Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) received concerning report that an individual has been arrested and remanded under Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 for alleged insult against member of the Johor Royal Family.
From the information obtained, the individual was detained and brought to IPD Johor Bahru Selatan for further investigation and was remanded for two days. Freedom of expression is a right enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and should not be curtailed for mere insults. Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 is fundamentally flawed and should not have been used to investigate and punish alleged insults online.
Furthermore, it is absurd that the police are utilizing critical resources during the Movement Control Order to arrest and detain individuals for alleged insult on social media. Conducting unnecessary arrest and remand at this juncture is counterproductive to the nation’s collective goal of eliminating Covid-19 and wasting police resources.
SUARAM call for the immediate release of the individual as any investigation can be done remotely by the police with statement taken at any time without remanding the person in question.