Suaram’s Sevan Doraisamy quizzed over activist’s article

KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Sevan Doraisamy was questioned by the police today over Suaram’s involvement with activist group Malaysia Muda in relation to an article published on their blog.

Sevan, who is Suaram executive director, was called in for questioning at the Brickfields district police headquarters at 10.30am after receiving a notice on Dec 4.

He was released at about 12.15pm.

Speaking to reporters outside the police station, he said he was questioned under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act in relation to an article written by fellow activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, published on the Malaysia Muda blog.

He said Suaram, as adviser to the activist group, took responsibility for the articles published on the blog.

“The investigating officer asked me more about my responsibility as an adviser to the student group with regards to the article,” he said.

“I believe the intention of the article was very clear. It was a very open article, asking politicians to embrace the general public and reach out more to them instead of being closer to those in power.

“The confusing part is, the article was released on July 9. Now it’s December and they are still investigating it.”

Adding that this was uncalled for, he said it was unnecessary to waste time and police resources to investigate the matter under the Sedition Act when the government had promised to abolish it.

“They have investigated this issue enough. The police have received enough statements and done enough questioning over the article. There is no need for the investigation to continue.”

He also said he did not believe his questioning today was related to the recent move to lift the moratorium on the use of the Sedition Act.

“It was a continuation of the previous investigation into Fadiah’s article,” he added.

He cautioned however that this should not set a precedent for future cases.

“We still believe that the Sedition Act must be abolished as soon as possible. The government promised to table (the bill).

“So I hope this will be the last case where the government uses the Sedition Act to investigate anyone because they are practising freedom of expression.”

Fadiah’s article titled “Jangan Engkau Cium Tangan yang Memukulmu” or “Don’t Kiss the Hand that Hits You” was published on the Malaysia Muda blog five months ago.

It showed a picture of Anwar Ibrahim kissing the hand of the Johor sultan.

The article criticised politicians’ close ties to the elite, and called for them to be closer allies with the citizens.

Fadiah, who is also a lawyer, has been called for police questioning several times since.

It is understood that she will soon be called in for questioning for the fourth time.