Artist and activist Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin was arrested earlier today for alleged sedition.
His lawyer Yohendran Nadarajan said that Fahmi was brought to the Dang Wangi police station and is being probed under the Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act.
He said police arrived at his home at around 6pm before breaking into the house at about 6.45pm. He said about half a dozen policemen were involved in arresting him.
“They just said he is being investigated but didn’t specify for what exactly. The remand hearing will be at 10am tomorrow, so we’ll only know then,” he said.
According to his lawyers, Fahmi was informed that he was being arrested on a matter related to the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Fahmi recently created several Spotify playlists, apparently mocking the Raja Permaisuri Agong over a comment she made on her personal Instagram account.
One of the posts on her account was about cooking Malaysian favourites such as bubur lambuk, roti John, cucur jagung, among other dishes at the Istana kitchen. One follower asked whether Istana chefs also received the vaccine, to which she replied “Dengki ke?” (Jealous?).
The reply was quickly picked up on Twitter, with many users using the term as a hashtag.
Fahmi curated numerous playlists on Spotify with the title “This is dengki ke?” which featured a picture of the Queen. The playlists were eventually taken down by Spotify, prompting the artist to move to Apple Music.
PAS Youth deputy chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari yesterday lodged a police report against Fahmi, accusing the artist of insulting the Queen.
Fahmi has had several brush-ins with the law for his satirical works, teasing politicians and prominent figures.
The designer explained that despite being convicted in the past for his caricatures, to him, having the rights to express oneself freely and being able to exercise his civic responsibility to speak up on current affairs remains of utmost importance.