Group accuses IGP of bias in Twitter policing


(Malay Mail Online) – Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s move to hunt down Putrajaya’s critics on Twitter while ignoring provocation by pro-government users is a clear case of double standards, said Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today.

The group’s executive director, Eric Paulsen (pic), said it is “unbecoming” of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as it appears that the latter is taking instructions from “politically-motivated” provocateurs on Twitter when he must remain impartial.

Paulsen, who is among those investigated on Khalid’s orders, said the development was worrying as it suggested the IGP could decide on a “whim what can or cannot be published”, particularly by the opposition and government critics.

“On the other hand, these pro-Umno cyber-troopers and trolls have a free reign to publish anything including hate speech and incitement to violence without fear of criminal investigation from the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission — surely a case of double standards and selective prosecution,” said Paulsen, in a statement.

He urged Khalid to display professionalism on social media and change “his abhorrent attitude towards civil liberties” and to respect the right to legitimate dissent.

“We are highly doubtful that his methods are in compliance with PDRM’s social media policies and standard operating procedures,” said Paulsen, referring to the Royal Malaysia Police Force.

Khalid told local daily New Straits Times (NST) his public orders for police to probe Twitter users was to demonstrate the gravity of his force’s efforts to tackle seditious remark.

Khalid said that police intended to take firm action to maintain public peace and the police will not tolerate “seditious” remarks geared at disrupting public order in the country”.

On Tuesday, Khalid directed police to investigate DAP MP Nga Kor Ming and renowned cartoonist Zunar for sedition after both tweeted comments on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction.

Khalid also later directed police to probe PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli over a tweet that allegedly attempted to incite the public to believe the judges were paid.

Zunar, who’s real name is Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque, was remanded for a sedition probe, and will only be released tomorrow.

The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, also sentencing him to five years’ jail.

Putrajaya had previously pledged to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 that critics say is used to stifle political opposition and dissent, but later announced that it will be retained and expanded instead.