Parents of blogger hauled for questioning


By Pauline Wong, The Sun

The parents of provocative blogger Mohd Nur Hanief Abdul Jalil, 27, were yesterday brought in for questioning by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

It was after a five-month silence since he was first hauled in by the police following his controversial blog post on March 1.

The post was on allegations of a sex scandal between a member of the Selangor royalty and a well-known local model, which Mohd Nur Hanief had plucked from another blog while adding his own comments below. The post has received 150 comments to date.

Abdul Jalil Ashaari, 61, and Kamalia Chek, 60, went into the MCMC Investigations Division office in the Sultan Abdul Samad building here at 2.15pm yesterday and were questioned for more than two hours.

“I maintain my son did not post anything seditious and that he had merely copy-and-pasted opinions of other blogs and expressed his own opinion,” said Abdul Jalil, after the questioning.

Mohd Nur Hanief, who blogs primarily about socio-political topics, was arrested under the Sedition Act and questioned by the police on March 18, before being released the next day.

He has also been questioned by the MCMC. In investigations, computers belonging to him and Abdul Jalil were were seized from their home. Since his release, however, no charges have been filed against him.

Abdul Jalil said he was surprised when he was served the notice to appear before the MCMC.

“They (MCMC) completed their investigations and did not contact us for months,” he said, adding that he had accompanied his son when he was questioned in March.

The retired bank officer said the officers were amicable during the questioning as he and his wife gave their full cooperation.

The two were met by their counsel Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Farhana Abdul Halim from Lawyers for Liberty before they were escorted by an MCMC officer into the office. However, the lawyers were not allowed to accompany them.

After the questioning, Fadiah said it was disturbing that the parents were denied counsel.

“We cannot stress enough on the right to have legal counsel present during questioning by the authorities.”

This brings the question of why his parents would be questioned over their son’s alleged offence, said Fadiah.

“It is nothing more than intimidation. The questions asked were absurd,” she said, adding that MCMC officers had pressed the elderly couple about who the internet service provider account was registered to, or who had uploaded the pictures on Mohd Nur Hanief’s blog.