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Activist Jufazli arrested for alleged defamation over Tawau fires

 | September 10, 2017

Police will fly the youth activist and vocal critic of Sabah government from KL to Tawau for further investigation.

jufazliKOTA KINABALU: Youth activist and vocal critic of the Sabah government Jufazli Shi Ahmad was arrested in Kuala Lumpur today for defamation he allegedly committed on social media regarding a recent spate of fires in Tawau.

His lawyer, Rajsurian Pillai, told FMT Jufazli had gone to the Dang Wangi police headquarters after learning that police were looking for him.

He was subsequently arrested about 3pm in connection with a police report made in Tawau.

Rajsurian said police had confiscated Jufazli’s mobile phone and later searched a house in Kuala Lumpur where he was staying to look for evidence.

“The police are looking to fly him back to Tawau tomorrow.

“If they can’t get flight tickets tomorrow, police are to apply for a remand order tomorrow,” said Rajsurian.

“After the raid, Jufazli was held at the Dang Wangi lockup.

“Jufazli is being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.”

When contacted by FMT, Tawau police chief ACP Fadil Marsus confirmed the arrest and that Jufazli would be flown there tomorrow.

Following Jufazli’s allegedly slanderous video on Facebook, Tawau Municipal Council (MPT) chairman Alijus Sipil was reported to have hit out at the activist for claiming the government and the council masterminded the frequent fire incidents in Sabah’s east coast district.

Alijus was reported to have described the statement made in the hour-long video recording as irresponsible and had baseless allegations.

“MPT, as the third-tier government, is the party responsible for dealing with such a disaster and as such we do not want such a fire to happen often,” he was reported as saying by theSundaily.

Alijus said he had instructed his officers to lodge a police report and seek legal advice on the next course of action.

One of the reasons for the fires in Tawau was that the houses were built close to one another, Alijus reportedly said.

In the latest incident on July 5, it was reported the fire had destroyed 60 houses in Kampung Titingan, leaving more than 300 people homeless.

This is the third time 28-year-old Jufazli from Semporna is being investigated over the past year.

On Nov 9 last year, he was arrested at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur and investigated for slander, sedition and offences under the Communications and Multimedia Act.

He was detained until Nov 15.

He, however, said he was not prosecuted despite being locked up at the Jinjang police station in Kuala Lumpur and Tawau station in Sabah.

On May 26 this year, he said he received a call from the police regarding a new case initiated against him.

Jufazli was then arrested on June 7 and his statement taken at the Penampang district police headquarters. He was released that same day.

Jufazli was reportedly under investigation for alleged offences under Section 4 of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

The activist, from Semporna, is a vocal critic, especially over the recent corruption case involving the state’s water department.

A former director of the department and two others have been charged with money laundering involving a total of RM61.48 million.

Jufazli, who joined DAP on June 5, had also announced his intention to run in the Sungai Sibuga state seat, held by chief minister Musa Aman, in the coming 14th general election (GE14).

He had said he was giving up his job as a lecturer at a private university to concentrate on fighting for a better Sabah, and that he would be based in Sandakan, where the constituency is located, until the election.

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