VETERAN newsman A. Kadir Jasin will be investigated for sedition and criminal intimidation for his blog post on the expenses incurred by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said the inspector-general of police.
Mohamad Fuzi Harun said three police reports have been lodged against Kadir, who is also Bersatu supreme council member.
“We have received three so far, in Selangor and Kelantan, and an investigation paper has been opened.”
It is a colonial hangover, nearly a century out of date, that there are still people in Malaysia ready to charge down to the police station with all their political gripes. On the other hand, if the IGP himself is prepared to give such people the time of day and newspapers to make coverage, why not? It’s cheap publicity.
Meanwhile, this incident provides a good example why the cited Sedition Law has to be on the list of outdated and oppressive pieces of legislation that must go. Newsman Kadir Jassin published a scoop, which appears to be the spending tab of the present Agong. If so, that spending is roughly equivalent to that of the entire British Royal Household.
As one of the richest countries in the world, with around 80 million people, the UK is lucky to only have one royal family to maintain in such style. The question is why was Kadir Jassin’s action inappropriate, let alone ‘seditious’, since the spending of every other constitutional monarch in the world (including Britain’s) is published every year? Public money has to be accounted for.
Certainly, if what Jassin published simply is not true and the Agong thinks it undermines his reputation to be seen to spend so much, then the royal personage is perfectly entitled to sue and shame the newsman, doubtless for crippling sums of money.
However, if it is true, then the Agong must presumably consider his position defensible and have determined that people will not mind spending so much money on him. He may be right, certainly in the case of the three people who ran to the police station. They are clearly prepared to pay whatever is desired of them.
But, the people who have filed a report against Kadir Jassin appear to be arguing something entirely different, which is that Malaysians should live a lie. It seems they think that the truth ought to be hidden about this spending, because they conclude that most people will not find it defensible. That is a form of logic, that fits into a mindset that flourished pre-GE14 under the discredited, corrupted rule of UMNO/BM and has left the country bankrupt.
So, instead of hiding the truth and attacking honesty with outdated and oppressive laws, how about reforming matters and setting up the Agong with a reasonable budget, which Malaysians can afford? Some people may not get ‘goodies’, but in return everyone gets an honest arrangement.
Certainly, none of this protesting at the police station does the Agong himself any favours. Rather it smacks of a political agenda that has nothing to do with law and order and everything to do with trying to cause disruption and muscle power through the back door, having lost hands-down in an election.