Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the arrest and detention Wong Yan Ke in relation to the investigation against UMANY for an alleged offence under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
The investigation against UMANY and the student activist behind the movement is an act of intimidation as the concerns raised by the group is not uncommon and cannot be reasonably construed as an offence under both laws. The Royal Malaysian Police decision to conduct raids for such a matter suggest that the authorities are victimizing UMANY to intimidate others with the hope that a group of student activists would be vulnerable to the Royal Malaysian Police’s antics.
Furthermore, the arrest and detention of Wong Yan Ke for merely recording the presence and action of a police officer during the raid is absurd. There is no law in the country that criminalize and forbid the recording of police officers on duty. The arrest under Section 186 of the Penal Code is yet another absurd incident that does nothing but exemplifies how the Royal Malaysian Police are unafraid of abusing its power to coerce citizens into complying with unlawful actions.
This incident also highlights the complete disregard for the rule of law by the police and the unprofessional antics of senior officers within the police force. The Royal Malaysian Police cannot police itself and remedy its flaws. The government must introduce an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission in line with the recommendations made by the Parliament Select Committee in 2019.
SUARAM call for the immediate release of Wong Yan Ke and for the investigations against UMANY to be halted.