Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Criticising the Agong

A Malaysian university graduate has been charged in Court with “disobedience to an order issued by a civil servant in contravention of S.188 of the Penal Code.

The “disobedience” is alleged to have been failure to comply with an order issued by a junior gazetted officer of the PDRM to stop filming police engaged in an unspecified “raid”. If that is what the police officer was engaged in at the time why the order? Were the Police involved acting without legal authority? Did they have a search warrant? Issued by who and under what provision of the law?

These, and other matters involving that police action, will be raised when this graduate is tried (unless the Police and the DPP come to their senses and drop this arbitrary prosecution). If the backdoor PN government wants to stop all recording of its actions they can try to get such a law through with their “majority” of one.

The Court will be mindful of the fact that this section of the Penal Code exists to deal with wilful defiance of a legal order issued by a police officer in circumstances where it is justified. Not just to save the face of officers poorly instructed in the law and apparently under the impression that their word is law.

All this arose from an investigation into a Facebook article that claimed that the Agong should not “intervene in national affairs. Quite how this expression of a point of view can be “seditious” is something the PDRM will have to explain to the Court when the case s heard. Malaysia is, after all, a democracy in which citizens are entitled to hold and express political views. Or does Moo contend that this is no longer the case?

Yet again the PDRM have put their collective foot in it and should withdraw this ludicrous prosecution before the public loses all confidence both in its competence and honesty.

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