KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The detention of three individuals over social media comments allegedly insulting Sultan Muhammad V is a breach of the moratorium of the Sedition Act, said Subang DAP Socialist Youth chief Farhan Haziq Mohamed and Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary Syahredzan Johan.
In a joint press statement today, the duo pointed out that the Cabinet resolution to lift the moratorium on certain Acts, including the Sedition Act, was limited to exceptional cases involving national security, public order and race relations.
“We do not see the expressions of the three individuals as falling within these categories, even though their expressions should be condemned,” they said in the statement.
“We wish to state that we condemn the statements by individuals that communicated expressions which can be considered insulting against Sultan Muhammad V. We call upon all Malaysians to respect the system of constitutional monarchy enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“At the same time, we object to the detention of the 3 individuals under the Sedition Act. We take the position that although what they have expressed may be offensive and unacceptable to society at large, they should not be detained under the Sedition Act.”
Earlier today, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the police had received several reports over allegedly provocative statements made on social media platforms.
“The trio, aged 26 between 46, were detained on Tuesday. They are being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948,” he said.
One of those arrested was a former employee of Cisco Asean who was sacked after writing a Facebook post that drew the ire of other social media users.
Syahredzan and Farhan both urged the police to release the trio immediately and to use other provisions of the law to investigate the case.
They also said there was no need to detain them for more than 24 hours while also urging the Pakatan Harapan government to abolish the Sedition Act as promised in their election manifesto.