Se­lec­tive per­se­cu­tion?

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­com­ing in­stan­ta­neous, the sit­u­a­tion may have changed. They no longer “fear” those du­bi­ous threats but view the po­lice from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive al­to­gether.

The knowl­edge­able ones see the po­lice as “bul­lies en­gaged in se­lec­tive pros­e­cu­tion” and when asked, they of­fer some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and in­ci­dents to sup­port their the­ory.

Jour­nal­ists have also been vic­tims. Af­ter cov­er­ing the Ber­sih 4 rally two years ago my col­league then, Radzi Razak, was bru­tally beaten up by a group of po­lice­men, which re­quired him to be hos­pi­talised for a week. The po­lice were sup­posed to be in­ves­ti­gat­ing their own men and to date, there has been no news.

Re­mem­ber the episode of po­lice­men jump­ing over the gates of jour­nal­ist Sidek Kasimo’s house in the wee hours of the morn­ing two months ago? What of­fence did he com­mit? They ar­rested him and drove him all the way to Jo­hor Baru and even sought a re­mand or­der to fur­ther de­tain him, which was rightly re­fused by the mag­is­trate.

His sup­posed of­fence in the eyes of the po­lice was that he had posted about holy wa­ter and a re­li­gious leader. To date, no charges have been filed and nei­ther has he been told that he’s been ex­on­er­ated.

What about Je­lut­ing MP Jeff Ooi be­ing “or­dered to sur­ren­der” by the IGP? What was his of­fence? He used the word “adios” (good­bye) in a part­ing mes­sage to a re­li­gious leader who had passed on. Two months af­ter that grand or­der, which was given prom­i­nent cov­er­age in news­pa­pers and on prime time tele­vi­sion, the whole is­sue fiz­zled out with a whim­per.

Last week, Malaysi­akini was on the re­ceiv­ing end of sim­i­lar treat­ment. The po­lice want to in­ves­ti­gate the news por­tal un­der Sec­tion 124C which reads: “Who­ever at­tempts to com­mit an ac­tiv­ity detri­men­tal to par­lia­men­tary democ­racy or does any act prepara­tory thereto shall be pun­ished with im­pris­on­ment for a term, which may extend to fif­teen years.”

The ba­sis for such ac­tion are me­dia re­ports that it re­ceived funds from Ge­orge Soros’ Open So­ci­ety Foun­da­tions. How does this con­sti­tute such an ac­tiv­ity? Does it mean that the re­ceipt of money is a prepara­tory act?

If this is the case, I must make a con­fes­sion be­fore they come af­ter me. When I was study­ing in Eng­land, I was given a grant by the univer­sity to un­der­take a study trip to the Sports Law In­sti­tute at the Mar­quette Univer­sity in Mil­wau­kee, Wis­con­sin in the US. Many Malaysians who are study­ing over­seas are un­der the aus­pices of for­eign gov­ern­ments and com­pa­nies. There are also many NGOs in­clud­ing con­sumer move­ments which re­ceive fund­ing from for­eign sources. Can the po­lice as­sume these are prepara­tory acts and cast as­per­sions on us?

Then again, a group of men turned up at the Malaysi­akini of­fice on Thurs­day, de­mand­ing that the man­age­ment pro­duce the ac­counts and threat­ened to “run­tuh” (bring down) part of the build­ing on Satur­day.

The mere ut­ter­ance of the threat is tan­ta­mount to crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion un­der Sec­tion 503 which reads: “Who­ever threat­ens an­other with any in­jury to his per­son, rep­u­ta­tion or prop­erty, or to the per­son or rep­u­ta­tion of any one in whom that per­son is in­ter­ested, with in­tent to cause alarm to that per­son, or to cause that per­son to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that per­son is legally en­ti­tled to do, as a means of avoid­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of such threat, com­mits crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion.”

The po­lice did not act on the threat de­spite a re­port be­ing lodged on Fri­day. The same group of men

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