Focus on ‘genuine’ crimes instead of sedition, lawyer tells IGP

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said the probe on the organisers of a public forum about the Rome Statute at Universiti Malaya last Saturday is undemocratic & against the spirit of Malaysia Baharu. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Eric Paulsen said the probe on the organisers of a public forum about the Rome Statute at Universiti Malaya last Saturday is undemocratic & against the spirit of Malaysia Baharu. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The police would be wiser to use their valuable resources to fight “genuine” crimes instead of investigating public fora for sedition that are little more than political harassment, human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen said today.

Malaysia’s representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights weighed in on Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun who confirmed a sedition probe on the organisers of a public forum about the Rome Statute at Universiti Malaya (UM) last Saturday.

“This is undemocratic & against the spirit of #MalaysiaBaharu. Just because police reports are made does not mean the police should commence investigation.

“There are police reports that are frivolous in nature, done with ulterior motives to harass or intimidate political opponents. The police would be wise not to become an instrument to subvert freedom of speech. Why waste valuable resources? Go investigate genuine crimes,” Paulsen tweeted.

Fuzi had told reporters earlier that police had received an undisclosed number of complaints over the forum and would be calling in those involved, including its organisers to record their statements.

He did not disclose the nature of the complaints nor the target of the complaints.

The forum which featured Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, UM constitutional law expert Emeritus Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi, G25 representative Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin, and veteran PKR politician Syed Husin Ali among others received flak for comments that were allegedly against the Malay royal institution.

One such police report was filed by NGO Pertubuhan Sahabat Erat dan Amanat Rakyat president Nazrin Norani, who accused Syed Husin of inciting hatred against the Malay Rulers in his speech during the forum.

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