IGP arrests another activist over tweet


(Malay Mail Online) – Another activist was arrested in the dead of night yesterday over a tweet that allegedly threatened Inspector-general of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Local news portal MalaysiaKini reported that Jingga 13 secretariat member Irwan Yahya was arrested around midnight yesterday from his home in Banting and taken to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

“He is accused of threatening the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) on Twitter. We still don’t know details of the case,” Malaysiakini quoted Jingga 13 chief and PKR member Fariz Musa as saying.

“This desperado move by the IGP by using his enforcement powers shows he is in fact afraid of facing the rakyat and so tries to curb freedom of speech through undemocratic and unprofessional ways,” he added in a statement later.

Irwan tweeted on Saturday that it was good that the IGP was arresting the senior members of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as it would make way for the party’s youth to be able to take control and go after the police chief.

“Biarkn @KBAB51 mnahan klau blh smua leader senior PR..agr mdh bg kmi mgjar igp mgikut cra org mda tpa skatan senior2 PR..igp..bersedialah..,” Irwan tweeted using the handle @irwanyahya, referring to Khalid by his twitter handle @KBAB51.

[Translation: Let @KBAB51 arrest all the senior PR leaders so it will be easier for us to teach the IGP the ways of the youth without restrictions from the PR seniors. IGP, be ready]

In response, Khalid replied on the social network that the Royal Malaysian Police force was merely trying to keep the peace, adding that Irwan’s threat was unbecoming.

“Adik @irwanyahya, @PDRMsia cuma jlnkan Amanah kami demi ketenteraman dan kesejahteraan Rakyat. Mengugut saya tidak manis,” Khalid said in a tweet, referring to the Royal Malaysian Police by its twitter handle @PDRMsia.

[Translation: @irwanyahya, @PDRMsia is just doing its job for the sake of the peace and welfare of the people. It is not nice to threaten me]

An active user of Twitter, Khalid has been regularly using the microblogging social network to order the police to investigate individuals or groups using the Sedition Act.

But his public directives have drawn allegations of selective action to target government critics such as activists and opposition lawmakers.

Since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction last month, Khalid and his police force have engaged in an apparent crackdown on dissent by lawyers, politicians and social activist movements.

These include directives to question civil liberties lawyer Michelle Yesudas over a tweet expressing her concerns following rape threats against radio presenter Aisyah Tajuddin, whom Khalid also ordered to be investigated along with other BFM employees over a video on hudud Islamic penal law.

The IGP has also used Twitter to direct investigations under the Sedition Act 1948 against opposition lawmakers Tony Pua and Nga Kor Ming from the DAP as well as PKR’s Rafizi Ramli from PKR

Others targeted over tweets were cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, and Lawyers for Liberty director Eric Paulsen.