KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Police are believed to have caught the man who threatened to decapitate Syahredzan Johan after the political secretary to Lim Kit Siang suggested the government withdraw the Malaysian permanent residency of India-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
News portal Malaysiakini reported that the suspect is now under a four-day remand while police investigate the case under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, punishable with jail up to seven years, a fine, or both.
Brickfields deputy police chief Arifai Tarawe was reported to have confirmed the arrest and remand order.
However, little else is known, including the suspect’s age, origins, date of arrest and start of remand.
Syahredzan thanked the police for its “professionalism and swift action” on Twitter, tagging the force on its official handle @PDRMsia.
“I have been informed that the suspect who made a threat against me has been arrested and remanded 4 days,” he tweeted today.
The lawyer received a death threat through Facebook on August 14 from another user whose account identified him as a resident of Damansara in the Klang Valley.
In the message, the Facebook user threatened to decapitate the lawyer.
“You are a bastard. You expel Dr Zakir Naik, I will hunt you until I find you and I will separate that pig head of yours from your body. This I swear for the sake of Islam and the Malay race," the person wrote.
He later accused Syahredzan of paying “Indian boys” to protect him, claiming none would do so unless there were rewarded with pay.
Syahredzan said he did not know who his anonymous defenders were but thanked them nevertheless.
He has also clarified that he did not call for Dr Zakir’s extradition or deportation, but only suggested the authorities revoke the latter’s PR status, awarded in 2015 by the Barisan Nasional government.
Dr Zakir is wanted in India on charges of money laundering and incitement, but Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rejected Delhi’s extradition request on grounds that the preacher may be killed if he returns home. However, the PM added that other countries are welcome to take him in.
The 53-year-old is currently under investigation here for intentional insult to provoke a breach of the peace, over remarks seen to denigrate Indian and Chinese Malaysians.