POLICE arrested a grandnephew of Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud for allegedly insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak over his recent White House visit.
A warrant for the arrest of Abdul Aziz Isa, special assistant to Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chief Chong Chieng Jen, was issued about 3pm today.
Aziz, who was DAP’s Batu Kitang candidate in last year’s state election, appeared at Simpang Tiga police divisional headquarters in Kuching at 3.45pm.
Chong is his counsel.
At time of writing, the post has been taken down.
“Malaysia is a free country. The police should not interfere with such political comments,” Chong said when contacted.
“The person who feels defamed can always go to court as a plaintiff,” he said.
Najib returned to Kuala Lumpur last night, after a five-day working trip that took him to the US and United Kingdom.
The prime minister was greeted by thousands supporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he blasted critics of his trip, in particular, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Aziz, 28, was DAP’s sole Malay candidate in last year’s state election.
In his electoral debut, he lost by 1,866 votes to Sarawak United People’s Party Lo Khere Chiang in a multi-cornered fight that also involved PKR’s Voon Shiak Ni, who failed to maintain her deposit.
Aziz was scheduled to speak at a Pakatan Harapan ceremah tonight at Batu Kawah, Kuching.
Meanwhile, Dr Kelvin Yii, who is Aziz’s colleague on Chong’s staff, criticised the manner in which the arrest was carried out.
“The force used upon him in the arrest was oppressive and excessive,” Yii told reporters.
“Aziz was cooperating when he received the arrest warrant. He voluntarily went to the police station. The moment he was there, he was arrested straightaway,” he said.
Aziz is being investigated for insulting and provocative messaging under Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“These sections are actually very vaguely written and have been used many times to suppress dissent against the government, especially Section 233,” Yii said.
“It’s been used against people who comment on 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) and they even used it against a portal (the discontinued The Malaysian Insider).
“So, they’re using a very vague section to infringe on the freedom of speech that is enshrined in the federal constitution, under Article 10(1).
“It’s a show of excessive force. As much as the government has the right to set conditions on fundamental liberties it must be reasonable and proportionate,” he added.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT