Cops seize activist’s phone in probe over ‘insulting’ Agong

Activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi wants the Sedition Act to be abolished. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman federal police headquarters has seized the handphone and SIM-card of youth activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi as part of its investigations under the Communications and Multimedia Act and Sedition Act today.

Asheeq, who was summoned today to the headquarters over his speech which allegedly insulted Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, said he was shocked after having his belongings taken by the police.

He said police had also taken his statement.

“I am being investigated under the Communications and Multimedia Act and so they said they needed to seize my phone. I don’t know for how long.

“They will send the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers while my phone will be handed to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for analysis.

“They will get back to me if they decide to continue with my case or to charge me in court,” he said today in front of the Bukit Aman headquarters.

Asheeq was summoned due to his speech during last month’s solidarity rally for lawyer-cum-activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri outside the Brickfields police station.

Besides Asheeq, some 50 activists from various organisations, including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Suaram and the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), had also gathered to show solidarity for Fadiah.

Fadiah was called in by the police on July 11 for investigations under the Sedition Act because of her blog post which made a reference to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting with Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, where Anwar had kissed the ruler’s hand.

Her comments led to a backlash from Malay rights group Perkasa, which urged police to probe her for sedition by trying to incite hatred towards the Malay rulers.

Asheeq has vowed to continue encouraging people to criticise those in power, including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He said he believed that every person who holds power and gets money from the people must be subjected to criticism.

“This includes the prime minister, the rulers and even the Agong.

“It will show their integrity as they will be as seen as being more transparent and being receptive to criticism.”

Asheeq said he had never insulted the Agong. All he did was pointing out the need for a platform for people to criticise those who have power.

“We are in the era of the “New Malaysia” but these criticisms are still considered a crime,” he said.

Asheeq also urged the government to abolish the Sedition Act.

“I am urging the new government to abolish the Sedition Act immediately. You do not have to table it for abolition yet, but you can always cease to use it.

“The police do not have to investigate anyone else under the Sedition Act.

“Let me be the last person. We will fight for this Sedition Act to be abolished. We will fight for them to stop arresting people who voice out their criticism,” he said.

Bukit Aman summons activist for ‘insulting’ Agong