Kit Siang: Why are cops probing Kulai MP over 5-year-old FB post?

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DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has questioned the motive behind the police’s investigation into Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching’s social media posting from April 2017.

He said the police should focus on combating crime instead of being a political tool to intimidate or harass the public for speaking their mind.

“Inspector-general of police (IGP) Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani should explain why the police is probing Teo over a four-year social media post in April 2017 (and) whether this is a reflection of police inefficiency or abuse of power under (Prime Minister) Ismail Sabri (Yaakob’s) government.

“Hasn’t the police better things to do?” said Lim in a statement today.

It was reported yesterday that the police are investigating Teo, who is a deputy education minister, over a social media post she shared in April 2017.

The post was originally by activist-artist Fahmi Reza and she shared it on her official Facebook account along with the caption “pertahankan kebebasan berekspresi, kebebasan bersatire” (defend the freedom to express, freedom to be satirical).

The investigation is being conducted under Section 504 of the Penal Code (intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace) as well as Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (improper use of network facilities or network service, etc).

In a separate statement today, DAP Youth (Dapsy) called on the IGP to immediately drop the investigation against Teo.

Describing it as ridiculous and a clear attempt at intimidation, Dapsy national vice-chairperson Jenny Choy said the probe does not make sense as the alleged offence happened almost five years ago.

“If any police report was made in 2017, why did the police wait for five years to commence their investigation?

“Five years is a long time in any criminal investigation. We have had four prime ministers since then. It would be disastrous to the nation if the police take such a long time for action in genuine criminal cases,” said Choy, who is the Canning state assemblyperson.

As such, she said, the only conclusion she can reach is that the probe against Teo is in “bad faith, frivolous, and totally irrelevant”.

Meanwhile, in another statement, former president of NGO Aliran, P Ramakrishnan, also urged the police to stop harassing Teo with a “meaningless” law.

It is “unbelievable” that the police are only taking action after more than four years, he said.

“While it may be reluctantly conceded that at that time of posting in April 2017, there might have been some vaguely valid reason to presume that it could have likely provoked a breach of the peace, now, more than four years later, there is absolutely no ground for that presumption.

“The last four years had established that the posting did not provoke a breach of the peace, even much the tendency to do so. There wasn’t even a ripple,” said Ramakrishnan.

On the contrary, he said, Teo should be congratulated for standing up for freedom of expression, which is a universal human right that must be upheld.

Instead of harassing Teo, the police should turn their focus to outstanding cases such as the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, Ruth Sitepu, and her husband Joshua Hilmy, who have been missing since 2017, he said.

The police should also focus on the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock as well as what happened to M Indira Gandhi’s daughter, he added.

“The Malaysian public calls upon the police to desist from hounding and harassing Teo and appeal to them to put their time to good use in pursuing unresolved crimes, instead of wasting their time in unproductive efforts,” he said. – Malaysiakini