Police to investigate Malaysiakini editor, Klang MP for sedition

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Investigation papers under the sedition and multimedia laws have been opened on both Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan and Klang MP Charles Santiago for comments made after the Federal Court found the news portal guilty of contempt last Friday.

Kuala Muda OCPD Adzli Abu Shah confirmed that two separate police reports were lodged by the same person yesterday.

The individual is from an NGO based in Gurun, Kedah.

“Investigation papers have been opened under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act.

“The complainant made two separate reports, one against Gan, one against YB Charles.

“We have not contacted them yet, but we will call them shortly to facilitate investigations,” he told Malaysiakini.

On Friday, Malaysiakini was fined RM500,000 for contempt of court by the Federal Court in relation to the news portal’s readers’ comments.

Contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini and Gan were initiated by Attorney-General Idrus Harun over comments left by readers on the news website.

Idrus argued that the two respondents had scandalised the court by facilitating five readers’ comments on an article dated June 9 titled “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1.”

The Federal Court also ruled that Gan was not guilty of the same charge. The 6-1 majority decision cannot be appealed, but can be reviewed by the apex court.

Gan and Charles were among many who made statements that were critical of the verdict in its aftermath.

Responding to news of the police reports, Charles said: “It’s important to note that Article 10 of the Federal Constitution gives me, this country’s citizen, the right to free speech and expression. I was, therefore, exercising my fundamental right.

“And in this regard, I should be able to express my views and concerns about the verdict without the fear of contempt or police reports, in this instance.”

He pointed out that the Federal Court’s decision was not unanimous and that there was a dissenting judgment.

“It’s equally important to remember that Federal Court decisions have been reversed and as a lawmaker, I am duty-bound, to speak out,” Charles added.

He also took a swipe at the fact that police reports have become a norm in Malaysia.

“I really hope we can look at other crucial issues Malaysia and her people are grappling with now, but I will offer my full support if called in for questioning.” – Malaysiakini