Arrested Malaysian Blogger Freed Following Public Outcry

from the how-could-the-gov't-not-expect-that? dept

It’s hard to figure out what the government of Malaysia is thinking in its ongoing trouble in dealing with critical bloggers (some of whom were so powerful that they got elected). Last week, we noted that one of the more popular bloggers, whose blog had been ordered blocked by ISPs was arrested, just as the block on his blog was removed. Not surprisingly, the arrest led to a public outcry, and the government has now relented and freed the blogger, who quickly posted an anti-government rant on his blog, promising not to back down. The whole thing makes you wonder how tone deaf the leading party politicians in Malaysia are that they didn’t expect this to happen. Arresting an opposition blogger was bound to create further outcry, and this move only helped legitimize the points he’s been making. You would think that at least someone in the ruling party would have been savvy enough to recognize that this was inevitable.

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Comments on “Arrested Malaysian Blogger Freed Following Public Outcry”

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goldenscreen says:

TechDirt Got It All Wrong

They didn’t free the blogger in question (Kickdefella), they just released him after investigation and there is a pending case against him under Malaysia’s Sedition Act.

Furthermore, the blogger whose blog was blocked by ISPs was a different blogger (Raja Petra of Malaysia Today). And he was being held under Section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act (ISA) where the police can detain him for up to 60 days without reason for investigation pending further action using the ISA. Today, he was supposed to be brought to court filed by his lawyers for a Habaes Corpus hearing to declare his detention unlawful.

However, the bloody Malaysian government pre-empted the courts when the Home Minister signed an ISA detention order for 2 years under Section 8 of the ISA, which cannot be challenged by any court in Malaysia and which can only be overturned by the Home Minister (which has been conducting a war of words with Raja Petra prior to his detention without trial). Which means he will spend the next 2 years in solitary confinement in the Kamunting Detention Camp and the detention can be extended every 2 years indefinitely at the whims and fancy of the Home Minister.

Furthermore, today a famous rapper who released several videos to Youtube which has been viewed over a million times has been summoned by the police pending an investigation under the Sedition Act. All he did was to sing about police brutality, racial discrimination and he was hauled by the police. In the meantime several ruling party politicians who openly stoked racial tension with racist speeches against Chinese and Indians have not even been investigated by the police.

That is the reality of life in Malaysia, a so-called moderate Muslim nation. To Americans, beware of the Patriot Act. Like the ISA, it started as an emergency law during the Communist Insurgency but has now been used to detain bloggers, opposition politicians, civil society activists, reporters, unionists for supposedly threatening national security.

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