KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Caretaker Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor’s reported arrest at 3am this morning has seen leaders from the unity government raising questions over the choice of time for the arrest.

Amir Hariri Abd Hadi, secretary-general of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) which is part of the unity government, in a brief post on Twitter questioned the need to make the arrest at the reported time of 3am.

“I also do not understand why the arrest had to be made at 3am. Hope there is an explanation,” he wrote on Twitter.

Separately, PKR’s Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin claimed that Sanusi’s remarks had insulted the royals and was allegedly divisive in the multi-racial community, adding that the latter should be investigated and charged if there is solid evidence.

While stating respect for the police which he said is independent and professional and which he said carries out investigations and arrests, Sim similarly questioned the need for the 3am arrest of Sanusi.

“However, the police’s arrest SOP should be carried out better. Arresting at 3am is not a wajar (reasonable) action,” he wrote in a brief post on Facebook.

Sim said Sanusi is a caretaker menteri besar and not a suspect who will abscond, adding that the arrest could have been done early in the morning or in the afternoon and not at such an hour.

He said the police’s standard operating procedures (SOP) should be reviewed.

In the same statement, Sim had described Malaysia as a country where there is rule of law, with a complete set of laws where the authorities carry out investigations, and where the attorney general presses charges if there is solid evidence, and where sentencing will be given if one is proven guilty in the courts.

According to news reports, Sanusi was arrested by the police at 3am today from a hotel in the Klang Valley, before he was brought to the Selayang court building in Selangor to face charges.

Sanusi was charged with a total of two counts of sedition — one count each before two different judges at the Sessions Court in Selayang. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The two charges were in relation to Sanusi’s remarks on the Selangor Sultan and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.