Johor police have arrested a Kuala Lumpur resident, 26, for a Facebook posting allegedly critical of state monarch Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.
Johor PKR chief Hassan Karim told Malaysiakini the suspect was arrested at the Johor Baru police headquarters at about 4pm today.
“He (the suspect) came to surrender himself at the station and requested that I accompanied him,” said Hassan who is acting as the operation executive’s lawyer.
“The police recorded his statement under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code for about one hour and later arrested him for further investigations,” said Hassan, adding that the police would be applying for a remand order tomorrow.
Hassan said the suspect, who is an Amanah Youth member in Selangor, had travelled to Johor from Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur earlier today.
“His mother, brother and sister were also there when he was arrested,” he added.
Criticising Forest City project
While Hassan had declined to reveal further details of the alleged FB posting, PSM Youth central committee member Paranjothi Joma in a statement said the suspect was accused of criticising the Forest City project.
Paranjothi said PSM Youth respected the views, whereby the man to allegedly questioned how China’s role in the Forest City project could compromise Johor’s sovereignty.
Both Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin refuted the argument raised by the project’s critics, including former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
The Forest City project, a mix of commercial and residential developments in Johor’s Iskandar region, sits on top of four man-made islands spanning 1,386 hectares.
When completed in 2045, the four islands are supposed to house 70,000 residents with a gross development value estimated at RM450 billion.
The project developer is Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV), which in turn is a joint venture between China-based developer Country Garden Holdings Ltd and the Johor-linked Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd.
Esplanade Danga 88 is majority-owned by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, while the Johor state-owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) holds a minority stake.
Johor police chief Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said a factory operator, 40, was also arrested at the Johor Baru police headquarters for allegedly posing as a member of the royal household, on Facebook.
Police reports were lodged against the woman on Jan 19 and the Amanah Youth member on March 25, he said in a statement.
The Amanah Youth member is among five hunted by police for posting allegedly insulting Johor royalty via the Internet.
They are investigated under the Communications and Multimedia Act, Johor police said in a statement last Wednesday.
The others are a woman from Johor, 39, a man from Selangor, 44, two men from Kuala Lumpur aged 69 and 46 respectively.
Their pictures were published on the Johor police official Facebook page.
Two others arrested for insulting Johor royals
Separately, a man was arrested in Kepala Batas, Penang for allegedly insulting the Johor crown prince and the Johor royal institution via Facebook on Friday.
On April 11, a woman was arrested at the Brickfields district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur for allegedly insulting the Johor sultan via Facebook.
She is investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
If charged, she faces up to RM50,000 fine or no more than one year in jail or both, and can be fined RM1,000 for every day that the posting is not removed after conviction.
“Johor police will not compromise in taking stern action against those who abuse social media to make statements which are false, hurtful, malicious, threatening and a nuisance to others,” Wan Ahmad Najmuddin said.