PETALING JAYA: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has called for rules on police arrests to be revised in the wake of what she called high-handed police action against two secondary school students who criticised a history examination paper.
She said it was unnecessary to arrest the two teenagers. “The offence is not a capital or a serious offence. It would have been enough for the police to seize the mobile phones used, record the teenagers’ statements, and then refer the case to the deputy public prosecutor.
“However, they went further by arresting and detaining (the students) and applying for a two-day remand, which is high-handed. The psychological trauma on the teenagers would have been severe,” said Kok.
She urged the inspector-general of police and the Attorney General’s Chambers to streamline arrest guidelines when dealing with online dissent and criticism. The authorities must allow dissent and criticism as long as it is not defamatory or harmful to society.
The two teenagers were arrested in a police raid on their homes on Friday and held on a two-day remand order over a viral video showing a schoolboy criticising the history paper for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination. They were released on police bail yesterday.
Kok said while the police could “feebly attempt” to justify the arrests by accusing the students of violating the law, such action would not silence them. “On the contrary, it will invite anger and disaffection from them towards the authorities,” she said.