Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cops investigating Utusan, two bloggers for sedition

The Utusan Melayu front page report which caused a nationwide uproar.

The police are investigating Utusan Melayu for sedition, hours after the Umno-owned daily sparked a nationwide uproar with its incendiary front page report seen to blame the Chinese for the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) weaker score in Election 2013.

The police have also hauled in two bloggers, Papa Gomo and King Jason, for questioning said to be related to their recent posts seen to fuel racial sentiments.

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“A police report was received related to Utusan Malaysia’s publication that smacked of sedition. The case is being investigated under Sect 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948,” the police posted on their twitter account, @PDRMsia.

Under the law, those found guilty shall be fined not more than RM1,000 for the first offence or to a three year jail term or both. For subsequent offences, those convicted face a maximum jail term of not more than five years.

“PDRM will not hesitate to hunt down/capture any party that ignites racial@ sedition through social media network,” the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was quoted as saying in Malay on the police’s official tweet.

Police chief Tan Sri Ismail Omar added that Malaysia’s 13th general on Sunday “was carried out smoothly without major incident and all parties showed maturity in implementing democracy.”

Utusan Malaysia had front-paged today the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu (What else do the Chinese want?) in what appeared to be an attempt to shape the results of Election 2013 as a Chinese-vs-Malay vote.

Politicians from both sides of the fence weighed in on the controversy but the issue has not shown any signs of abating.

Some politicians from the BN, such as Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah who lost his Temerloh seat, crossed the political divide to join his rivals from PAS and PKR in denouncing the racially provocative reports form Utusan, and cautioned it could hamper a national reconciliation proposed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak after polls on Sunday.

But the prime minister, sworn in for a second term was seen to deflect criticism against the broadsheet, claiming the predominantly-Chinese DAP had misled the Chinese into greater racial polarisation by making them think that voting the party would lead to a change of government.

“You blamed Utusan but you don’t ask about the Chinese papers,” Najib told a press conference today when asked how he plans to achieve national reconciliation if the daily kept harping on race issues.

He did not say what was objectionable in the Chinese-language newspapers.

Najib had alluded to a “Chinese tsunami” in an immediate speech just after midnight on Sunday when the Election Commission announced the BN as winners by a simple majority.

BN took a severe beating this round and bled more seats at both the federal and state levels compared to 2008, leaving it with only 133 federal seats and 274 out of the 505 total state seats despite wresting back Kedah from PR.

The police had picked up a 33-year-old said to blog as Papa Gomo at a petrol station near Danau Kota in the city while another 38-year-old said to be the blogger assuming the King Jason handle was detained at Kampung Jawa, Klang today, The Star Online reported, citing Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan who is the director of the federal commercial crimes investigation department (CCID).

The Papa Gomo blogger had posted an entry in Malay earlier this morning titled, “Mesej Sebaran Cina DAP Yang Dahagakan Kuasa (The Message Spread of the Chinese DAP that Thirsts for Power)” that drew 54 comments.

He had posted another piece yesterday titled “Bangsa Cina DAP Wajib Ditentang Walaupun Bermandi Darah (The Chinese race DAP must be opposed even if bathed in blood.)” that purportedly carried a Malay translation of a pamphlet detailing a Chinese plot to take over the country by taking advantage of weakened Malay leaders.
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