KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — PKR’s Rafizi Ramli was arrested outside the Parliament compound as he was exiting today, for the alleged wrongful communication of classified documents.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed shortly after the arrest that Rafizi was being detained for investigation under Section 8 of the Official Secrets Act 1972.
Rafizi previously disclosed what he claimed to be an excerpt from the Auditor-General’s report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which is classified under the OSA.
“Yes, (for the incident) outside Parliament House,” Khalid told Malay Mail Online when asked if Rafizi was arrested over his alleged use of the AG’s report.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Seri Mortadza Nazarene separately confirmed that Rafizi will not be released today and may be held further for investigations if necessary.
He added that the authorities will apply to further remand the PKR secretary-general tomorrow.
“He is at Bukit Aman and he will be kept overnight and be investigated,” he said when contacted today.
Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) MP Raja Kamarul Bahrain, whose vehicle was behind Rafizi’s car, recounted the incident when a police swooped in on the latter just as he passed the guardhouse to Parliament.
“He was stopped in front of me. There were around two to three police cars and a lot of police officers,” he told reporters when contacted.
Raja Kamarul added that the police did not allow Rafizi to speak and allegedly did not inform the PKR lawmaker why he was being detained or where he would brought to for processing.
PKR’s Subang MP R. Sivarasa said his party was just notified of the arrest and will be arranging a legal team for Rafizi.
“We will need to get in touch with the police and find out an explanation on what happened.
“We need to know if they are going to hold him overnight which I think they would as arrest occurred after 6pm,” he told reporters.
In a later press conference, the opposition lawmakers condemned the arrest as high-handed.
PKR parliamentary whip Johari Abdul said the police could have instructed Rafizi to surrender as the latter had already pledged to cooperate with any investigation on his alleged distribution of the document.
Sivarasa in the same press conference said the arrest was against parliamentary conventions, and noted that an earlier ruling was made against any blocking of the entrance to the Parliament compound.
“So technically they (the police) went against the parliamentary ruling,” he said.
On March 29, Rafizi claimed during a press conference in the Parliament lobby to have an excerpt from the AG’s report, which he said demonstrated that 1MDB’s finances had affected the Armed Forces Fund Board’s (LTAT) ability to make timely gratuity payments.
Malay Mail Online did not report the matter due to restrictions under the OSA.
1MDB has since denied the allegation and accused Rafizi of lying.
The Pandan lawmaker later stated that he was prepared to be arrested for revealing the documents.