak”, had earlier tagged IGP Khalid in a tweet saying, “Secession is not up to you Malayans to decide. It is up to us Sarawakians.”

Khalid’s order comes just hours after an estimated 10,000 people defied a police ban and turned up at the Song Kheng Hai field for the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) “Freedom and Independence Walk”.

According to Khalid yesterday, the police had received information that some parties were planning to use the event to incite Sarawakians into calling for the state’s secession from Malaysia.

But despite the warning, organisers decided to proceed with the gathering today as many of its participants from outside Sarawak were already in town for the event.

The gathering went on peacefully with no reports of any untoward incidents.

The walk by the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) and the S4S movement was organised to demand, among others, that July 22 to be made a public holiday to mark Sarawak’s independence.

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