PETALING JAYA: Police have arrested a man who allegedly expressed support for diplomatic ties with Israel in a video which has gone viral.
In a statement, Bukit Aman criminal investigation department (CID) director Shuhaily Zain said the Johor Bahru magistrates’ court has approved the man’s remand for three days until Saturday.
Shuhaily said the 36-year-old man expressed support for diplomatic relations with Israel in an interview with an Israeli social media influencer named Hananya Naftali.
“The case is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 505(c) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” said Shuhaily.
Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 relates to acts with seditious tendencies while Section 505(c) of the Penal Code relates to statements conducive to public mischief with intent to incite the community to cause them to commit an offence against other communities.
Meanwhile, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 relates to the improper use of network facilities or network services.
Earlier today, communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil said that the video titled “Malaysia and Israel – from enemies to allies?” was uploaded on YouTube on Dec 17, 2021.
When asked why no action was taken over the viral video, Fahmi said the question should be posed to the home minister and communications and multimedia minister at that time.
In the video, Naftali was seen talking to a “Malaysian” man who expressed support for ties with Israel.
The man also claimed that Malaysians’ negative perception of Israel stemmed from “misinformation” which “corrupted Malaysians’ minds to turn them against Israel”.
Naftali and the man also talked about how the normalisation of ties between Malaysia and Israel could lead to trade between the two countries.
Naftali, who describes himself on Instagram as “that Israeli who talks to the camera about peace in the Middle East”, has nearly 290,000 followers on the social media platform.
Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel. There have been massive protests in Malaysia over the recent Israel-Hamas war, with many Malaysians also boycotting food and beverage establishments said to have ties to Israel.
Health authorities in Gaza estimated that at least 15,523 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct 7, with a majority of them comprising women and children.
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