KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 ― Socialist Party of Malaysia’s (PSM) Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan is to be detained by the police for sedition tonight, believed to be part of a crackdown on Internet users critical of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy verdict.
According to Arutchelvan, over 10 police officers are currently outside his house in Kajang, Selangor to take him and his belongings for investigations at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.
“They told me they are investigating me under the Sedition Act, but they have not told me exactly for what,” Arutchelvan told Malay Mail Online over the phone.
“It might have to do with what the IGP said the other day,” he added, using the acronym for the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Director of Kuala Lumpur contingent crime prevention and community safety department SAC Zainuddin Ahmad confirmed that officers were on the scene, but told Malay Mail Online that no arrest has been made.
According to a report by English daily theSun last week, the police were looking to investigate Jingga 13 chief and PKR leader Fariz Musa, Arutchelvan, and Penang state exco Dr Afif Bahardin.
IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was reported as saying that Fariz will be investigated allegedly for inciting street protests, Arutchelvan for claiming political conspiracy in Anwar’s case, while Afif had purportedly asked the public to no longer trust the judiciary.
Cartoonist Zunar or Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque was remanded for three days last week after he was arrested over a Twitter post that mentioned the judiciary and political masters.
Other than the cartoonist, Khalid also ordered police to investigate DAP MP Nga Kor Ming and PKR MP Rafizi Ramli for sedition, both for tweets on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction.
Putrajaya had previously pledged to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 that critics say is used to stifle political opposition and dissent, but later announced that it will be retained and expanded instead.
The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, also sentencing him to five years’ jail.