Graphic designer Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin was released yesterday evening after being held overnight for police investigations over a playlist of songs that he had compiled on the Spotify app.
Rajsurian Pillai, one of Fahmi’s lawyers, said that his client was released at 5.55pm yesterday on police bail.
The police had arrested Fahmi on Friday and kept him overnight in the Dang Wangi police lock-up and had yesterday morning sought four days of remands to carry out investigations but was only granted one day of remand by the magistrate.
Rajsurian had earlier said that the police had sought for four days to remand or further detain Fahmi in order to record his statement and take his photograph and fingerprints, noting that Fahmi’s lawyers had argued before the magistrate that these could be done in just a matter of hours and that there was no real reason or real need to detain him for four days.
Following the granting of the one-day remand order, police had then subsequently recorded Fahmi’s statement as well as taken his photograph and his fingerprints, Rajsurian confirmed.
Earlier from his lock-up, Fahmi had written a note by hand to stress the importance of defending satire and parody as a form of protest.
“In this country where a graphic designer is censored, arrested and locked up for his artwork, it is very important for this creative expression — parody and satire as a form of protest — to be continued to be practised and to be continued to be defended,” he wrote.
He said he is ready to face court charges for allegedly insulting royalty and will not stop making art that is critical of those in power.
“As a designer who does a lot of political satire for art, I will not stop making graphics that criticise the people in power,” he told reporters after his release from the Dang Wangi police station.
“My postings and my Spotify playlist will not be deleted and I’m ready to face any charges that will be filed against me in court,” Fahmi said after his release.
“The authorities can try to arrest or accuse me multiple times, but I will never give up nor delete any of my post.”
Fahmi’s Spotify playlist has a photo of the Queen and is a play on her answer to an Instagram commenter who asked if chefs working at the palace had also received the Covid-19 vaccine out of queue with the rest of other royals as alleged in an article by Asia Sentinel.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba has denied the article while the palace has yet to respond to the allegations.
Fahmi also said after his release that police have confiscated his laptop, charger, modem, router and two phones
The police said that investigations are being carried out under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhil Shaari of PAS had lodged a police report against Fahmi, alleging that he had insulted royalty.
Earlier report: 23 Apr, Fahmi Reza arrested, probed under Sedition Act